This report is the outcome of a field study carried out with cattle herders in northern Mursiland, Ethiopia. Its immediate purpose was to seek the views of local herd-owners on how the pastoral economy could be strengthened, without external intervention, in a remote area prone to cattle disease and drought. It examines ways of improving pastoralists' access to veterinary services, particularly through the training of 'paravets', and recommends ways to develop local water sources.
A secondary focus, which emerged during the research, is the threat posed to pastoralists by government plans to encourage tourism in the Omo and Mago National Parks, and to construct dams on the Omo for electricity generation. The paper recommends that pressure should be put on funders, conservation bodies, and civil authorities to protect the vital subsistence resources of the Mursi people, and to ensure that they gain net benefits from the projects.