3.4 Case study: CARE’s emergency livestock interventions in Ethiopia

From late 2005 to 2006, a severe drought affected some pastoral areas of southern Ethiopia, which threatened food and livelihood security. In response to the failure of the 2005 hagaya rains in the Borana zone of the Oromia National Regional State, CARE Ethiopia worked with various partners to design and implement emergency livestock interventions in drought-affected areas. The emergency response included three types of emergency livestock interventions:

Destocking, slaughter and dried meat interventions

One of the key interventions was the ‘take-off’ of animals that would otherwise die. Animals were bought at a fixed price through a local cooperative (with an in-built price margin). This provided an important source of income to drought-affected families, which could be spent on household food and livestock.
Purchased animals were slaughtered and the meat was dried and distributed to provide protein-rich food to drought-affected people. Impact evaluation results showed that the dried meat became an important food source for the poor during the drought, in particular women, children and the elderly.

Emergency livestock feeding

An assessment in December 2005 showed diminishing rangeland feed and decreasing frequency of livestock watering. The intervention targeted reproductive livestock (pregnant cows and calves). Central feeding stations were established near permanent watering points, and CARE bought 20,000 bales of hay and straw for each of five districts (kebels). About 10,000 livestock were fed. Distributed feed represented 40% of all feed during the drought. This saved animal lives, and maintained milk production and animal condition. Significant savings were made regarding labour and time, especially for women. There was lower animal mortality at the onset of rains.

Animal health

A range of animal health interventions were implemented, including the vaccination of 230,000 livestock, 350,000 sprayed, 90,000 de-wormed and 60,000 treated for infectious diseases. The animal health intervention benefited 14,000 households. Interventions resulted in a dramatic reduction in the prevalence of disease.
The case study showed that even when implemented in the later stages of a drought, livestock interventions can meet important livelihoods and food and nutrition security objectives. The cash derived from destocking assisted people to meet their immediate food needs and purchase health care. This cash also enabled people to protect their key assets-their livestock-by buying fodder, transporting animals to better grazing areas, buying veterinary care and buying water. This protection of assets also relates to a third livelihoods objective-the rapid rebuilding of assets and post-drought recovery.
This is a brief summary of Impact assessments of livelihoods-based drought interventions in Moyale and Dire Woredas by Feinstein International Center School at Tufts University.