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Library Taking the bull by the horns: NGOs and pastoralists in coalition

Taking the bull by the horns: NGOs and pastoralists in coalition

Taking the bull by the horns: NGOs and pastoralists in coalition

Resource information

Date of publication
December 1991
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ISBN / Resource ID

Such is the vagary of rainfall throughout Africa's rangelands that almost all pastoral communities face cycles of good and hardship years. During good years herders increase and diversify their herds, whilst consecutive hardship years or `pastoral drought,' human and livestock disease, or livestock theft may result in large livestock losses and the consequent temporary collapse of household food production. Seldom, however, do environmental factors alone conspire to overwhelm the pastoral production of entire ethnic groups, since pastoralists have `drought responses,' including mobile and adaptive grazing strategies, livestock and cereal exchanges, the establishment of diverse herds, herd splitting, and non-pastoral activities (agriculture, wage labour etc.).Underpinning these systems is often a network of affinal and `stock-friendships,' in which each herding family is involved in the reciprocal giving and receiving of livestock. In these ways, pastoral households are able to minimise the impact of crisis years, rebuild and maintain viable herds.The article recommends:the documentation and explanation of customary land-rights, in particular with regard to womenthe registration of pastoral land-rightsthe summarisation of national statutory laws affecting pastoral land-tenurethe exploration of ways of reconciling and integrating customary and statutory tenurethe provision of legal aid to fight test cases and the support of legal aid camps or clinics in pastoral areasthe incorporation of legal themes into adult education and literacy programmes for pastoralists

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Authors and Publishers

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A. Cullis

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Geographical focus