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Engaging partners and community-based organization is part and parcel of CIFA’s work. CIFA believes that sustainable development requires long-term relationships and strong mutual commitment. We operate in Marsabit County of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia through support for the initiatives in livestock, environment, education, peace building and economic diversification. This is made possible through head office, based in Marsabit County, and one field office in Moyale.



wp2ee56fc6 06Great work on natural resource management has been done at community level. Though communities have knowledge of usefulness of existing resources but lack adequate infrastructure related resources to exploit these resources. Poor road network have been a hindrance that lagged community to timely fetch benefit out of this resources. On-going upgrading of Moyale-Isiolo highway will add to the economy of the northern Kenya and especially revive the livestock sector. Existing traditional institutions are there to work on the footsteps of the ancient traditional laws with minimal understanding of the bounds of newly formed Kenyan constitution. Traditional systems have proved to be sustainable and better manage ASAL endeavours. Local government administration need to act in unison with the traditional institution in order to strengthen the community capacity in decision making exercise to produce viable planning for the pastoral communities. Much work has to be done in order to put the communities into picture in order to enhance effective exploitation of available resources. Some requirements to fully exploit the natural resources are not beyond the control or the scope of the community i.e. existing policies that govern resource management. CIFA undertook creative approaches to uphold natural resource management among pastoral communities. Adequate training given to community over a span of 10 years has seen the communities gain improved interest in group formation and contribute to environment conservation. Charcoal traders become registered with the forestry department in order to add revenue to county council of the district and on other hand fund raise through group contribution for the registration fee. The group better environment management policy which instruct them to plant a tree for every tree cut for charcoal burning. To further strengthen their capacity CIFA worked closely with the government line ministries to strengthen their capacities on effective utilizing of the environmental services.

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To enhance peace among pastoral communities CIFA widely support livestock marketing strategies and natural resource management activities. Encouraging equitable resource sharing among pastoral communities has over years reduced conflict among pastoral communities. Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia remain some of the insecure places within the two countries as a result on intra community conflicts over use of natural resources and cross border incursions. Several of these incursions have led to loss of human lives as well as large numbers of livestock and displacement of communities. Sustainable development is therefore difficult to envisage without dealing with this situation. It is this realization that made CIFA and its development partners and stakeholders to develop strategies for the coexistence of all the communities in the region.

wp3e91e604 05 06Livestock production is the major economic activity in Northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. Despite the important roles played by livestock in Northern Kenya pastoralists and their animals face so many problems, which undermine their livelihood and wealth creation. Some of these problems include droughts, human conflicts, and raids. Livestock mobility is the most important strategy that pastoral communities utilize to cope with devastating effects of drought. Pastoralists along the Kenyan - Ethiopian border move long distances across and along the borders in search of better pastures for their animals during the drought season. Pastoralist routine movements along and across/along the border have both positive and negative effects on both humans and livestock.

wp851d60e6 05 06Pastoralism is the most resilient venture in arid and semi-arid regions due to economical and environmental sustainability. Pastoral communities are situated in harsh climatic conditions and far positioned from key infrastructures such road networks. Several pastoral areas keep few livestock and carry out some small scale farming for their livelihoods. The youths of these communities usually go to nearby town to do some casual jobs and others work in offices. The youths are no longer agents of change to tap the vast resources existing in ASAL areas due to inadequate enabling environment. Pastoral community have been left out of development projects. This has overstretched the communities and further compounded decreased resiliency. Efforts to repel long lived dependency syndrome among pastoral communities is weak thus necessitating participation at local level to improve collective decision making.

wp0bd2a4d7 05 06Over many years, external experts have been seen to have taking lead role in planning for the community development programmes without at all involving the community. This has been noted to have had undesired result of disempowering the communities instead making them develop a widespread dependency syndrome.

CIFA introduced community conversation as a remedy for this situation intended to change community attitudes and be able to come together, identify their problems, and come up with their own solutions to their problem. It also gives the community a voice and have the government structures listen to that voice. It is compulsory to involve the community at wp61279c79 05 06grass root level in all development a genders as the constitution also encourages citizen’s participation in all planning and implementation of all developments in the county. And so community conversation will empower the community members to actively participate in development.