Topic sheet                InnoWat                                            Water and livestock for                     ...
Figure 1                                                                                             • Multiple-use servic...
the country-specific structures of the rural          Technical approachespolitical economy. In so doing, they support the...
IFAD case study                                   The Sudan: Butana Integrated Rural Development Project (2006-2014)      ...
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Water and Livestock for Rural Livelihoods


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This Thematic Paper is part of a Toolkit for Project Design (Livestock Thematic Papers: Tools for Project Design) which reflects IFAD’s commitment to developing a sustainable livestock sector in which poor farmers and herders might have higher incomes, and better access to assets, services, technologies and markets.

The paper indents to be a practical tool for development practitioners, project designers and policymakers to define appropriate livestock development interventions. It also provides recommendations on critical issues for rural development and also possible responses and actions to encourage the socio-economic empowerment of poor livestock keepers.

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Water and Livestock for Rural Livelihoods

  1. 1. Topic sheet InnoWat Water and livestock for rural livelihoods Context Globally, livestock provides livelihood support to an estimated 987 million people in rural areas (figure 1). This is equivalent to 36 per cent of the total number of poor, currently estimated to be 2,735 million people.1 In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), livestock production is a major livelihood activity – it directly supports about 10 per cent of the people in the region, while another 58 per cent are partially dependent on this source. The sector is of critical importance to the regional rural economy and the well-being of poor rural people. In terms of livelihood support, income and employment, the livestock sector is a major contributor to rural livelihoods. As an economic activity in SSA, it generates about 25 per cent of agricultural GDP – and up to 30 per cent if non-food livestock products, such as manure and animal draught power, are taken into account.1 ‘Number of poor people’ refers to Livestock plays multiple roles in the livelihood strategies of rural communities. In many, itpeople living on less than two dollarsa day. is intricately linked to social status through accumulation, sharing of wealth and savings.2 Sub-Saharan Africa experiences Hence, it provides a variety of benefits to rural communities such as risk mitigation, wealtheconomic water scarcity when human,institutional and financial capital limit accumulation, food security and improved nutrition.access, even though water is available Despite the importance of the sector to poor rural people, however, livestock production hasin nature locally to meet humandemand. failed to achieve sustainable returns for poor livestock raisers owing to several key constraints. Chief among them are water scarcity2 and the failure of policymakers to recognize the importance of livestock to poor rural people, or to support them through appropriate polices and interventions. Climate change, changing demographic dynamics, increasing competition for water, and natural resource degradation also threaten their already fragile livelihoods. These challenges are exacerbated by the continued marginalization of livestock raisers through misguided policies and legislation that limit their access to land and water resources. IFAD seeks to address these challenges and improve rural livelihoods by positively harnessing the returns from investments in water and livestock and by better guiding such Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty investments generally, so that they have greater pro-poor impact.
  2. 2. Figure 1 • Multiple-use service (MUS)3 approaches areDistribution of poor livestock raisers still not considered, and water is oftenSource: Thornton et al. 2002. provided for single-use purposes. • Misguided supply-driven approaches emphasize the indiscriminate provision of water in pastoral areas and often do not take into account the negative impacts. These include increased settlement around water points and the subsequent livestock-induced environmental degradation. Decreasing natural resource base • Demographic changes within SSA are exerting great pressure on natural resources, resulting in competition between pastoral communities Main challenges and other groups (e.g. agriculture) and the loss Policy and institutional constraints of resource access rights for pastoral groups. • In many areas, land and water policies have • Changes in rainfall patterns and longer and evolved independently (e.g. the water and more frequent droughts (likely induced by rural codes in the Niger). climate change) are bound to result in • There is a mismatch generally between formal increasingly scarce, scattered and irregular (legal) and informal (customary rights) pasture and water resources, leading to a regulations (e.g. in the Tanzanian Pangani significant increase in impoverishment among River Basin). There is a lack of proper legal poor livestock raisers. recognition of traditional local resource • Water resources are becoming increasingly management systems and institutions in contaminated and polluted by multiple users – the development of the water regulations livestock production (manure and wastewater and policies that govern natural resource from processing), agriculture (agrochemicals), use – a problem compounded by weak fisheries (antibiotics, nutrients), industry and regulatory capacity. urban uses (wastewater) affecting both quality • Misunderstanding and negative perceptions of and quantity. pastoral