Empirical Analysis of Livelihood Strategies and Food Insecurity in Turkana County, Kenya
The pastoral communities of Turkana in northern Kenya have for ages satisfied their economic, social, and cultural needs through nomadic pastoralism. But due to increasing frequency of drought and market shocks, the ability of age-old strategies to shield these pastoralists from poverty and food insecurity has declined. With only livestock and social capital as the main assets in a communal property regime, it is not clear which of the various livelihood strategies that these pastoralists pursue can shield households from drought and market shocks. This study investigates livelihood strategies as pursued by pastoralists in Turkana County with a view to identify strategies that can effectively shield households from shocks. Data for the study is sourced from the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) 2005/06. Available literature is used to identify livelihood strategies in Turkana, while the KIHBS data is used to establish the population of people pursuing each strategy. Anova and Bonferroni tests give evidence of the existence of four livelihood strategies using food expenditure ratio as the categorizing variable. Multinomial logit regression is used to analyse the determinants of livelihood strategies. Findings, though not conclusive, suggest correlation between food insecurity and livelihood strategy. Policies that target to influence livelihood strategies may have implications on food security in Turkana, even though further analysis is required to confirm the association.