Restoring community livelihoods and food security through livestock asset during drought disasters: case study of Mwingi, Kenya
This article (PDF) in The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, and Development elaborates on mitigation strategies used to prevent the impact of droughts on livestock and food security in Mwingi, Kenya. Since in Mwingi, people’s primary source of income is keeping livestock, the impacts on livelihoods were severe when during a previous drought almost half of the livestock died. Therefore a new integrated and collaborative approach was developed to mitigate both immediate and long-term effects. This strategy included participatory drought analysis and needs assessment in combination with the deployment of a drought response team which secured and restored livestock. The management of livestock during a drought crisis helped to safeguard livelihoods and food security of the affected region. By the end of the disaster management there were perceived benefits in terms of improved body condition of the animals, avoided animal deaths and indirect benefits derived from surviving livestock. The cost-benefit analysis indicated that the intervention generated $2.74 of benefits in the form of avoided losses for every $1 spent. If the time period was extended to 3 years, the benefit-cost ratio increases to $6.69 in benefits for every $1 spent. This case demonstrates that interventions on drought crisis focusing on animal welfare could help maintain and restore the livestock as a livelihoods asset of the regions’ farmers and help to enhance their food security.