Pastoralism and Land-Tenure Change in Kenya: The Failure of Customary Institutions | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
Diciembre 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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