African and Asian dryland pastoral areas did not report COVID-19 cases in the early stages of the pandemic. Nevertheless, harsh contagion-control measures (‘lockdowns’) were enforced by governments, which affected two key dimensions of pastoral livelihoods: mobility and social life. Through four case studies narrated in the first person, this chapter qualitatively examines how Kenyan and Mongolian (agro)pastoralists experienced lockdown measures and responded to them. As travel restrictions prevented in-person fieldwork, we adopted a remote and participatory approach and engaged dryland (agro)pastoralist friends as collaborative researchers and co-authors, who documented their communities’ lockdown experiences and digitally shared their perspectives. While the lockdowns in three Kenyan pastoral areas and three provinces of Mongolia challenged livelihoods in multiple ways, they also had unexpected and paradoxical outcomes. In particular, limitations on mobility spurred different types of mobilities that supported the local economies; restrictions on movement and social life fostered collective action; and social distancing rules encouraged a re-centring of life on the home, pastoral knowledge transmission, and a renewed appreciation for pastoral livelihoods, institutions, and culture. However, socioeconomic impacts were unevenly distributed, and the ability to deploy certain responses varied with gender and with access to land, livestock, natural resources, and non-livestock assets. Still, aspects of more exclusively pastoral systems emerged as key strengths that sustained livelihood security in our study communities under lockdown.

Pastoralists under COVID-19 lockdown. Collaborative research on impacts and responses in Kenyan and Mongolian drylands

Andrea Pase
Membro del Collaboration Group
2022

Abstract

African and Asian dryland pastoral areas did not report COVID-19 cases in the early stages of the pandemic. Nevertheless, harsh contagion-control measures (‘lockdowns’) were enforced by governments, which affected two key dimensions of pastoral livelihoods: mobility and social life. Through four case studies narrated in the first person, this chapter qualitatively examines how Kenyan and Mongolian (agro)pastoralists experienced lockdown measures and responded to them. As travel restrictions prevented in-person fieldwork, we adopted a remote and participatory approach and engaged dryland (agro)pastoralist friends as collaborative researchers and co-authors, who documented their communities’ lockdown experiences and digitally shared their perspectives. While the lockdowns in three Kenyan pastoral areas and three provinces of Mongolia challenged livelihoods in multiple ways, they also had unexpected and paradoxical outcomes. In particular, limitations on mobility spurred different types of mobilities that supported the local economies; restrictions on movement and social life fostered collective action; and social distancing rules encouraged a re-centring of life on the home, pastoral knowledge transmission, and a renewed appreciation for pastoral livelihoods, institutions, and culture. However, socioeconomic impacts were unevenly distributed, and the ability to deploy certain responses varied with gender and with access to land, livestock, natural resources, and non-livestock assets. Still, aspects of more exclusively pastoral systems emerged as key strengths that sustained livelihood security in our study communities under lockdown.
2022
Drylands Facing Change: Interventions, Investments and Identities
9781032005089
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3461932
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