Panel 22: LIVELIHOODS – Pastoralism

Large land deals involving a range of domestic and transnational investors are reconfiguring access to resources in drylands in sub-Saharan Africa and presenting new threats for pastoralists inhabiting these environments. The livelihoods of pastoralists depend greatly on mobility and flexibility to access key resource areas notably along rivers and sub-humid plains that are not under cultivation. However, these are also the prime areas for new investment and agricultural development. This panel explores the dynamics of land deals in several pastoral areas in Kenya, where a number of major commercial land deals have recently concluded or are in the process of negotiation.

Papers by John Letai and Abdirizak Nunow examine the nature and scale of these land deals in Laikipia and the Tana Delta region respectively, the processes through which have they been initiated and concluded, and their implications for pastoralist livelihoods. Marcel Rutten provides a deeper historical perspective on land deals and the privatisation of rangelands in semi-arid areas of Kenya to critically examine whether a generation of titling has increased security or created new vulnerability for pastoralists. The panel will also examine what, if anything, can be done to support pastoralists’ rights to key resources in a context of new commercial land deals.

Chair: Jeremy Lind, IDS Sussex

  • Abdirizak Nunow, Moi University, The Dynamics of Land Deals in the Tana Delta, Kenya (Presentation)
  • John Letai, Oxfam GB in Kenya, The Genesis of Land deals in Kenya and its Implication for Pastoral Livelihoods – A Case Study of Laikipia District (Presentation)
  • Marcel Rutten, Africa Studies Centre, Leiden University, Selling Wealth to Buy Poverty: 20 years of Titling Experiences in Semi-Arid Kenya – Raising Security or a Sell Out to Foreign Onvestors? (Presentation)

Ngeta Kabiri