Kenya / Ethiopia

The plains and highlands of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya are characterised by irregular rainfall and low soil fertility. As a result, mobility has long been a key element in the economy of the local Borana Oromo pastoralists. They graze their livestock close to their encampments during rainy seasons, and disperse to more distant pastures in dry seasons. As severe droughts have become more frequent, Borana herders try to protect their livelihoods with various strategies such as keeping a high number of animals or resorting to social networks. Many families, however, have gradually lost their animals and have moved to towns and cities. Violent conflicts sometimes erupt between communities, fuelled by general resource scarcity.

In addition to global transformations that affect the Borana, such as climate change and severe weather, population growth, expansion of settlements, and an unsymmetrical integration into global markets, numerous poverty reduction and climate adaptation programs have been put in place on national and regional levels. Land use policies include highly controversial sedentarisation programmes in southern Ethiopia.