KENYA - Strengthening Livestock Sector in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties

60% of the population in northern Kenya depends on livestock production in an environment of recurrent droughts and natural resource-based conflicts. The programme will contribute to poverty reduction, improved resilience to shocks and enhanced socio-economic inclusion of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist men and women by supporting climate-smart livestock production, improving rangelands management and promoting peaceful coexistence of communities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Conflict & fragility
Climate change and environment
Agricultural development
Conflict prevention
Disaster risk reduction DRR
01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026
CHF  4’462’000

The ASAL counties account for more than half of Kenya’s landmass (61%) with a population of about 5.53 million. Their inhabitants are mainly dependent on pastoral livestock production. The area is characterised by low, variable and unpredictable bimodal rainfall and rangelands are unsustainable for crop production. An estimated 60% of the population lives in extreme poverty conditions. Populations in this region do not effectively benefit from the mainstream national systems including access to competitive markets and formal financial services. These factors, coupled with frequent droughts linked to climate change and violent conflicts, have resulted in high food insecurity and displacement of populations. The long-standing fragility factors have recently been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the invasion of desert locusts since 2020. Women and minority groups are disproportionately affected by the various crises.

Switzerland supports pastoralist communities in this region since 2012, through different interventions in the water, rangelands management and livestock sector to enhance their resilience to droughts and improve their livelihoods. Building on the successes and lessons learnt from the first phase of this programme (2018-2022), the second four-year phase is planned to advance on the gains made. The programme contributes to the stability of Horn of Africa through resilience building, which is also the interest of Switzerland. 

Objectives To contribute to the resilience of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) region to droughts, livestock disease outbreaks and natural resource conflicts. 
Target groups An estimated 100’000 pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households will benefit directly from the programme interventions and further 3 million people indirectly. 1500 technical staff from county departments will benefit from capacity support in institutional management of livestock and rangelands management and peace building.  
Medium-term outcomes

1.     Livestock production and productivity in the FCDC region improved;

2.     Improved management of  rangeland resources across FCDC counties;     

3.     Enhanced coordination and advocacy on policy dialogue and emerging issues in the FCDC counties.


Expected results:  

·       Effective and coordinated management of livestock disease outbreaks achieved.

·       Increased access and use of feed and fodder to supplement rangelands resources.

·       Inter and intra-county grazing plans developed and used, and community land registration promoted.

·        Enhanced coordination and advocacy on policy dialogue and pastoralist affecting issues in rangelands, livestock mobility and resource conflicts in the FCDC counties. 

Results from previous phases:  

·       Over 1660 farmers (785 women) from 60 farming units and cooperatives and their extension officers have benefitted from improved skills, new technologies and modernized livestock systems and increased their production by upto 300%[1].

·       Capacities of five research and training institutions and laboratories were enhanced for improved livestock services delivery and for peaceful coexistence of communities. 

·       19 sector plans, rangelands management bills, spatial plans and disease control frameworks were developed and operationalised to support the larger population.

·       An estimated 1.5 million people reached through the radio broadcasts across four counties to provide livestock production and livestock marketing information.

·       Support to UNRCO through small action (7F-08700.04.06) strengthened the coordination of UN agencies delivery as one unit in Turkana County and provided expertise on cross-border programming.

[1] Final evaluation of LSS phase 1 (2021), model fodder farms supported and not representative of larger population.  

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • Research Organisation of South East
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC), United Na-tions Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO), Garissa Uni-versity Institute of Peace and Security Studies (IPSS).

Coordination with other projects and actors World Bank-funded Resilience Programming ASAL Counties, Inter-peace Peace Building Programme, Kenya RAPID+, HEAL One-Health project, GPFS IGAD Land Governance Programme.  
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’462’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’698’737
Project phases Phase 2 01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.05.2017 - 31.03.2022   (Completed)