Assessing Vulnerability of Maasai Pastoralist in Kenya to Climate Change and Variability

Bobadoye A, Ogara W, Ouma G, Onono J. "Assessing Vulnerability of Maasai Pastoralist in Kenya to Climate Change and Variability." Preprints. 2017.


Human adaptive responses to climate change occur at the local level, where climatic variability is experienced. Therefore analyzing vulnerability at the local level is important in planning effective adaptation options in a semi-arid environment. This study was conducted to assess vulnerability of Maasai pastoralist communities in Kajiado County, Kenya to climate change by generating vulnerability index for the communities. Data was collected
using questionnaires that were administered to 305 households in the five different administrative wards (Oloosirkon/Sholinke, Kitengela, Kapetui North, Kenyawa-Poka and Ilmaroro) in Kajiado East. Vulnerability was measured as the net effect of adaptive capacity, sensitivity and exposure to climate change. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to assign weights to the vulnerability indicators used for the study and also to calculate the household vulnerability index. A vulnerability map was produced using the GIS software package ArcGIS 10.2. Results showed that gender of household head, age of household head, educational level, access to extension agents, herd size, livestock diversity and access to credit facility influenced vulnerability of the Maasai pastoralists  to  climate  change  in  Kajiado  East.  The  result  showed  that  the  most  vulnerable communities with the highest negative vulnerability index value are Ilpolosat (‐2.31), Oloosirikon (‐2.22), Lenihani (‐2.05), Konza (‐1.81) and Oloshaiki (‐1.53). The communities with the highest positive vulnerability index values were Kekayaya (4.02), Kepiro (3.47), Omoyi (2.81), Esilanke (2.23), Kisaju (2.16) and Olmerui (2.15). We conclude that provision of basic amenities such as good roads and electricity; access to extension agents, access to credit facilities and herd mobility will reduce vulnerability of Maasai pastoralists in Kajiado east to climate change and variability.


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