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Title:Declining social capital and vulnerability to livelihood risks in Turkana district, Kenya
Author:Kareithi, Joram N.ISNI
Periodical:Mila: a Journal of the Institute of African Studies (ISSN 1015-6178)
Geographic term:Kenya
social networks
Abstract:Using data collected in Turkana district, Kenya, in 2000, the article discusses the traditional responses of the Turkana, through the use of social capital, to livelihood insecurity in the context of changed socioeconomic conditions. It examines the extent to which traditional mechanisms of drought and famine management are operational at the community and household level, how socioeconomic changes have affected traditional mechanisms of survival and the impact this has on the survival of vulnerable groups, and the factors that have led to the decline of traditional coping mechanisms. The findings indicate that Turkana society is still largely dependent on traditional drought and famine coping mechanisms built on social capital. However, the present socioeconomic situation in Turkana society is such that these mechanisms of support for the vulnerable households have weakened and become inadequate. They cannot be relied upon by weak households during periods of hardship, leading to increased vulnerability to livelihood risks. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]