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Propensity to adapt to climate change: insights from pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households of Laikipia County, Kenya


  • Teresiah Wairimu Ng’ang’a

    (University of Nairobi
    Landscapes Governance Theme, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue)

  • Jeanne Y. Coulibaly

    (World Bank)

  • Todd A. Crane

    (Sustainable Livestock Systems, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI))

  • Charles K. Gachene

    (University of Nairobi)

  • Geoffrey Kironchi

    (University of Nairobi)


Climate change is a reality in Africa’s drylands. Pastoralists are engaging and embracing a range of adaptive strategies to adjust to these changes. The socioeconomic factors driving them to engage in a portfolio of multiple adaptation strategies have not been adequately addressed in the existing literature. A multivariate probit model was used to analyze them as determinants of adaptive capacity that promotes or hinders adaptation to climate change. Adaptation is represented by uptake of multiple strategies (irrigation, livestock migration, fodder production, and improved livestock breeds) by households, a demonstration of a household’s ability to diversify and adapt to the effects of climate change. The household asset base, particularly social capital represented by government assistance, stands out as it positively influenced by the uptake of four out of five adaptation strategies; that is, irrigation, livestock manure, fodder production, and improved breeds. Information heavily supports the adaptation process as it influenced all the five adaptation strategies analyzed but has a heterogeneous effect, supporting households to either adopt or reject a strategy. Crop-based information positively determines uptake of yield-enhancing strategies while relevant information for livestock activities contributes to the uptake of livestock-based strategies. These findings suggest that mainstreaming agricultural innovations, building a household asset base, and facilitating access to agronomic and climatic information will enable dryland communities to better adapt to climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Teresiah Wairimu Ng’ang’a & Jeanne Y. Coulibaly & Todd A. Crane & Charles K. Gachene & Geoffrey Kironchi, 2020. "Propensity to adapt to climate change: insights from pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households of Laikipia County, Kenya," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 393-413, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:161:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-020-02696-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02696-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

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