Devolved governance and pastoralist livelihood diversification in Moyale, Marsabit County, Kenya
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Devolved governments facilitate sustainable, equitable and high-quality services for all citizens. The Schedule (Article 18) clearly states and specifies the distribution of functions between the two levels of governance (National and County). The objective of this study was to assess the effect of Devolved Governance on Pastoralist Livelihood in Moyale Sub- County, Marsabit County, Kenya. The specific objectives include: determining the forms of livelihoods among the pastoral communities; examining the challenges pastoralist communities experience in livelihood diversification and assessing the effectiveness of the devolved governance system on pastoralist livelihood diversification. The study was anchored on three theories namely the citizen participation theory, institutional theory, and the agency theory in analyzing the link that the theories had on the study. The study employed a descriptive research design. The target population included 1771 household heads stratified as per their role in the pastoralist communities. Simple, random and purposive sampling techniques were utilized in select a sample size of 315 respondents informed by the Kothari Formula. The researcher collected primary data using questionnaires for households, interviews for elected leaders and Focus Group Discussion schedules (FGDs) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. Quantitative data was first coded, then entered into Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 23 for analysis. The researcher later conducted content analysis on qualitative data from the interviews whose content were grouped and consequently analyzed into themes. The findings were presented in graphs, charts and tables as per the study objectives while applying narrative presentation in form of verbatim for the discussions and interviews. The study found that livestock-based livelihoods of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Moyale, Marsabit County are increasingly becoming unsustainable and highly vulnerable to natural disasters. The study further established that although the Devolved Governance had initiated measures that could catalyze livelihood diversification, such as educating the locals on livelihood diversification measures and budgetary allocation on livelihoods diversification programmes, the impact made by these strategies were less than 20% (mean =1.96 SD=1.00). This may be due to failure to consult the community members, insecurity, insufficient allocation of budgets and insufficient feasibility studies. Results from 63% of the respondents indicated that close collaboration was required from both County and National governments in addressing challenges like the insecurity and market and human capital policies for the development of livelihood diversification change to occur. The study showed that pastoralists in the study area experienced considerable challenges in an effort to embrace livelihood diversification that include livestock diseases, drought, lack of business skills, lack funds for capital to diversify into other economic activities, climatic variability, inter-tribal conflicts and degradation of land. The study concluded that there was need to conserve climate and diversify into alternative sources of livelihood to attain a better quality of life for the people. The study recommends that the Devolved Governance initiates measures that could help in catalyzing livelihood diversification. In this regard, the County Government of Marsabit needs to consider providing the necessary infrastructure and resources for livelihood diversification change to occur. The study findings may benefit the National and County governments on issues around pastoralism and livelihoods as well as contribute to knowledge generation in the area of peace and governance.
Africa Nazarene University