Livelihood diversification

Published: 30 July 2018
Last edited: 06 May 2020

The programme utilized two main strategies for livelihood diversification to improve household incomes and nutrition:

  • Promoting women group-based Village Community Banking (VICOBA) in an approach that encourages micro-saving and borrowing to enhance financial security and promote business, particularly trade in small stock.
  • Identifying villages with sufficient water resources and introducing shared community vegetable and fruit gardens to enhance nutrition (provide alternative source of vitamins) in an area with acute shortage of fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables were sourced by the organization from the national Horticultural Research Institute where varieties specifically breeded for the agro-ecological conditions in Mt. Kulal were selected. Successful production of fruits and vegetables would also lead to selling of surplus thus generating household income.


Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Pre-existing women savings groups and desire to save and conduct business among different groups in the communities.
  • Availability of money to provide seed-grants for small scale livestock business.
  • Willingness of pastoralist households to engage in small scale kitchen gardening of fruits and vegetables to produce greens for nutritional value.
  • Availability of agricultural extension officers from the county to support the communities pilot community kitchen gardens and train them on crop production.

Lessons learned

Many hetherto purely pastoralist communities and households are increasingly ready, willing and able to diversify their livelihoods as a resilience strategy with strategies such as business being the most preferable. Similarly, there is significant interest among pastoralist households to engage in small scale kitchen gardening of vegetables and fruits to produce greens, a source of vitamins rarely accessible to many families in the arid areas.