Herders’ Perspectives on Climate Variability and Livestock Diseases Trends in the Semiarid Rangelands of Northern Kenya


Geoffrey L. Lelenguyah, Moses M. Nyangito, Oliver V. Wasonga, Kenya Rawlynce C. Bett, 


In Northern Kenya, livelihood risks occasioned by conflicts and disease outbreaks are closely related to climate variability and change. This study sought to analyze local perceptions on climate variability and pastoralists’ coping strategies in Samburu County. The study utilized an explanatory multiplecase study design. A total of 347 respondents (163 males, 184 females) were selected through simple random sampling from six study sites (Longewan, Lonyangaten, Arsim, Swari, Lpus, and Ngutuk Engiron). Drought was perceived to be more severe, along with a noticeable decline in the frequency of rainfalls . A statistically significant association was noted between perceptions about rainfall trends and the study’s sublocations (χ 2 = 19.438, df = 1, p = 0.000), temperature (χ 2 = 15.215, df = 1, p = 0.000), floods (χ 2 = 18.301, df = 1, p = 0.000), and drought (χ 2 = 22.016, df = 1, p = 0.000). Diseases like Pestes des Petits Ruminants (PPR), Contagious Caprine PleuroPneumonia (CCPP), and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) were perceived to be on the rise by 57.3% (n = 199), 66.0% (n = 229), and 54.6% (n = 189) of respondents, respectively. In conclusion, there has been a general change in rainfall and temperature variability trends with negative impacts on pastoralists’ livelihoods. The study’s findings draw attention to the need to improve veterinary services delivery system, develop infrastructure, and enhance the current information dissemination mechanism to best serve the needs of, and safeguard, the population, livestock, and ecosystem in pastoral areas against various environmental hazards. Keywords: Pastoralists Perception, Livestock Diseases, Climate Variability, Livelihoods, Coping Strategies, Northern Kenya