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2019 | 7 | nr 1 | 1--11
Tytuł artykułu

In pursuit of livelihood sustainability and drought resilience: The human dimension of drought-adaptation in the Maasai pastoralists coupled socio-ecological systems across Kajiado County, Kenya

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The system of Maasai-pastoralism, practiced in the savanna rangelands of Kenya, epitomizes an ideal learning platform upon which the dynamics of factors and/or processes that shape sustainability and drought resilience in a coupled socio-ecological system can be unravelled. This study engaged an integrated approach to examine the dynamics of drought-adaptation strategies utilized in Maasai-pastoralism, a strongly coupled socio-ecological system. The current empirical evidence reveals the integrative utilization of varied and multipurpose adaptation strategies. Migrate-livestock, diversify-livelihood, and diversify-livestock, in that order, dominate as the most widely utilized drought-adaptations in Maasai-pastoralism. In this system, drought-adaptation strategies that take advantage of drought conditions are rare. In addition, over 50% of the Maasais' households frequently use an admixture of over half of the existing strategies. The study reveals that drought-adaptation strategies in Maasai-pastoralism are inextricably interconnected systematic endeavours that simultaneously help alleviate deleterious drought-impacts and livelihood-risks, manage resilience, ensure sustainability of the core socioeconomic sector and of critical rangeland resources, and deal with cross-scale social and biophysical happenings and conditions within which this system is entrenched. As drought recurrences intensify, and shifts in social, political, economic, ecological factors and processes persist, the Maasai's adaptation strategies and livelihood subsistence, as well as pathways of development, will be transformed in ways that we are yet to understand. Therefore, efforts toward enhancing drought-adaptations and the Maasai's livelihoods should be based on a holistic understanding of the social-biophysical landscapes within which this system is entrenched. In policy terms, such efforts should be participatory and be mainstreamed within policies and/or programs related to, and/or operating in, Maasai-inhabited regions.(original abstract)
Opis fizyczny
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