Climate Change (84)

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Research scientists, government and nongovernmental organisations’ representatives, entrepreneurs and pastoralists from Kenya, Senegal and Burkina Faso met in Nairobi on 12, November 2018 to share knowledge and experiences so as to strengthen the resilience of livestock systems in the future.

“The livestock sector in Africa, especially the extensive livestock, has for a long time been mystified on its contribution to crucial sectors such as the economy,” said Kamau Kuria, the Chief Executive Officer for Kenya Markets Trust (KMT).

The Regional Dialogue for Livestock Value Chain Transformation was organised by KMT in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to support the resilience of extensive livestock production systems in semi-arid areas south of the Sahara, particularly in the Sahelian regions and in the Horn of Africa.

The dialogue was based on latest research findings from different studies in Kenya and Senegal under the Pathways to Resilience In Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project, which indicated that private sector actors along livestock value chains are diverse, ranging from private individuals to entrepreneurs to small-medium enterprises and larger actors.

“Studies have been done and evidences have been gathered from several arenas on the livestock value chain. It is now time to focus and relate that to actions that can show transformative results,” said Kuria.

Abdikarim Daud of KMT observed that in the meat value chain, there is disconnect between pastoralists who are the producers, with the meat industry. “There is need for the meat industry to drive the production,” he said, observing that the industry so far depends on brokers.

“Brokers can only choose the best animal, without telling the producers what the market demand is. But if the industry was to deal with the producers, then it will be possible for the producers to know what to do so as to satisfy the market demand,” said Daud.

Dr Stephen Moiko, one of the PRISE researchers concurred with Daud, saying that pastoralists usually produce for the market, but they do not understand the market. “Pastoralists do not sell the best. Instead they sell weaker animals to get money to solve immediate social needs,” he told the delegates.

Dr James Gakuo, an entrepreneur who buys severely emaciated animals to fatten them through an intensive feeding programme said that most pastoralists keep to their animals to a point of death especially during severe droughts. “We have now created a market for emaciated animals, and therefore pastoralists should not wait until their animals die,” he said.

He urged governments, NGOs and the private sector to invest in the fattening programmes for value addition as a way of helping pastoralists adapt to climate change.

“It is a pity when governments and NGOs decide to slaughter emaciated animals so as to give the meat to the poor as food aid,” said Gakuo. “Here is a scenario where drought is already killing animals, and the government and NGOs are also killing more animals. Are we not going to decimate all the animals, which are the lifeline for the pastoralists?” he paused.

If the same animals that are killed by governments and NGOs were to be fattened through an intensive feeding programme, they would fetch more income for the pastoralists and provide high quality meat for the market according to Gakuo.

The entrepreneur uses oil cakes from sunflower, cotton and barley to make the animal feed rations. “If the government invested in fattening programmes, then people from non-arid regions can take the advantage and start growing raw material crops such as sunflowers and cotton as an alternative source of income,” he said.

Livestock insurance was also found to be another relevant tool that can help pastoralists adapt to climate change.

According to a 2012 policy brief by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a livestock revolution is taking place around the Horn of Africa - with US$1 billion trade in livestock and livestock products, plus associated economic activities – transport, marketing, financing and processing.

In Kenya, the livestock sub-sector contributes 14 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.

“Pastoralists need affordable insurance cover to cushion them from the effects of climate change,” said Hassan Bashir, the Group Chief Executive for Takaful Insurance of Africa (TIA).

In collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), TIA formed an innovative policy to cushion pastoralists and is now operational in eight counties in Kenya.

ILRI’s Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project has been in partnership with TIA since 2013, when they introduced, for the first time in Africa, an Index-Based Livestock Takaful (IBLT) policy, which combines an Islamic-compliant financial instrument with innovative use of satellite imagery to determine forage availability.

“It is a perfect product whose payments are done through M-pesa, and the product is available in designated retail shops in the villages,” said Bashir.

Dr. Assane Beye, a research scientist from Senegal said that such a policy is a good innovation that should be introduced in West Africa.

