In Kenya, more than 7 million pastoralists face ongoing threats to their livelihoods and livestock because of changing climate conditions. Extended droughts have made the search for pasture and water even more difficult in areas where these critical resources were already scarce.
To help these nomadic shepherds address this challenge more efficiently and effectively, PCI offers a mobile app-based service called AfriScout. This "Shepherd's Eye in the Sky" combines community-defined grazing maps with satellite imagery to guide pastoralists to the nearest water and vegetation for their herds.
Downloading the maps in real time allows AfriScout users to make more precise and cost-effective migration decisions. They can also use the app to share peer-to-peer alerts about predators, animal diseases, conflicts and restricted grazing areas.
"Every new user represents a family who is desperately trying to preserve a 5,000-year-old way of life, adapt to climate change and survive the next drought," said Chris Bessenecker, PCI's Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. "We see and hear every day how AfriScout is helping them do that through user feedback and monitoring alerts that pastoralists are sharing with each other."
In 2019, a total of 2,657 people registered for the AfriScout app in Kenya. Four counties and over 165,000 square kilometers of grazing land have been mapped through the service. To learn more, visit www.PCIGlobal.org/AfriScout.
Lead photo by Jennifer Waugaman