Re-thinking Strategy on Animal Health, Markets and Policy in Pastoralist Areas of East Africa

Re-thinking Strategy on Animal health, markets, and policy in Pastoralist Areas of East Africa (ReSAHMaP)

The Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) is in the third phase of implementing OSIEA Economic Governance program with funding from Open Society Foundation through the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (www.osiea.org).

Dubbed ‘Re-thinking Strategy on Animal health, markets, and policy in Pastoralist Areas of East Africa: Supporting learning by Interaction to strengthen livestock policy and practice in Kenya,’ the project aimed to enhance the capacity of pastoral communities to influence decision making with respect to animal health, markets and policy for improved livelihoods and food security in Kenya. 

The main objective of ReSAHMaP was to advocate for policies that will help to improve livestock marketing, animal health, service delivery and climate change mitigation and adaptive capacity in pastoral areas of Kenya.

The project’s specific objectives were to:

  1. Create innovations that can enable co-management at county and national level to work in favour of all stakeholders in the livestock value chain.
  2. Find innovative ways of delivering effective animal health services that are responsive to livestock production, hence enabling them to meet market requirements.
  3. Integrate traditional and modern knowledge on climate change interventions to improve the capacity of pastoralists to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts.
  4. Facilitate innovative financing for the above interventions for the development of the pastoral livestock economy to improve the incomes and livelihoods of inhabitants of pastoral areas. 

In addressing these objectives, CABE undertook preparatory activities which will culminate into a national policy dialogue on the above challenges, proven innovations, and the necessary policy support. The project held discussions with stakeholders in Turkana, Kajiado, and Marsabit counties; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (Department of Livestock Production, Department of Veterinary services), Kenya Veterinary Board, National Drought Management Authority and Kenya Meteorological Department.

Notably, the two most critical issues affecting pastoralism, and which should inform national policy dialogue are pastoralism and climate variability, and trade and trans-boundary diseases.

The project’s achievements

  1. Mapped actors and identified seven kraals as a basis for respectively engaging policy makers and pastoral communities. 
  2. Documented and prepared papers and policy briefs on existing climate-smart pastoral practices and innovations, disease surveillance and management and innovative livestock marketing. 
  3. Established several avenues (though forums for meetings, print and electronic media) for county-level policy debates and dialogues on animal health, trade, climate smart pastoralism, food security and livelihoods.
  4. Reviewed policies on animal health, climate change, marketing, and trade. 
  5. Organised a sub-county policy dialogue comprising 80 stakeholders who provided feedback on policy briefs.
  6. Developed and aired 8 radio programmes on community radio stations through Kraal-based radio-listening clubs initiated by CABE.

The success of Phase I (ReSAHMaP) led to Phase II for hosting a national policy dialogue OF Phase I, then Phase III on Climate Smart Pastoral Innovations (CSPI).