Posted on November 28, 2009 with No Comments
Land and Pastoralists
No issue is more critical to the future well-being of Kenya’s pastoral populations than secure land tenure. Herders’ access, particularly during dry months, to grazing land and water resources is the essence of any pastoral existence. Pastoralists’ concern with security of land tenure overrides other development considerations – provision of technical assistance in the areas of animal health, marketing, cooperatives, and water development. Only when the land tenure issue is boldly addressed will sustained development take place in Kenya’s rangelands. This essay briefly describes and analyzes the history of the pastoral lands crisis in Kenya, the social and ecological effects of insecure tenure, and contemporary efforts toward redressing the pastoral land issue in Kenya.
Comments: Once, Maasai land, roughly 1 million acres that once served as the cushion for droughts like this one, but it was coerced from the Maasai to make way for white settlement in British East Africa at the turn of the 20th century. This land, part of what is known today as the White Highlands, has been the root of contention between the Maasai and the Kenyan government since independence in 1963. “The Maasai experienced the biggest colonial land rip-off in all of Africa,” said William Ole Ntimama, Maasai Minister of Parliament for Narok North.
With the stroke of a pen on June 15, 1895, Maasai land became part of British East Africa. Using force, intimidation, and coercion, colonial officials succeeded in signing two agreements with Maasai representatives, the first in 1904 and the second in 1911. The 1904 agreement removed the Maasai from the most fertile lands in all of Kenya, paving the way for white farmers and agribusinesses. Samburu is understocked and sparsely populated. Their land has been receding over time. In Samburu, the average family owns 4 cows. Very few have large herds. September 9
Reuben Lemadada This is true. We do not have enough cows..the few we have do not benefit us enough to survive…we have vast land that do not benefit us except a few business pple…everything seems odd. What can be done to elevate the pastrol community from poverty? Over 50% of their land has been placed into conservancies with darn little compensation for it! Less than .01 % of revenue returns to the people. This is outrageous.