On the 1st of October PACJA spearheaded a stakeholder’s consultative meeting with the county government to provide stakeholder input on this rangeland and livestock policies.
Community Representatives from Wabera, Bulla Pesa,,Oldonyiro, Ngare Mara wards together with technical experts in livestock, rangeland management and climate change matters were involved in the consultative meeting.
Isiolo County is one of the most vulnerable counties to climate change in Kenya and one of the counties in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) in the northern region. Climate change is a threat to the livelihood of residents in the county whose mainstay is pastoralism. The main threats include the outbreak of diseases due to the influx and concentration of livestock, an increased risk of flooding resulting in damage to infrastructure and property, and prolonged drought with its impacts on livestock mortality, rangeland resources, and morbidity.
PACJA has engaged strongly in advocating and advancing climate policy processes in the county.
The overall objective of this policy is to strengthen the capacity in Isiolo, its pastoral community, and other stakeholders, to formulate and implement livestock sector and related policies that sustainably reduce food insecurity and poverty, thereby enhancing the contribution of the livestock sector to sustainable food security and poverty reduction in the county.
During the meeting some members of the community sited their worries on the extent to which the policy addresses supportive services and actions such as insurance, early warning systems, access to veterinary services that are key to advance resilience of livestock production. The issues were discussed in length with ideas from the meeting being incorporated in the policy. There was also commitment by the government to put in place mechanisms to address the concerns raised in the meeting.
RANGELAND MANAGEMENT POLICY
Pastoralist communities manage their rangeland by dividing the range into dry and wet grazing zones. They graze in dryer parts of the rangeland during rainy season and move to wet areas during the dry period, when they have exhausted the pasture and water resource. This nomadic movement has supported the pastoral survival for centuries but now their survival is at stake as climate change takes center stage. Climate change in dryland areas manifests itself in flood storms and cyclic droughts which result in disruption of livelihoods through high livestock mortality which undermines the adaptive capacity and resilience of communities in the drylands of Kenya.
PACJA through the voice for change program has engaged strongly in advocating and advancing the rangeland management policy in the county.
One problem that stood out from the pastoralists on range land is that Competition over land for agriculture, livestock and wildlife is leading to resource based conflicts. The county representative stated that the policy introduces a co management approach where traditional community institutions will be involved in managing rangelands therefore mitigating resource based conflicts and supporting resilience building actions.