You are here

Sheep save lives in Kenya

Concern Worldwide has been working with farmers in Kenya who have been affected by the recent drought. We've been looking at ways to help them, and their livestock, survive the harsh conditions.

Drought and food supplies

Recent droughts have had a devastating effect on food supplies and farmers’ ability to earn an income. This situation is being made worse by the loss of local resources and traditional skills. For example, changing farming practices have meant animals that are used to harsh conditions are in decline.

The Red Maasi sheep

One of these animals is the Red Maasi sheep. This is a very resilient animal that can survive in harsh conditions such as droughts more easily than other breeds. It is also less prone to diseases and parasites.

Surviving the drought

The Red Maasi was once found all over Kenya but a project to increase numbers of a bigger sheep, the Dorper, has meant a decline in its numbers.
Now, there are very few purebred Red Maasi sheep to be found. The current flock of sheep are not surviving the drought as well.

Community system

We are developing a system for communities to identify the Red Maasi and increase their numbers.  Mobile phone technology is also being used to give farmers better access to markets and information. We hope this will improve the livelihoods of thousands of families who rely on the animals for food and income. It will provide a flock of stronger, more disease-resistant sheep to get communities through difficult times.

In depth