Somalia: Technical Series Report No VI. 19: Livelihood baseline analysis Baidoa-Urban

from Food Security Analysis Unit
Published on 20 May 2009 View Original

Baseline livelihood assessments are necessary to understanding how a livelihood functions during a specific and average year. They are also essential to conducting successful monitoring of any livelihood system, providing the informational base with which to compare any new threats, shocks, or hazards to that livelihood. FSNAU previously conducted baseline livelihood assessments in the Bay and Bakool regions in 2000-2001, covering all four of Bay and Bakool's major livelihood zones (LZs): Bay Bakool High Potential Agro-pastoral, Southern Inland Pastoral, Southern Agro-pastoral and the Southeast Pastoral. The adjacent map (Map 1) indicates Bay and Bakool's four livelihood zones at the time of the 2000- 2001 assessments.

Although part of the Bay region was identififified as Somalia's main sorghum producer (Bay Bakool High Potential Agro-pastoral LZ), much of the remaining region, along with the Bakool region was identified to be predominantly pastoral, with populations deriving their main sources of food and income from livestock production. Over the past few years, however, a noticeable shift in livelihood systems has occurred within the two regions. Evidence from seasonal assessments, combined with field analyst observations, has indicated that areas once dominated by pastoral livelihood systems have shifted toward a more agro-pastoral system of living, prompting FSNAU to re-examine Bay and Bakool's four livelihood zones. One of the primary goals of FSNAU's current baseline assessment, which was conducted over two periods, from October to November 2007 and during April 2008, was to identify and properly account for any changes in Bay and Bakool's four livelihood zones.

Results from FSNAU's comprehensive field study confirmed that some populations within Bay and Bakool had indeed moved away from a strictly pastoral way of living toward a livelihood that combines pastoral and agricultural living. The second map below (Map 2) demonstrates these changes to Bay and Bakool's livelihood zones. The most notable change is the significant reduction of the Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone, formerly the predominant livelihood zone in both regions. In the Bakool region, the Southern Inland Pastoral zone has been reduced to the northern district of El Berde and northern tips of Rabdhure and Tieglow districts, with the discovery of a significant number of agro-pastoralists throughout central and southern Bakool.

In central Bakool, the Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone has been replaced with a new livelihood zone, the Bakool Agro-pastoral , which has also replaced the area in Rabdhure district previously marked as Southern Agro-pastoral livelihood and a pocket of Bay Bakool High Potential Agro-pastoral. Although livestock production is still the key economic determinant of this area, residents of the Bakool Agro-pastoral livelihood zone also practice farming. The Southern Agro-Pastoral and the Southeast Pastoral livelihood zones have both been completely replaced; these areas are now part of the Bay Bakool Agro-pastoral Low Potential zone, where livestock production is slightly less important than in the Bakool Agro-pastoral livelihood zone, hence the distinction. Finally, the Bay Agro-pastoral High Potential livelihood zone has been expanded to include most of Qansahdhere and western and southern areas of Dinsoor district.

The changes to Bay and Bakool's livelihood zones are certain to have serious implications for any subsequent analysis of the populations' food security situation. When monitoring the food security situation in Bay and Bakool, the growing importance of cereal production and the general decline of livestock production within these areas must be taken into account. This current baseline assessment provides ample information for properly addressing the needs of Bay and Bakool's populations. Included in this report is a general overview of the four new livelihood systems; a historical timeline, which covers all major events affecting the two regions' livelihood zones over the past five years; a comprehensive assessment of the two regions' seasonal calendar; a review of Bay and Bakool's livelihood assets, which includes a summary of all human, social, financial, physical and natural capital; and an assessment of all four livelihood zone's livelihood strategies, which encompass sources of food, income and expenditure patterns as well as any hazards and coping strategies. Finally, the report provides a chronological overview of the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) of Bay and Bakool's four livelihood zones from 2006 to 2009. This overview examines the progression of the IPC for Bay and Bakool's populations over the five-year period and identifies the vulnerability over time of the different livelihoods and wealth groups to food insecurity.


2.1 Historical Timeline

In order to obtain a broader understanding of the economic, political and social situation in the Bay and Bakool regions' four livelihood zones (Bay Bakool Agro-pastoral Low Potential, Bay Agro-pastoral High Potential, Bakool Agro-pastoral, and Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones), and to identify an appropriate reference year, a historical timeline covering major seasonal events (Gu and Deyr) in the two regions from 2003-2007 was created (Table 2). Major events outlined by the historical timeline are rainfall levels, crop production levels, the occurrence of drought, livestock conditions, level of civil insecurity, the presence of livestock disease and hyperinflation levels. Livestock migration patterns, significant to all livelihood zones in the Bay and Bakool regions, are then described for each season. Finally, a brief description of any coping strategies employed in response to livelihood shocks is provided. After some research and discussion, FSNAU's baseline resource team determined that April '06 to March '07 would serve as the reference year for the assessment. The general principle for determining the reference year is to use the most recent year as this makes recall easier for those surveyed. In this case, however, the most recent year (2007-2008) was characterized by overall below average rainfall, poor crop production levels, high levels of livestock out-migration and a low rate of livestock recovery, and hyperinflation making it unsuitable for baseline livelihood analysis.

The reference year of April '06 to March '07, which includes the two major rainy seasons (Gu and Deyr) and the two dry seasons (Hagaa and Jilaal) demonstrated overall near average to above average levels of rainfall, cereal production and water and pasture conditions. Of the two rainy seasons, rainfall performance was worse during the Gu '06 season, with levels below average recorded in some parts of the two regions. However, overall, Gu '06 crop production levels were near average and livestock began to recover after a long period of drought (Gu '05 to Deyr '05/06). Rainfall levels during the Deyr '06/07 were well above average for most areas, allowing for good cereal production. Water and pasture conditions also greatly improved, which resulted in widespread livestock recovery. The largely near average to above average performance of the Gu '06 and Deyr '06/07 seasons combined led the FSNAU baseline resource team to deem April '06 to March '07 the reference year.