Causes of Drought Vulnerability and Indigenous Drought Early Warning Methods among the Turkana Nomadic Pastoralists of Ilemi Triangle Region of Northern Kenya

Paul Lopodo Mutu


Drought has remained a major disaster that has contributed to a higher vulnerability among the mobile pastoral population because of its slow onset and accumulative impact over period. Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Diseases (CRED) has quantitatively provided that Kenya has experienced about 19 droughts from 1989 to 2010. These drought scenarios are mainly in arid and semi-arid areas where Turkana belongs but the Turkana nomadic pastoral population has been surviving in such harsh environment where humanitarian assistance is barely absent. Therefore, the researcher in the objective prompts to ask, and find out what mainly causes their vulnerability to drought in such isolated and tough environment and what early warning methods are utilised in Ilemi triangle region. The studies available for this region have concentrated mainly to specific areas of Turkana without touching Ilemi triangle belt in Northern Turkana areas that is more prone to droughts. The study utilises multiple research design and a multistage random, purposive and quota sampling methods. The qualitative and quantitative data were analysed and the findings indicated that low rainfall, recurrent drought and extreme weather conditions are the main cause of vulnerability to drought and it recommended for a comprehensive framework for drought management in Ilemi triangle, preparing population for eventual drought and development of adequate water resources and Government must not only recognise, strengthen, and incorporate the importance the pastoralist’s indigenous early warning processes in order to have capacity to predict drought but also ensure the pastoralists are involved in their own drought management plans.

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