Challenges of camel production in Samburu District, Kenya

The objective of the study was to identify the challenges to camel production in Kenya’s Samburu district. The data was collected through administration of structured and semi-structured questionnaire to a representative sample of the pastoralist household heads. The major causes of camel loss in the district were identified as predation (50.9%), drought (28.7%) and camel diseases (20.4%). Severe drought was reported to have occurred in the years; 1984 (12.4%), 1995 (9%), 2005 (42.1%), and 2006 (37.6%), and the livestock species most affected by the drought were cattle (98.1%), sheep (63.9%), donkeys (57.5%), goats (50.8%) and camels (31.2%). Water was reported to be inadequate in the district by 54.6% and 62.1% of the respondents respectively for livestock and human use. Herdsmen reported watering their camels from; rivers (24.6%), dry river beds (40%) and spring (7.7%). The livestock grazing area was reported to be getting smaller (45.7%), overgrazed (21.7%), and destroyed (13%), while only 13% believed that the grazing area had increased. Amongst the pastoralist who responded to the question on their source of income, 78.8% had no alternative source of income apart from livestock keeping. Conclusion: More resources should be allocated by the governments for improvement of camel production and the carrying capacity in pastoral production systems needs to be re-evaluated to ensure optimal productivity.


Joshua Orungo Onono, William Okelo Ogara, Samuel Oyieke Okuthe, Johnson Gitahi Nduhiu, Alfred Omwando Mainga, Dorcus Nduati