Development Programme: Arid or Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL)
The present project is the second phase of the Rural Agriculture and
Pastoralist Programme. A variety of institutional partners are taking part
in the project, which uses participatory methods to foster the development
of sustainable and affordable decentralized animal health services, and
improved and environmentally sound livestock production. The community
is also being encouraged to increase its own capacity to access resources
for its own development. The project is expanding on expertise acquired
through similar projects involving decentralised animal health and institutional
capacity-building. The aim is to increase the security of pastoralists
and marginal farmers in Kenya by improving their ability to control the
decision-making processes that affect them, and by increasing their technology
options for food production.
PASTORALISM, TRAINING, LIVESTOCK, FARMERS, TRADITIONAL MEDICINE, VETERINARY
Regions: Turkana, Marsabit, and Samburu Districts, and two areas of
the Eastern Province
Pastoralists and marginal farmers without access to external information
and services survive on the basis of their own knowledge of the environment
and how to manage it. Any attempts to improve their situation through participatory
activities must begin with an understanding of this knowledge. Local knowledge
is therefore the starting point for work directed towards animal health,
livestock production, and environmental conservation, and the basis of
the more socially oriented strategies for coping with drought, resolving
conflicts, and sharing common property.
IT Kenya has published a training module based on a combination of local
veterinary knowledge and modern techniques, which is now being used in
STAKEHOLDERS AND BENEFICIARIES
The project improves production.
Recognition for the value of traditional medical and veterinary practices
is resulting in their revival. This creates further incentive for conserving
plant resources and their environment.
The project was initiated by IT Kenya (Intermediate Technology Group,
Kenya). There are two target groups:
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
pastoralists in the Turkana, Samburu, and Marsabit districts;
marginalized farmers in Tharaka Nith and Kathekani, two semi-arid areas
of the Eastern Province.
The population is highly involved in the project.
IT IS CONSIDERED SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE:
Indigenous institutions assign specific roles to women and men and are
often patriarchal. Attempts to strengthen these institutions can conflict
with attempts to foster greater equality.
Drought is common in ASAL areas. The insecurity it creates is a constraint
on all development activities. (Activities directed towards coping with
drought are therefore incorporated into the programme.)
Conflicts between pastoral groups sometimes erupt into armed raids on livestock.
To minimize this danger, pastoralists concentrate their livestock in small
areas around a few bore holes and centres. If these massive concentrations
are to be avoided, food security strategies must include ways to resolve
Recognition from the outside increases the appreciation which marginalized
groups feel for their own traditional methods. This raises their self-esteem,
and they gain confidence in their own ability to innovate, experiment and
adapt known and new technologies.
SUCCESS EXPRESSED IN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE TERMS:
Achievements of the first phase (1997-1998):
POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION
Because the capacity of local NGOs was increased, nomadic herders are now
accessing other resources. Underground water tanks have been built, for
example, so that women no longer have to walk with camels for days to get
drinking water and water for their small livestock.
The adoption of improved technologies has brought benefits, making it possible
for people to replenish their goat stock, buy household goods, and pay
Crop yields have increased as the management and transport of manure have
The people themselves disseminate the news of successful results, thus
providing for their own farmer-to-farmer extension.
The Wasaidizi have registered as a self-help group and are thus
able to buy drugs directly from the manufacturers at wholesale prices.
Following the identification of tsetse flies as a major problem, each village
has begun a community-based programme for trapping them.
Through work with traditional healers in the Samburu district, the project
documented local remedies and disseminated this knowledge to the local
secondary school. This ethnoveterinary knowledge has also been incorporated
into the training modules for decentralised animal health.
A workshop held in collaboration with the International Institute of Rural
Reconstruction (IIRR) resulted in healers and veterinarians from around
the country learning from each other and learning to accept each otherís
professions as valid. The workshop also resulted in a book entitled Ethnoveterinary
Medicine in Kenya, which has helped to gain recognition for the value
of ethnoveterinary knowledge, and has increased interest in veterinary
A number of new approaches and training methods for decentralized animal
health have been developed.
The approach would be fairly easy to replicate elsewhere.
The basic publication is in English. Intermediate Technology (IT) Kenya
is now disseminating the book through its worldwide IT network, and starting
to prepare modules in local languages.
There will be a mid-term evaluation of the project in late 1999 and
an independent evaluation in late 2001. Indicators will be: food security;
peace; water; environment; and livestock health.
The project will be reviewed at four levels (LEGS):
Lessons learnt from the annual reviews are incorporated into the project
Livelihoods, to determine the projectís impact on the livelihoods
of the beneficiaries;
Environment, to determine the impact on the environment;
Gender, to assess the degree to which the gender issue has been
integrated into all aspects of project implementation so that all groups
in a community benefit from the project on a more equal basis;
Sustainability, to determine whether the people will continue to
benefit from the new technologies and techniques after external support
has been withdrawn and the project is finished.
From 1997 to 1999
USD 697,310.00 (= 348,655.00 p/year)
SOURCES OF FUNDING:
Ms. Ascnath Omwega
Intermediate Technology Kenya
Organization that provided this information:
P.O. Box 77
2340 AB Oegstgeest
Intermediate Technology Kenya
P.O. Box 39493
Telephone: +254-2-442108 / 444887 or /446243
Fax: +254-2-445166 or 254-2-446002