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Oxfam's Kenya Restocking Projects

Research reports

The four projects described in this paper were all aimed at "restocking" destitute pastoralists in the very dry areas of northern Kenya (in Wajir, Isiolo, Samburu and Turkana districts). The approach adopted was to supply each recipient household with a nucleus herd of smallstock (mostly female goats) sufficient it was hoped for each family's continued livelihood. To ensure donated animals would not be sold or eaten immediately, recipients continued to receive food rations for varying periods of up to one year. Usually the recipients in a given community were restocked at roughly the same time when the programme was active in their area. The two larger projects, in Turkana and Samburu, dealt in sequence with nine or ten different communities. In these cases a central office was established and a team of monitors employed for a year or more. The giving out of a substantial number of smallstock (30-70) animals to several families at once can be contrasted to the alternative of giving only a few animals to each family in sequence spread out over an extended period. The former policy was adopted for herd reconstitution in Kenya because there were many destitute families eager to resume a pastoral way of life, and because it allows families to move away from a restocking centre as rapidly as possible.

Jon R. Moris