Impact of 2016-2017 drought on household livestock assets and food security: the case of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Borana zone, southern Ethiopia

  • Mulugeta Shibru Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi
  • Alfred Operea, Prof Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi
  • Philip Omondi, Dr. Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi
  • Maina Gichaba, Dr. Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi
Keywords: drought, impact, livestock assets, Borana, disaster risk management, policy, SDGs

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Mulugeta Shibru, Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi

Mulugeta Shibru is a doctoral student at the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi.  Mulugeta was responsible for the design, conduct, and reporting of the Doctoral research project including the drafting of this manuscript based on the research project.

Alfred Operea, Prof, Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nairobi

 The entire doctoral study including this research paper supervised by the three Co-Authors. Alfred Opere (Associate Professor) and Maina Gichaba are (Senior lecturers) in the same department.  Philip Omondi is Project Manager at IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC).  The Co-Authors have provided direction and motivation in the entire process as mentors. They have guided the candidate in the overall design and execution of the research project and reviewing the draft manuscript.

 

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Published
2022-06-18
How to Cite
Shibru, M., Operea, A., Omondi, P., & Gichaba, M. (2022). Impact of 2016-2017 drought on household livestock assets and food security: the case of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Borana zone, southern Ethiopia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Management, 4(1), 49-69. https://doi.org/10.18485/ijdrm.2022.4.1.4