Rahma Hassan addresses pastoralist community networks

Pastoralists in the Horn of Africa are emerging from a devastating three-year drought, resulting in declining livestock productivity, animal deaths, food insecurity, and acute malnutrition.

In a blog post for the Center for Research and Development in Drylands (CRDD), Feinstein Postdoctoral Researcher Rahma Hassan and colleagues explore pastoralist systems that contribute to their communities’ resilience and ability to recover from the drought’s effects.

They highlight the role of ‘high reliability professionals’ such as herders, motorbike drivers, and agrovet dealers, who provide information on future scenarios and take real-time actions to respond to ecological and climatic uncertainties.

The blog post also shares several examples of pastoralists methods to assess ecological trends, share information, and make decisions, forming their own early warning systems.

In their initial research, Hassan and colleagues have uncovered how reliability professionals and their networks are central to building resilience and averting disasters in pastoral systems, and they encourage future exploration of how external support can assist existing, local processes.

Read the blog post at CRDD.