Nutritional impacts of violence in pastoralist groups in N Kenya

Ethnographers and epidemiological scientists studied the consequences of endemic violence among Pokot, Samburu and Turkana pastoralists in Northern Kenya. In the article “Comparative nutritional indicators as markers for resilience: the impacts of low-intensity violence among three pastoralist communities of northern Kenya” published in the Journal of Eastern African Studies 10 (1): 150–167 (2016), they examine the cost of violence by examining household nutritional status instead of conventional approaches that look at livestock holdings or access to land. They drew data from six sites that are culturally similar but differ in the degree of exposure to, or relative insulation from, violence. The data suggest that, despite the different strategies that the pastoralist communities employ to contend with the violence, each one comes with nutritional consequences. Measuring the direct and indirect effects of violence in communities already compromised by poverty and episodic drought challenges researchers, policymakers and humanitarian organisations. The study offers insights into reasonable pathways for understanding these intersections of insecurity for policy and humanitarian organisations.

Posted on 25 September 2016 in Pastoralism & Peacebuilding, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition