Commission for Nomadic Peoples

+ Home

Nomadic Peoples | Current Issue

Nomadic Peoples Journal

Current Issue: Volume 17 Number 1

Full-text PDFs of this issue are available from the Berghahn

Securing the Land and Resource Rights of Pastoral Peoples in East Africa
Guest Editor: Patricia Kameri-Mbote

Patricia Kameri-Mbote
Mobility, Marginality and Tenure Transformation in Kenya: Explorations of Community Property Rights in Law and Practice
Celestine Nyamu Musembi and Patricia Kameri-Mbote
Community land rights were of ficially recognized for the first time in Kenya's 2010 Constitution on the basis of 'ethnicity, culture or similar community of interest'. It remains to be seen whether this will begin to reverse the trend of over-emphasis on individual tenure and sedentary agricultural land uses. Against this background, this article interrogates the various narratives around de fining 'community' that have emerged in national and local discourses on entitlement to resources. The article draws on a case study of a Kenyan community - the Ogiek in the Rift Valley - in which tenure and land use are changing rapidly and where tension exists between individual and communal tenure, and among contending visions of future community land rights.
Tenure in Mystery: The Status of Land under Wildlife, Forestry and Mining Concessions in Karamoja Region, Uganda
Margaret A. Rugadya and Herbert Kamusiime
In the 1960s, 94.6 per cent of the region of Karamoja was allocated to wildlife conservation. In 2002, the Ugandan Parliament approved the change in status of land use and tenure of about half of that land. More than a decade later, the local communities remain very little the wiser about the changed status of their land rights. People find their access to land is blocked and feel powerless against suspected land grabbing. Decisions on land - for conservation or for exploitation of natural resources - are being taken over the heads of the communities who live and work there and no adequate information is passed down to them. This article collates information on land given over to conservation, forestry and mining to provide a factual basis for interventions regarding communal tenure. Findings show that communities are vulnerable to internal and external loss of land and its resources - they do not have the information that would otherwise empower them to protect, negotiate and participate in ownership, use and management of their land.
Socioeconomic and Ecological Viability of Pastoralism in Loitokitok District, Southern Kenya
Simon K. Ole Seno and Salaton Tome
Pastoralism is experiencing a renewal of interest by those searching for livelihood strategies that are compatible with wildlife conservation and sustainable development. However, in the Amboseli ecosystem in southern Kenya, pastoralism is threatened by sedentarization, environmental degradation, changing weather patterns, labour constraints as children embrace education and an increase in conflict with other land uses. These factors may in turn necessitate drastic changes in policies that shape access to land and land use. This study assessed the current trends in pastoralist lifestyles, as well as the economic and environmental viability of pastoralism in the light of these changes. Overall the study found that the pastoralists' ability to adapt and cope has been severely compromised by the current changes which restrict their ability to move with their herds to follow scarce resources. However, due to various ecological and socio-cultural reasons, there still remains a chance to make pastoralism viable.
The Dawn of Uhuru? Implications of Constitutional Recognition of Communal Land Rights in Pastoral Areas of Kenya
Collins Odote
Despite large portions of land being communally owned in Kenya for centuries, the legal and policy framework on land tenure has, since 1954, focused on private ownership as the best way of managing land. This article assesses the impact that this dominant approach has had on pastoral land uses. Based on the case study of the Northern Rangelands Trust, a registered trust that provides a framework for community involvement in conservation and other livelihood options in the arid and semi-arid parts of northern Kenya, the article looks at the innovations that communities have made to provide legal support for communal land practices. The article argues that the recent land-policy changes heralded by the 2010 Constitution promise greater recognition and support for pastoralism but that, on their own, they are insufficient.
A Society in Motion: The Tuareg from the Pre-Colonial Era to Today
Andrew Alesbury
The Tuareg of the West African Sahara and Sahel have lived for centuries in an environment that has promoted lifestyles adapted to a sparsely populated, arid and harsh climate. Fostering their own variations on nomadism and developing unique societal institutions, the Tuareg forged their societal base through the cultivation of specific livelihoods particular to their environments. However, the arrival of colonial elements in the Tuareg homeland beginning in the late 1800s and the events that have unfolded since have obliged Tuareg lifestyles to adapt to radically different circumstances. This article explores when and in what ways such transformations have occurred and what impacts they have had on Tuareg livelihoods. By focusing on the prevailing means the Tuareg have employed in securing livelihoods before and after the advent of colonialism, the creation of independent states, the devastating droughts of the 1970s and 1980s and the recurrence of rebellions since the 1960s (including the presently unresolved one in Mali), this article endeavours to elucidate the transformation of Tuareg livelihoods over the past century and a half, revealing which practices have faded and which have endured.
Research Reports
Réflexion sur l’évolution de la mobilité des pasteurs nomades au Tchad: sédentarisation ou transhumance?
Serge Aubague and Patrice Grimaud
Report on Health Provision to Nomads: Improving Medical Staffing at Haima Hospital, Jiddat-il-Harasiis, Oman
Miranda Mylne, H. Thomas de Burgh and Dawn Chatty
Book Review
Ours by Right: Law, Politics and Realities of Community Property in Kenya, by P. Kameri-Mbote, C. Odote, C. Musembi and M. Kamande
Reviewed by: Robert Kibugi
Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins, edited by A. Catley, J. Lind and I. Scoones
Reviewed by: Vigdis Broch-Due
Policy Review
The ASAL Policy of Kenya: Releasing the Full Potential of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands – An Analytical Review
Michael Ochieng Odhiambo

Suggestions Welcome!