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Title:Crisis survival strategies: a summary of concepts and an example from the semi-pastoral Pokot in Kenya/Uganda
Author:Dietz, T.ISNI
Book title:Pastoral economies in Africa and long-term responses to drought
Year:1991
Pages:86-108
Language:English
Geographic terms:Uganda
Kenya
Subjects:Suk
pastoralists
Abstract:After placing drought survival strategies in a broad theoretical perspective, the author examines various types of crisis survival strategies. Both coping mechanisms and survival strategies have preventive elements, curative elements and elements combining the two types. Three types of survival strategy are distinguished: 1) biological survival strategies aimed at getting enough food during crises in order to stay alive; 2) capital survival strategies aimed at rescuing as much of the household wealth or household capital as possible during a disaster; and 3) recovery survival strategies aimed at rebuilding a precalamity economic base or 'way of life' if that is regarded as a cultural ideal and/or an agroecological 'optimum' in terms of long-term economic security. Evidence from among the western Pokot, a group of 100,000 semi-pastoralist Kalenjin (part of the Nilo-Hamites) straddling the Kenya/Uganda border, is used as an illustration. Herders in western Pokot have developed a whole range of survival strategies, whose elements include herd accumulation, animal diversity, herd mobility and dispersal, herd management (animal health, selective breeding), the pastoral diet, the management of the environment, raids, the acquisition of additional pasture, and the exchange of livestock products for grains. Bibliogr.
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