Dr Mary Mbole-Kariuki from the African Union - Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) pointed out that Africa’s future is in the indigenous breeds.

“AU is in the process of setting up five gene banks for indigenous breed, from where governments and scientists can collect semen to ensure that our indigenous breeds remain afloat,” she said.

The delegates further talked about the importance of controlling pests and diseases, the need for pastoralists to work in organised groups, the different ways of rangeland degeneration and the need for governments to put research findings into action through policy implementation among other issues.

The Nairobi Dialogue was building on the first Regional Dialogue meeting held at the PCGC conference that discussed ‘Pastoralism in current global changes: stakes challenges and prospects’ held between 20 and 24th November 2017 in Dakar, Senegal.

NAIROBI Kenya (PAMACC News) - A team of scientists from the Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) on April 11, 2018 shared all the key research findings of four different thematic studies conducted in Kenya under the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project.

“The Kenya government is now focusing on the “Big Four” agenda aimed at improving livelihoods, creating jobs and growing the economy by focusing on critical areas of the economy in the next five years,” noted Kamau Kuria, the head of KMT.  

“It is noteworthy that part of the PRISE study, which aimed at strengthening the understanding and knowledge of decision makers on the threats and opportunities that semi-arid economies face in relation to climate change, will go a long way in helping unlock the potential of semi-arid lands in Kenya and thus enhance  their contribution to the national agenda,” he told delegates drown from Kenya , Senegal, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) during the event to disseminate key research findings in a Nairobi Hotel.

The study, which was commissioned by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada and the UK based Department for International Development (DFID) aims atsupporting climate resilient economic development in partner countries by identifying opportunities for adaptation that are also opportunities for investment by the public and private sectors.

“These findings from Kenya will help change the narrative in semi-arid areas,” said Dr Eva Ludifrom the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) – which is coordinating the PRISE project at a global level.

According to Dr Evans Kitui of IDRC, direct involvement of government officials both at the county and the national level is a pointer towards implementation of policies that will emanate from the four studies. “In the past, research has not been well appreciated. But now, we can see a lot of government participation,” he said.

One of the studies found that in the past 50 years, temperatures have risen in all the 21 semi arid counties in Kenya, with five of them recording an increase of more than 1.5oC increase. They include Turkana (1.8oC), West Pokot, ElgeyoMarakwet (1.91oC), Baringo (1.8oC), Laikipia (1.59oC) and Narok (1.75oC).  

This, according to Dr Mohammed Said, one of the lead researchers, has impacted greatly on livestock survival, on one hand presenting a disaster, and on the other hand providing an opportunity that can be exploited

“There were winners and losers,” he told delegates at the forum. “Generally, cattle do  not survive the higher temperatures, while at the same time, sheep and goat population increased exponentially,” said Dr Said.

According to the study, whose theme was to harness opportunities for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands and identifying the potential for economic transformation and diversification in semi-arid lands especially in the beef value chain, the overall population of cattle in all the semi arid counties reduced by more than 26% between the year 1977 and 2016.

However, the study also reveals that goats and sheep population increased tremendously by 76% in the same period, with camels’ population increased  by 14%. “This shows that goats, sheep and camels enjoyed the higher temperatures while cattle could not survive the stress,” said Dr Said.

“We’ve seen great potential for implementing some of the adaptation options and I call upon the stakeholders gathered here today, to pull together so we can build resilience and open up the ASALs for trade, investments and better livelihoods,” said Kuria of KMT.

In Nyeri County for example, Dr James Gakuo began with buying severely emaciated cattle for fattening at his farm in Kiganjo through intensive system of beef production that focuses on feeding cattle for 90 days on concentrate feeds till they reach the desired weight for the market, thereby creating a market for such animals that would otherwise have died.

In just two years, 14 other farmers have followed into his footsteps, and are in the business of fattening emaciated cattle thus providing more market to pastoralists who are hardly hit by tough climatic conditions.

Another study looked at the land tenure with special focus on Maasai pastoralist community in Kajiado County.

