Traditionally, Afar pastoralists have extremely learned
about the weather patterns, the sustaining capability of all the environmental
resources including water, forest–cover, pasture and land formations.
Therefore, there are traditional laws protecting each and every part of the
environment against sustained damage and over usage. Since pastoralists are
natural ecologists, they move their families and herds in a deliberate plan to
preserve the environment. They calculate the effects of staying in one place
over a given time and leave to prevent damage. Furthermore, Afar pastoralists
have traditional mechanisms to assist themselves in coping up challenges under
drought and other stressful times. For example, they reserve certain pasture
from grazing so that it can be used during drought times. This is called
‘desso’ in the local language.