Climate Risk Adaptation Strategies of Boran Pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia
Pastoralists on the Borana Plateau of Ethiopia must cope with extended and frequent droughts, while adapting to changes in population, land use, and climate patterns. Local perception is that droughts are increasing in severity, duration and frequency while increased cropping and town sprawl had captured much of the most fertile pastures. How are pastoralists, NGOs and government responding? Which responses are likely to be most successful and which seem likely to fail? How will the various initiatives interact? This poster summarizes the findings of a team of five social and natural scientists that undertook a rapid rural appraisal in July 2011, during one of the most severe droughts experienced by the horn of Africa in recent history. The team’s objective was to inventory local perceptions of climate trends, strategies that households were using at the time to cope with the drought, and perceptions of successful adaptation strategies. Participatory methods supplemented with interviews of government officials, aid workers and relief organizations provide a diverse set of perspectives on the issues and potentially successful responses to the changes in the social and natural landscape. As opposed to focusing on individual solutions, this research outlines potential synergies and potential pitfalls that may arise as the many players work towards their objectives. We find that there are potential opportunities for financial risk management tools, such as the Index Based Livestock Insurance program, to work with and support existing veterinary services and rangeland management.