The study found out that 64 percent of the entire Kajiado County is now private land that is not open for grazing.“Though this has provided opportunity because privatisationcan always lead to greater investment opportunities for those who can secure land, it marginalizes the poor and particularly women in the process,” said Dr Stephen Moiko, one of the lead researchers.

According to Dr Eva Ludi of ODI, these findings will be presented at the Talanoa Dialogue in Bonn, Germany come May 2018.

The purpose of Talanoa Dialogue is for parties to share climate change related stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good.

According to Dr Said, county governments should also take advantage of the research findings and scenario projections to develop their spatial plans.

“These findings will be important in formulation of new policies and strategies such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP 2018-2022), the National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy, and the County Development Integrated Plans (CIDPs),” said Joseph Muhwanga, the PRISE project National Coordinator in Kenya.

NAIROBI, Kenya, PAMACC News– Climate experts representing governments, private sector, finance and research institutions from Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya from 9–10 April 2018 to discuss collaboration and technology transfer related to climate change ahead of the Africa Carbon Forum.
Nationally-selected technology focal points (National Designated Entities, or NDEs) from more than 40 countries including Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa shared experiences and best practices in the region. The United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) hosted to the regional forum.
"Africa is facing increasing challenges from changing weather patterns, increasing droughts and extreme rain and floods that have an impact on the security of food supplies. By serving as a bridge between developing countries' technology needs and the proven expertise of finance, private sector and research experts from around the world, the CTCN builds partnerships that achieve countries' climate and development objectives", said CTCN Director Jukka Uosukainen.
The CTCN promotes the development and transfer of clean technologies, and provides developing countries with access to free technology solutions at their request by mobilizing relevant technology experts from a global network of more than 400 technology companies and institutions to design and deliver customized solutions. Over 100 technology transfers are currently underway in more than 75 countries for sectors ranging from agriculture and energy to industry and transportation. The CTCN provides expert policy and technology support to developing country stakeholders, coordinated by the NDEs.
"Most African countries have chosen clean energy technologies as a part of their environmental solutions. ICRAF supports these efforts through its work in developing cleaner options for woody biomass-based energy, a key technology used across the continent," said Tony Simons, ICRAF Director General. "In partnership with CTCN, we contribute to environmentally sustainable clean energy solutions by helping countries in Africa to formulate national policies and sub national programs designed to meet their national targets on climate through agroforestry".
As the implementing arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism, the Climate Technology Centre is hosted and managed by the United Nations Environment and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The forum is organized together with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a founding CTCN consortium partner. The Forum will be held during Africa Climate Week along with the Africa Carbon Forum (11–13 April).

GULU, Uganda (PAMACC News) -  Massive animal translocation is taking place in Northern Uganda as hundreds of nomadic pastoralists comply with a presidential decree evicting them from the region.

 On October 20th last year, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni directed the ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries to evict the nomads from northern Uganda for among others interfering with food security of the people of northern Uganda. The President also wrote that the nomads threaten the peace of the north and the economy by practicing obsolete farming method. He tasked the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and fisheries to introduce the nomads to sedentary forms of agriculture, paddocking and coffee growing.

 The presidential decree followed repeated calls for eviction by host communities who accused the nomads of grazing their livestock in their subsistence farms after failing to fence off their hired pieces of land. Other accusations include sexual harassment of women, engaging in illegal charcoal business, theft of animals and illegal possession of firearms as well as land grabbing amongst others.

 At least twenty trucks laden with cows belonging to the Balaalo leave the region for Central and South Western Uganda where the pastoralists initially lived with their animals since the ministry of agriculture started implementing the decree on March 22nd. The decree affects more than 40,000 herds of cattle in the hands of more than 30 groups of nomads estimated to number some 15,000 people.

 Edward Kamgaene, a pastoralist herding 200 cows in a rented area of Amuru district says government is not being fair to them by asking them to leave the north of the country within just few days.

“Government has been shifting the goal post all along. Initially we were told to fence our grazing land and stay. But today, we are being told to process movement permits, vaccinate our animals and leave. This is totally a different thing we were told to do earlier. How can this possible within a short time we have been given?” Kamagaene said with anger in his face.

