Sustainable rangeland restoration through community-led rotational grazing in Kajiado


Kajiado County is largely semi-arid and thus experiences long spells of drought, which leads to the drying up of pastures and water sources, causing the loss of livestock, a major source of livelihood in Magadi, Amboseli and Narok areas. With the farmers keeping large herds of cattle, they often overgraze to keep their animals alive, leading to soil degradation. Flash floods from the Ewaso Nyiro River compound the situation. The loss of livestock negatively impacts the pastoralists economically, as they lack the financial resources to look for alternative water sources and fodder leading to fights over the limited resources. The drought period also affects education, especially in Magadi, as children drop out of school to trek long distances in search of pasture and water. Some girls are forced into early marriages.

Realising the ripple effects of climatic challenges facing them, the pastoralists went back to their local knowledge of weather patterns and settled on rotational grazing which involves dividing large pastures into small paddocks and the pastoralists religiously moving their animals every 14 days from one paddock to another. This helps improve the soil fertility and quality of grass. They partnered with Soil for the Future Africa (SftFA) which seeks to advance rangeland carbon projects and create a sustainable financing mechanism that will support decades of rangeland restoration efforts in Kajiado. The communities are now living peacefully as they restore their rangelands for a better future. The County Government of Kajiado is prioritising programmes and projects towards modulated pastoralism which is a model that seeks to have the pastoralists adopt an economic and culturally sustainable livestock production system in the context of climate change.


Relevant County:
Date of Publication:
8 February, 2023

Jane Kimbwarata 

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