Drought Adaptation Strategies among Karrayu Pastoralists, Ethiopia

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Dereje Tesema Regasa
Boru Musa


 This study aims to explore the drought vulnerability and adaptive strategies among theKarrayu pastoralists. Three pastoral gandas were selected purposively. The study reliedon key informant interview, in-depth interview, and focus group discussions to collectqualitative data from purposively recruited informants. Content and thematic analysiswere used to organize the data. The result showed that though livestock keeping is themain livelihood strategy of the Karrayu pastoralists, some also pursue farming as acoping strategy against recurrent drought. Recurrent drought occurred in the area wasfound to have inter-seasonal effect; consequences of drought were reported to transcenddry season due to poor resilience capacity of pastoralists. Women were more vulnerableand affected by drought due to their multiple roles and limited mobility than men. Thestudy showed that cattle were more susceptible to drought than browsers which oftenfeed on leaves than grass. To reduce the effect of drought, participants practicedadaptation strategies such as communal land enclosure, increasing the frequency anddistance of trekking, herd diversification, haymaking, and livelihood diversification.Supplementing these adaptation mechanisms, the study shed light on traditional weatherforecasting which was identified as indigenous drought mitigation mechanism. Not alladaptation activities were perceived as positive. Diversification to labor employment andfarming were reported to halt the viability of pastoralism as a way of life. Therefore, thestudy suggested the integration of indigenous adaptation strategies and knowledge topastoral development policy to mitigate drought impacts, enhance the resilience capacityof pastoralists and ensure rangeland sustainability.

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How to Cite
Tesema , D., & Musa, B. (2020). Drought Adaptation Strategies among Karrayu Pastoralists, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS), 6(1), 3-27. Retrieved from https://journals.ju.edu.et/index.php/ejssls/article/view/633
Author Biographies

Dereje Tesema Regasa, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Department of Sociology, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Boru Musa, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Department of Sociology, Jimma University, Ethiopia