 Kamgaene says his livelihoods depend on pastoralism in which he fattens animals before selling them to abattoirs in Capital Kampala. He is worried that he will not be able to fend for his family without practicing pastoralism.

 Kamagaene is one of the thousands of nomads who fled acute shortage of pastures and water in 2016 from South Western Uganda migrating up north to fatten his livestock in vast open savannah grassland inhabited by the Acholi and Lango ethnic groups. He says he is stuck with his livestock after learning that his home district is under quarantine due to Foot and Mouth disease.

 “I have 100 cows in Nwoya district which I should move to Kyankwanzi district via the districts of Nakasongola and Nakaseke and yet these districts are under quarantine for Foot and Mouth disease. How can I go to these districts to pick movement permits without infecting my animals? How can I take my animals where there is a running quarantine?” Festus Shaka Mutabazi, a pastoralist from Nwoya district stated furiously.

 Fred Munyeragwe borrowed a loan of 70 Million shillings for establishing his livestock project. He fattens his animal before selling them for money. He is so worried that he will lose his business alongside the land in Kiboga district he used as security to secure a bank loan if evicted from Northern Uganda.

 “The government wants to make us poor. You tell us to work and feed our families. Again you come to disrupt our livelihoods. The pasture back in my home district is still dry and we need an average of two months if we are to relocate back. We don’t need to be pushed as if we are at war with the local community. We are not. Tell those government leaders to give us two more months to prepare ourselves and we move to where we are coming from” he pleaded with government.

 Majority of the pastoralists, locally known as the Balaalo, come from the Ankole Cattle Keepers of South Western Uganda. According to President Museveni, some of them were expelled from Tanzania and Rwanda for practicing nomadism.

 They started migrating with their animals on trucks in the dead of night without proper animal movement permits from their districts in 2009 to fatten their livestock on leased pieces of land in the north where vast uncultivated land, abundant fresh water streams and adequate green nutritious pasture exist. By 2016, their numbers had increased to more than 25,000 pastoralists with more than 40,000 herds of cattle.

 Speaking with the nomads in Gulu (the Northern Uganda region’s biggest business hub) one week ahead of the eviction deadline, Vincent Ssempijja, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries said government would like to end nomadism in Uganda due to increase in human population. He warned that government will not hesitate to use force against the pastoralists who would not comply with the presidential directive to leave the region.

 Ssempijja says “there is looming insecurity between the pastoralists and other people who do not want peace. We have decided here that we abide by the directive of the president to get the nomads out of this area. So we are giving it up to March 22 and everybody should have moved the cows from the northern part of this country”.

 The eviction delayed three consecutive times to allow the pastoralists vaccinate their livestock against Foot and Mouth disease. The agriculture minister says the vaccination exercise suffered multiple delays due to shortage of vaccine.

 “Initially, we could not vaccinate all the livestock we projected after we received only half of the consignment of vaccines we ordered for. Fortunately, the other half has reached the country and we are hopeful that it will be adequate to vaccinate all the remaining animals within the shortest possible time. In every fairness, everybody must accept to stop nomadism. It has caused a lot of problems in South Western Uganda. Animal diseases are so rampant” he stated one week to the commencement of the evictio.

 In Gulu district, some 1,000 out of estimated 5,000 cows were vaccinated while in Amuru district, only 5,000 out of estimated 14,000 animals got vaccinated.

 Patrick Okello Oryema, the Nwoya district chairperson where the nomads first settled says on average, seven large Lorries laden with cattle belonging to the pastoralists continue to leave his district daily for central and South Western Uganda.

 Dr. Charles Obalim, Gulu district veterinary officer says many of the Balaalo shunned the vaccination programme saying government wants to harm their livestock.

 “We initially targeted cattle belonging to the Balaalo pastoralists without those of their host communities. This was not well received by the pastoralists but we are telling them that cattle belonging to host communities were just recently vaccinated against foot and mouth disease. And I would like to reiterate that the vaccines are completely safe”

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