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Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge MOST/CIRAN
KENYA BP.07

TITLE

Enhancing pastoralist self-reliance through sustainable economic development

DESCRIPTION

An integrated development programme for pastoralists in Kenya: bringing together traditional (indigenous) knowledge and modern technical knowledge in training, handbooks for treatment of cattle diseases, etc. It also aims at bringing together indigenous knowledge from different ethnic groups; sharing indigenous knowledge and practices; and promoting pastoralism as a valid mode of production and way of life.

THEMES:
SELF-RELIANCE, CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING, EMPOWERMENT, PASTORALISM, TRAINING, ARID ZONE

COUNTRY: KENYA

INDIGENOUS ASPECTS

This project is based on disseminating indigenous knowledge. In all project activities, the Kenya Economic Pastoralist Development Association (KEPDA) brings together traditional and modern technical knowledge, through publications and networking, to promote understanding and awareness on key issues. Such an approach offers considerable potential for improving dryland productivity in a sustainable manner. In the past, traditional knowledge was considered largely a research topic, and technical knowledge was considered as a replacement for primitive or outdated practices. This project aims to integrate these two information bases.

SUSTAINABILITY

  • ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY is achieved by promoting entrepreneurial activities and sustainable livestock raising.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY is achieved by promoting a more sustainable exploitation of pasture lands to prevent the detrimental environmental effects of pastoralism.
  • OTHER: The pastoralists school programme helps promote the value of pastoralism as a means of resource utilisation and a way of life.
STAKEHOLDERS AND BENEFICIARIES

Kenyan pastoralists of many different ethnic groups, especially Maasai, Redille, Borana, Pokot, Samburu, Gabbra, Somali, Turkana. Beneficiaries are both male and female. They are mainly adults, but there are also special subprojects for children (basic education about the pastoralists' way of life).

The pastoralists target group: ca 750,000. First-line beneficiaries: ca 1000.

In 1994 SNV held a survey and a workshop in Kenya. In 1995, representatives of the target group (pastoralists) decided to establish their own NGO: Kenyan Economic Pastoralist Development Association (KEPDA). In 1996 BILANCE co-financed the KEPDA programme.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

STRENGTHS

  • The practice tries to eliminate modern prejudices against pastoralism as a mode of production/way of life.
  • The practice eliminates modern prejudices against indigenous knowledge/practices in livestock husbandry.
WEAKNESSES:

Organizational structures among the target group are still weak (common African problem).

IT IS CONSIDERED TO BE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE ...:

The project brings together former enemies/competitors among Kenyan pastoralists!

SUCCESS EXPRESSED IN QUALITATIVE OR QUANTITATIVE TERMS:

  • The practice established about 20 pastoralist culture/school clubs (309 members) with regular activities that involve sharing IK.
  • It produced "the IK book" (see below), of which 2000 copies were distributed.
  • It resulted in publication of the Pastoralist Newsletter.
POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION

This practice can be easily replicated in other areas with a few adaptations.

  • The indigenous knowledge is limited to pastoralist activities, however.
  • Ethnic differences between groups are a traditional obstacle for exchange, but it is precisely that kind of obstacle which the programme tries to break down.
So far, the best result of the inter-ethnic exchange of indigenous knowledge has been the publication and use of a simple handbook for identifying and treating diseases of cows, sheep and goats. It is published in English and Kiswahili. The book brings together the indigenous knowledge of nine pastoralist ethnic groups with modern ways of treating animal diseases.

R. Brightwell, J. Kamanga and R. Dransfield:"A simple handbook for identifying and treating diseases of cows, sheep and goats" KEPDA, Nairobi 1998.

Replication is the core of the programme.

PERIOD:
From 1995 to present

BUDGET:
USD 194,827.00

CONTACT PERSON:

John Kamanga
Kenya Economic Pastoralist Development Association

ORGANISATIONS INVOLVED:

Organization that provided this information:

Bilance
P.O. Box 77
2340 AB Oegstgeest
The Netherlands
Url: http://www.antenna.nl/bilance/en-index.html

Primary organisation:

Kenya Economic Pastoralist Development Association
P.O. Box 30776
Nairobi
Kenya
Telephone: +254-2-573650
Fax: +254-2-573650

Cooperating organisation:

SNV - Kenya
Address not available


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