Pastoralism and Land-Tenure Change in Kenya: The Failure of Customary Institutions | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
December 2016
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Until recently, the Pokot in the highlands of the Baringo area in Kenya have practised semi-nomadic pastoralism. Today they are rapidly sedentarizing and in many areas suitable for farming, they are adopting rain-fed agriculture. As a result of these dynamics, claims to individual property on de facto communal rangelands have arisen, and to such an extent that they seriously threaten the peace of the community. This article explores the conflicts that emerge in the transition from common property to private tenure. Using locally prominent land disputes as exemplary cases, it focuses on the role of traditional gerontocratic authorities in the attempt to resolve a growing number of land disputes; on the emerging power of patrilineal clans and local elites in the enforcement of access to land; and on the incompetence of government agencies to intervene. The failure of customary institutions to ensure land tenure security leads to a situation in which women and marginalized actors in particular are threatened with displacement, and in which most local actors want the state to intervene and establish formal property rights

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The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

It is a graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science, founded in 1952 and able to draw on sixty years of experience.

ISS is a highly diverse international community of scholars and students from the global south and the north, which brings together people, ideas and insights in a multi-disciplinary setting which nurtures, fosters and promotes critical thinking and conducts innovative research into fundamental social problems.

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ILRI's strategy 2013-2022 was approved in December 2012. It emerged from a wide processof consultation and engagement.

ILRI envisions... a world where all people have access to enough food and livelihood options to fulfil their potential.

ILRI’s mission is... to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock—ensuring better lives through livestock.

ILRI’s three strategic objectives are:

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