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Keeping up with the Kuchi

For thousands of years the people of the Kuchi Tribe have travelled through Afghanistan.

Following ancient migratory routes, they take their families on a constant journey looking for fresh pastures and water to graze their animals.  Their sheep and goats make up nearly 50% of the wool and cashmere produced in Afghanistan.

Despite there being up to 1.5 million of them, very little is known about these nomadic travellers, resulting in them being one of the most marginalised groups of people in the country. 


They have no access to education, healthcare or veterinary services, making them extremely vulnerable.


Improving lives and livelihoods

Looking for a needle in a haystack

The challenge was finding them!


We turned to GIS and maps to work out where they would be in October 2020.

October is when thousands of Kuchis gather together for the annual livestock mating season and provides the perfect opportunity to carry out research and provide aid and support.

This video takes you through how we used desk research, geospatial analysis and innovative ways to find the Kuchis and demonstrate extremely high levels of confidence of their location.

Our client, DAI, was running a project to improve the livelihoods of the Kuchi people by increasing the value of their cashmere and wool through improving the quality and yield of the wool and cashmere produced. The project also set out to provide essential services to these nomadic people who constantly slip through the net in accessing aid.

The goal was to send vets and scientists to treat and care for the animals and take genetic samples from them.  These samples would then be analysed to carry out selective breeding.  This needed an initial assessment of the sheep and goats to document phenotype, fibre characteristics, herd health and animal husbandry practices. It was also important that there was significant pasture to support healthy herds.

Presenting our Findings

We presented our findings in an interactive storymap, which won 3rd place in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network StoryMap competition for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Alcis SDG Esri certificate

You can scroll through the storymap - or click here to open in a new window.

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