systems have resulted in unfavorable • Misguided policies and interventions related to policies that tend to constrain herd mobility. water development encourage the continuous This in turn limits access to key natural concentration of pastoralists and livestock resources such as land and water. around permanent water points. This fosters • There is an inability to recognize the user environmental degradation: overgrazing, rights of competing users and to manage the contamination of water resources through allocation of water resources between diverse nutrient overload and the lowering of groups of users with legal entitlements to the groundwater tables. same water system, although pursuing • Diets are changing, driven by income growth different production strategies. and urbanization. This will increase demand • Water development interventions are often for livestock products and hence the amount driven by the need to increase supplies of water and land used in their production. through investment in infrastructure, rather than by tackling issues such as governance and IFAD approaches management (i.e. social infrastructure). Intersectoral management is a relatively new, holistic approach that offers a promising Access to resources framework for better understanding and pro-poor • Access to water for productive purposes is mobilization of potential development synergies. often constrained by factors such as erosion of In IFAD’s approach to water, this theme is not traditional sharing and management central, but is considered a holistic element in mechanisms, changes in land-tenure systems strengthening poor rural peoples livelihoods and and reallocation of land-cum-water access resilience. IFAD investment approaches to water- rights to other user groups. related interface management take into account 3 See also the InnoWat topic sheet on ‘Reinforcing gender equity’.
  3. 3. the country-specific structures of the rural Technical approachespolitical economy. In so doing, they support the • Promote appropriate technologies that: aredevelopment of pro-poor, community-based suitable to poor rural people (e.g. water-natural resource management (NRM) harvesting systems), provide water at low cost,institutions, which in turn improve farmer-led are sustainable over the long term andagriculture, natural resource technologies, and the improve the resilience of pastoral communitiessharing of knowledge of these achievements. (e.g. in Ethiopia, Somaliland and the Sudan). IFAD seeks to reduce the poverty of poor • Promote the MUS approach (e.g. in Ethiopia ),livestock raisers in SSA through targeted which can lead to improvements in water useinterventions that increase opportunities for poor efficiency and livelihoods, equitable access torural people to maximize returns from both water water and enhanced value-added fromand livestock. It aims to achieve this through the multiple uses (improved health, livestockuse of pro-poor tools and support for the production and income generation).development of conducive institutional and • Use appropriate and tested technologiespolicy frameworks across these sectors – (such as satellite imagery and GIS tools) thatframeworks that promote food security and ensure appropriate placement of waterequitable access to resources, increase economic infrastructure, and develop land-useopportunities for livestock raisers and enhance management plans that facilitate sustainablenatural resource management. resource use and management (e.g. in the Gash Barka area of Eritrea).Institutional approaches • Locate water infrastructure appropriately so as• Foster the participation and empowerment of to improve the livelihoods of poor livestock livestock raisers and strengthen their capacity raisers, for example the provision of water along to participate in policy debates and decision- marketing routes that connect poor pastoralists making on issues that directly affect their to urban markets in order to improve livestock livelihoods, such as increased community marketing chains (e.g. in the Sudan). involvement in the design and implementation of projects (e.g. as was done Investment approaches in the Butana area of the Sudan). • Invest in water for livestock as part of a• Strengthen community-based resource comprehensive package supported by management through institution- and investments in improved access to veterinary capacity-building and through promoting health services, markets and credit, and sustainable, environmentally friendly resource improved breeds and feed in order to management arrangements for range and maximize productivity and profitability. water resources. • Invest to ensure that interventions recognize• Support the development and strengthening of women’s roles as multiple water users (for natural resource governance structures that both domestic and productive uses). recognize the importance of informal, Inappropriate design or location of the water traditional structures and management source may inadvertently increase the burden mechanisms in pastoral systems. on women.• Support the development of governance • Foster cross-sectoral cooperation, partnerships systems that adequately address the and knowledge-sharing among donors, interdependence of land and water resources; development agencies, national and taking into account land-tenure systems, international research institutions and other recognizing pre-existing land rights, and civil organizations concerned with water in establishing clear and effective arbitration development (e.g. the CGIAR Challenge mechanisms and the rights of the various Program in the Nile Basin). stakeholders involved (e.g. in the Butana area • Support research that contributes to the of the Sudan). monitoring of livestock/water interactions, assessing lessons learned and best practices, and addressing the knowledge gaps related to these interactions to enable better water and livestock decision-making.
