Kenya has almost 53 million inhabitants and a gross domestic product per capita of 1,817 US dollars. Kenya is made up of 70% of arid and semi-arid zones and because of climate change this surface is likely to grow bigger. Severely affected by the drought that is striking in the entire Horn of Africa, Kenya is facing an escalation of food insecurity, which already threatens the life of 1.3 million people. The increasingly frequent heat waves, droughts and floods will make it impossible for farmers and livestock farmers to survive – unless they adapt to changing circumstances.

Already today it is very difficult to conduct agriculture in the concerned arid areas. This means that more and more families turn to animal husbandry as their main source of income. But even here they are facing huge challenges, mostly because cows can’t find enough food and do not last very long without water. Even after a short period of stress they stop lactating.

The camel on the other hand is very well adapted to the harsh and inhospitable climate and presents an attractive alternative to cattle rearing. They produce milk even during dry periods while cows don’t, and camels also need much less water. Their fatty milk covers more than half of the daily calorie requirements in many pastoralist communities. Camels are also suitable pack animals and meat suppliers. Their soft, plate-like soles also protect the soil and plants.

Camels could be the key to survival for thousands of people. This is why VSF-Suisse supports a gradual shift from cattle rearing to camels and provides the concerned communities with solid trainings in camel keeping, milk hygiene and processing. Large-scale vaccination campaigns and awareness-raising among local veterinarians also ensure long-term animal health.

On the ground since: 2000

Offices: Nairobi, Mandera, Isiolo

Number of projects: 6

Key partners: EU, FAO, Stiftung Biovision

Staff: 12


Current projects Kenya

Reference projects Kenya