Coping with drought in Kenya
A drought in northern Kenya in 2006 led to a national disaster being declared. Instead of focusing on emergency food aid, Practical Action supported 50,000 livestock and creating a 'nucleus' herd - meaning that when the rains returned 5,000 families had the means to support themselves.
Kenya was the hardest hit by drought and famine in the region, with over 4 million people in urgent need of food and non-food aid. Many households in Mandera, Wajir and Marsabit lost virtually all their livestock, and were forced to sell their few remaining assets, abandoning their homes and shifting to urban centres in search of relief food.†
When the drought hit, Practical Action's nucleus herds project was able to help. The most healthy and resilient females, and one or two males, were selected for "seed stock".
These were then isolated and given special attention in terms of vet care, feeding and water. The farmers could then use these to rebuld their stocks, help rebuild others' stocks, or sell them on for cash. It was mainly sheeps and goats.
As well as building up herds for 5,000 families, Practical Action also constructed small dams to help protect the water which was available.
If you would like to help support projects like this, in Kenya and around the world, you can donate online, or by calling 0800 389 16 24 now.
Guardian Online Taking action to save Maasai tradition Simple yet highly effective projects help hundreds to cope with hardship as droughts slowly kill life on the land in Kenya.