Droughts and famines: The underlying factors and the causal links among agro-pastoral households in semi-arid Makueni district, Kenya

Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Kiteme, Boniface; Wiesmann, Urs Martin (2008). Droughts and famines: The underlying factors and the causal links among agro-pastoral households in semi-arid Makueni district, Kenya. Global environmental change, 18(1), pp. 220-233. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2007.05.001

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Famines are often linked to drought in semi-arid areas of Sub-Saharan Africa where not only pastoralists, but also increasingly agro-pastoralists are affected. This study addresses the interplay between drought and famine in the rural semi-arid areas of Makueni district, Kenya, by examining whether, and how crop production conditions and agro-pastoral strategies predispose smallholder households to drought-triggered food insecurity. If this hypothesis holds, then approaches to deal with drought and famine have to target factors causing household food insecurity during non-drought periods. Data from a longitudinal survey of 127 households, interviews, workshops, and daily rainfall records (1961–2003) were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. This integrated approach confirms the above hypothesis and reveals that factors other than rainfall, like asset and labour constraints, inadequate policy enforcement, as well as the poverty-driven inability to adopt risk-averse production systems play a key role. When linking these factors to the high rainfall variability, farmer-relevant definitions and forecasts of drought have to be applied.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Geography of Sustainable Development
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Sustainable Land Management
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre (discontinued)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe and Wiesmann, Urs Martin

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

0959-3780

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:17

Last Modified:

31 Jan 2019 15:45

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2007.05.001

Web of Science ID:

000254375100020

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.34358

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/34358 (FactScience: 200327)

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