Pastoralism under pressure in northern Kenya

November 2018
PASTRES (Pastoralism, Resilience and Uncertainty) Ian Scoones

Pastoralists in Isiolo county in northern Kenya feel under siege, with their way of life under threat. Isiolo has been the home of the Waso Boran pastoralists for many decades, but attacks from neighbouring Somali herders, encroachments by agriculturalists from Meru, expansion of conservancies and planned road, pipeline and resort city mega-projects are affecting all pastoral livelihoods, creating many new risks and environmental uncertainties. Droughts are occurring more frequently. Market uncertainties are important, regarding access to milk, meat and live animals. But political and institutional uncertainties dominated discussions with locals. Disputes with neighbours and the planned expansion of investments, including the LAPSSET corridor and the Northern Rangeland Trust conservancies were hot topics.