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Title: Strengthening Local Safety Nets as a Key to Enhancing the Food Security of Pastoralists in East Africa: A Case Study of the Rendille of Northern Kenya
Authors: SUN, Xiaogang
Keywords: Drought
Food aid
Food security
Local safety nets
Mutual support
Issue Date: Mar-2017
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 53
Start page: 19
End page: 33
Abstract: The increase in climate-change-related natural disasters presents a major threat to the food security of pastoralists in East Africa. This paper explores ways of reducing the dependence on food aid and enhancing the food security of pastoralists through a case study of the Rendille in Northern Kenya. Current Rendille food systems have resulted from adapted livestock herding strategies and loss of nomadic lifestyles, as well as dependence on food aid. Although food aid is included in the livelihood strategies of pastoralists, the Rendille have built “credit” relationships with local shopkeepers, based on mutual trust, which enable them to buy food without cash. They avoid the damage of drought by keeping their livestock mobile and applying the features of a mutual support network, such as sharing meat among the community in the cattle, goats, and sheep camp, practicing impartial distribution of milk and blood at the camel camp, and redistributing relief food in the settlement. These local safety nets all help pastoralists secure their food distribution and consumption. Therefore, strengthening local safety nets by improving disaster preparedness and sustaining social support relationships should be considered the keys to enhancing food security and preparing for future disasters.
DOI: 10.14989/218917
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/218917
Appears in Collections:53(Localization of Humanitarian Assistance Frameworks for East African Pastoralists)

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