Papers presented at IGAD Conference

Kimitei R K and P N Katiku. 2015. Resilience and Impact of HIV/AIDS among the Nomadic Pastoral Communities in Kenya. Paper presented during the IGAD conference in Adis-Ababa, Ethiopia on 3rd to 6th February 2015.

Resilience and Impact of HIV/AIDS among the Nomadic Pastoral Communities in Kenya

Kimitei R K and P N Katiku

Abstract

HIV/AIDS is the single most significant crisis in Africa today, Kenya included and has the fourth highest number of Aids infections in the world. The HIV prevalence in the country stands at 1.6 million people, with an estimation of at least 100,000 new infections annually. Nomadic pastoralism has been undergoing transformation over the years – from nomadic pastoralism to sedentarization and /or urbanization. These changes are tied to other dynamics in the society including HIV/AIDS infections and ethnic conflict. Areas with low awareness rates especially in pastoral areas are at higher risk from the onslaught of HIV/AIDS. In pastoral counties, the average prevalence among the pastoral population is estimated at 5.7%. However, infection rates are being accelerated by factors related to human rights and gender, access to and control of resources, socio - cultural environment, conflicts and displacement and also the fact that pastoral communities refuse to admit the presence and impact of HIV/AIDS within their families with high stigma attached to the affected and infected. HIV/AIDS awareness among the pastoral communities is also low standing at 79.5% against the national average of 97%. This paper analyses the inter face between pastoralism and HIV/AIDS infections. Based on the overall analysis and evaluation of the households and corroborated information from secondary data, this study found HIV/AIDS is a t present, threat to livelihood of pastoralists and pastoralism as a way of life. They also have other social economic attributes that compromise their resilience. This include; widespread poverty, lack of respect for human rights for women, disempowerment, conflict and cultural impediments. Exercabating the situation is the effects of global climate change scenarios. Immediate measures are needed to arrest this worrying trend. This requires that proper planning, implementation, budgetary support and tracking procedures are instituted and applied in pastoral counties. There is also need for conflict prevention and building resilience in the light of scarcity and climate change.

Keywords:HIV/AIDS, pastoralism, Livelihoods, conflict, climate change