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Kenyan Herders Respond to Droughts With Ancient Grazing System

In 2011, Aden Boru, a Borana pastoralist in northeast Kenya, lost 12 of his 60 cows to drought. Herders in other parts of the province were unluckier still, and lost their entire herd.

"It feels terrible when even a single cow dies but to lose all your animals means you are nothing," said Boru.

Arid Isiolo County is battling increasingly frequent and longer droughts, which can wipe out communities' entire herds. That poses serious challenges for a region where pastoralism is the main source of income.

But loss of livestock among the Borana - who own land communally - is now being reduced, thanks to the reintroduction of a centuries old but abandoned traditional grazing management system, said Ibrahim Jarso, who works in Kinna - Boru's home village - for the Adaptation Consortium, an initiative funded by the U.K. Department for International Development that aims to support climate change adaptation in Kenya.

DEMOSH

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