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Range Management Division


The Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) on which the range management division focuses on, make up over 80 per cent of Kenya's total land surface, support over 25 per cent of the human population and over half the livestock population. These areas are characterised by a very fragile ecosystem with scarce and erratic rainfall. Successful ASAL development and management requires knowledge of the resource base, i.e. type, location, potential, status, degree and history of utilization. For a long time now, planning for sustainable resource management in the face of limited financial capital has been a major challenge. All these are compounded by recurring droughts, reduced forage and degradation of the environment on which they depend on.

Traditional mitigation strategies have been weakened by social economic changes. Severe drought events have had a serious impact on ASAL communities, increasing their vulnerability to poverty and threatening the long-term viability of their livelihoods and natural resource base. Widespread poverty among these communities with low asset base is compounded by poor infrastructure, lack of organised market systems including the lack of market information. The HIV/AIDS scourge is also spreading to the ASAL communities and affecting the most productive members.

The main economic activity of the ASALs is nomadic pastoralism, which utilizes 24.2 million hectares (50 percent), while ranching and other livestock keeping utilizes 15.1 million hectares (31 percent.) The remaining 9.1 million hectares or 19 percent is used for agriculture including agro-pastoralism


To lead in ensuring livelihood security for pastoralists and Agro-pastoralists through sustainable utilization of the available natural resources in the ASAL


To ensure that the ASALs that make 80% of the country contribute significantly to the country's GDP by maximising the utilisation of available resources and use of appropriate technologies through community capacity building, participatory planning and decision making for optimal livestock development.

Functions and Mandates

These are defined as:

a) Technical guidance in formulation, implementation, monitoring and updating of ASAL policy.
b) Direction, coordination and management of all technical matters relating to range management, range development, range improvement and environment conservation
c) Guidance to ranchers and pastoralists on matters relating to proper livestock grazing systems.
d) Coordination of Range development projects
e) Collaboration with relevant agencies in range and livestock research, wildlife activities and water development for livestock use.
f) Collection of livestock and environmental data, analysis and evaluation for the purpose of drought monitoring, early warning systems and contingency planning.
g) Promotion and coordination of livestock improvement in rangelands and in particular camels and small livestock.
h) Member of inter-ministerial committee on land adjudication, environment, desertification, soil conservation, land use, IGAD

Strategic Objectives

To provide technical guidance, supervision and backstopping to field officers and pastoralist/ranchers on matters relating to extension services in the rangelands.

  • To collaborate, link and network with relevant agencies for sustainable utilization of range resources for optimal livestock development and environmental conservation in the rangelands.
  • To collect and analysis range resource data and disseminate information to other stakeholders.
  • To develop suitable camel husbandry packages that promotes its production as a food security animal.
  • To develop sustainable extensive and intensive beef production through marketing, livestock management, livestock water supply, forage conservation and cattle improvement through selection.

Development Partners and NGOs operating in these areas include

Development partners include,
World Bank-Arid Lands Resource Management Programme, FAO-Early Warning Systems, USAID Famine Early Warning Systems, ADB  Community Based Livestock Early Warning System, GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), AU-IBAR, PACE - Kenya, Danida- Agricultural Support Projects, European Union

The NGOs are as follows:-
PLAN international, ADRA, VSF, Oxfarm, Farm-Africa, CLIP, RELMA, Action AID, etc.

The Division is headed by a Deputy Director Livestock Production (Chief Range Management Division) who is responsible to the Director of Livestock Production for all matters relating to Range Management in the country.

There are three Branches under this Division: -

  1. Pastoral & Ranching Development Services Branch
  2. Range Resource Development and Ecosystem monitoring Branch
  3. Range Animal Production Branch

1.?Pastoral & Ranching Development Services Branch Duties under this Branch include: -

  • Ranch Development Services Section
    • Ranch planning
    • Preparation of ranch development plans and projects
    • Technical guidance on matters relating to group, individual and commercial ranches
      Issues related to subdivision of ranches.

Pastoral & Ranching Development Services section

    • Establishment of marketing and resource User Associations.
    • Liaison with other agencies and ministries involved in the development of the ASALs
    • Guidelines for development and improvement of ASAL areas
    • Issue relating to Soil and water conservation
    • Pastoral Extension and training.

2. Range Resource Development and Ecosystem monitoring? Branch

Duties under this Branch include: -

Range/Ranch Resources monitoring and Drought Monitoring Section

a) Range/Ranch Resources Monitoring Section
Duties include:

  • Development of guidelines for monitoring ecological changes in the ASAL areas
  • Collection and analysis to Natural Resource Data: -Soils, Vegetation, Climate, Water resource distribution and utilization.
  • Collection, Storage, Analysis and Retrieval of Data on soils, vegetation, climate, water distribution.
  • Formulation of appropriate management policies for conservation of the range resources
  • Cartographic and Geo-Information Systems services.

b) Drought Monitoring Section
Duties include:

  • Collaboration in data collection analysis and evaluation with all agencies and ministries involved in drought early warning system, contingency planning, monitoring.
  • Preparation of drought contingency and management plans
  • In liaison with the Environmental Impact Assessment agencies, assess rangeland environmental and social impacts due to current or EIA proposed developments.

c) Livestock Water Improvement

  • Preliminary range livestock surveys and inventory in rangelands, or pastoral lands
  • Liaison with the ministry of Water Resources for development of suitable livestock water supply.
  • Preparation and implementation of soil and water conservation plans in the rangelands

d) Firebreak and Dam construction and maintenance services Unit

3. Range Animal Production Branch
Duties under this Branch include:

a) Beef Production Services

  • Monitoring of Livestock and Wildlife Population Dynamics
  • Monitoring grazing, gather market information and advise Pastoralists when to dispose
  • Livestock Management and breeding advisory services.

b) Camel Production

  • Development of policy guidelines for camel development including marketing
  • Development of appropriate camel breeding policy to enhance multiplication for the pastoralist
  • Development of guidelines for proper utilization of the range by camels
  • Development of suitable husbandry packages including health aspects for camel management
  • Initiation of projects aimed at promoting camel productivity and marketing
    Development of training programmes for camel owners.

The provincial Range Management Officer is responsible through the Provincial Director of Livestock Production to the Chief of the Division for Co-ordination and direction for all matters relating to range management and development in the districts within the province.

The District Range Management Officer is responsible through the District Livestock Production Officer to the PRMO for supervision and implementation of all matters concerning Range Management Extension, Range Development Projects and Range Improvement.

At the Divisional and Locational levels the DRMO is assisted by Assistant Livestock Production Officers (Range) and Technical Range Assistants respectively.

At the working unit level, frontline extension personnel include Livestock Production Assistants and Junior Animal Production Assistants. These are deployed in the ranches and grazing blocks and in sub-locations where there are no ranches and/or grazing blocks.



For information on range management contact,

Mr. A. O. Esmail:
Chief Range Management Division
Ngong Road, Hill Plaza Building, 8th Floor;
Box 34188, Nairobi;
Tel 020.2721005, 020 2722601/37,
Fax: 020 2721005,

S.K. Sigilai