  4. 4. IFAD case study The Sudan: Butana Integrated Rural Development Project (2006-2014) This IFAD-supported project addresses several adherence to cost recovery of O&M costs of the challenges faced by the livestock sector and water pricing; in SSA, including poor access to natural • facilitate community participation in the resources (water and rangeland), inadequate management of the natural resource base (e.g. institutional capacity to manage water and land participation in the selection of seasonal stock resources, inadequate or no natural resource transhumance routes, allocation of areas for governance structures, and increasing watering of stock and grazing, promotion of environmental degradation from open-access conflict-resolution mechanisms relying on regimes and a breakdown of informal resource customary arbitration, etc.); management structures. • strengthen institutions and build capacity for improved resource management through Approach development and empowerment of legally • incorporate a multi-stakeholder participatory recognized water and range management and gender-sensitive approach to design and institutions, and through training in water and implementation of the project; range resource management that targets both • adopt a sustainable development and formal and informal institutions. community-based approach to natural resource management; Expected results • establish community organizations to manage • greater community capability to manage natural natural resources. resources and participate in decision-making; • better governance of natural resources through Water/livestock-related activities promoting alignment of the legislative • develop a new natural-resource-governance frameworks governing access and use of range regulatory framework that promotes a regulated and water resources; rather than open-access regime for natural • greater capacity of communities to manage resources, while recognizing the user rights of resources and enforce the new access rules all stakeholders in the project area (pastoralists, developed under the project; agropastoralists, transhumant communities • promotion of equitable access to water and and residents); range resources, strengthened community • support the development of cost-recovery resilience to drought and reduced conflict over mechanisms based on benefit-sharing for the natural resources within the project area; operation and maintenance (O&M) of collective • reduced environmental degradation and assets such water and rangeland; desertification through re-establishment of • establish new regulations for water investments regulated access and appropriate management that set out clear criteria for the construction of resources;Contact and/or rehabilitation of water infrastructure in the • improved livestock productivity as a result ofRudolph Cleveringa rangeland, devolution of the management of improved animal nutrition and access to waterInnoWat Manager water facilities to local communities and during the dry season.IFAD Technical Advisory DivisionE-mail: Additional informationwater/innowat Further reading FAO. 2006a. Livestock’s long shadow: Environmental issues and options. Rome: Food and Agriculture OrganizationTopic sheet authors: of the United Nations.Carolyn Opio (FAO) FAO.2006b. Land and water rights in the Sahel: Tenure challenges of improving access to water for agriculture.Peer reviewed by: Livelihoods Support Programme. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Antonio Rota ILRI. 2006. Investment options for integrated water-livestock-crop production in sub-Saharan Africa. Nairobi: International(Technical Advisory Division, Livestock Research Institute.IFAD) IWMI. 2007. Water for food, water for life: A comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture, by D. Molden. London: Earthscan; and Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute. NEPAD. 2006. Integrating livestock, forestry and fisheries subsectors into the CAADP. Companion document, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. Midrand, Johannesburg: New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Thornton, P.K., R.L. Kruska, N. Henninger, P.M. Kristjanson, R.S. Reid, F. Atieno, A.N. Odero and T. Ndegwa. 2002. Mapping poverty and livestock in the developing world. Nairobi: ILRI.Enabling poor rural peopleInternational Fund for Useful partner websitesto overcome povertyAgricultural Development FAO Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative (LEAD): Paolo di Dono, 4400142 Rome, Italy FAO Water Development and Management Unit: +39 06 54591 International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI): www.ilri.orgFacsimile: +39 06 5043463 Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture: March 2009E-mail: Alive: International Water Management Institute (IWMI):