n Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences - Effects of drought and floods on crop and animal losses and socio-economic status of households in the Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2141-7024
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Most crops and animal losses are witnessed during drought and floods either indirectly through climate induced diseases or directly through the physical impact of floods on crops and livestock or their production. We investigated the effect of drought and floods on crop and animal production and losses among households in six regions within the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) of Kenya. In this study, a structured questionnaire and focus group discussions were used to collect primary data on the effects of climate variability on houdesholds' income and losses from crops and livestock, while retrospective data on the past climatic events were obtained from media reports and Kenya meteorological department. The demographic information was collected from the Kenya population and housing census reports. All (100%) households, from the six regions grew some crops on their farms, though the largest percentage (88%) of households were from Bomet region, followed by Kisii central region (78%). The least was recorded in Bondo region (47%). Most (88%) households also kept a small number of livestock with cattle being most dominant. Livestock losses among households were highest (Ksh. 8,502) in Rarieda and lowest in Bomet (Ksh. 3,115). Pooled average losses per region as a result of crop failure was Ksh. 118,825, with Nyando region recording upto three times (Ksh. 221,709) higher than Kisii central (Ksh. 72,577), Budalangi (Ksh. 73,804) and Bomet (Ksh. 76,365) regions. The disaster prone regions (i.e. Bondo, Rarieda, Budalangi and Nyando) were 25 times more likely to be affected by drought, compared to regions with relatively good weather (i.e. Bomet and Kisii central) ( = < 0.0001). Floods had mostly been experienced in Budalangi and Nyando. Results also indicated that regions with relatively good weather experienced 3 times more rains than the other four disaster prone regions, but the differences were insignificant ( = 0.097). In general, results showed that crops farming had more climate related losses compared to livestock rearing which in this case recorded very minimal losses, suggesting that LVB communities should put more emphasis on livestock rearing which is not as sensitive to seasonal droughts and floods as crop farming.

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