Impact of 2016-2017 drought on household livestock assets and food security: the case of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Borana zone, southern Ethiopia
Drought has been one of the climate-related disasters affected livestock production and livelihoods of the pastoralists and agro-pastoalists in Borana zone, Ethiopia resulting in heavy economic losses. The damage and losses incurred due to droughts in Borana have not been systematically collected. This research contributed in addressing the observed gap by systematically collecting and analyzing livestock asset losses due to the 2016-2017 major drought and its food security implications. Livestock holding statistics (before and after drought) and mortalities by species among others were collected from 529 sample households using mobile data collection methods. The sample households endured losses of half of its cattle (55%), a quarter of small ruminants (23%) and twenty percent of camels (19%) due to widespread drought induced mortalities in 2016-2017. In financial terms, sample households has sustained economic losses equivalent of 2,951USD on average. These losses translated to a total financial loss about 300 million USD for study area. The total cost of the drought would have been much higher had the cost of humanitarian aid be included in the financial analysis. The immediate and residual impacts of recurrent drought on livestock and other important livelihood assets contributed to the prevailing food security outcomes. The empirical evidence from this study clearly demonstrate the socio economic impact of drought. The anticipated increase of climate related disaster events will further exacerbate existing food insecurity, encourage maladaptation and deter from achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 (end hunger) unless addressed in an integrated way locally. Further analysis of the efforts and challenges of mainstreaming drought risk management in pastoral areas within a broader framework of the disaster risk management policy of Ethiopia is one of the recommendations to effectively implement the policy. This study has also uniquely estimated losses based on a representative household sample survey and laid the foundation for future losses and damage studies in the pastoral areas. However, it is important to take into consideration the “indirect”’ cost of the drought-related humanitarian and livelihood assistance to “accurately” reflect the monetary value and advocate policy action.
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