Kenya’s Community Land Act: threat & potential for pastoralists
Kenya’s 2010 Constitution classified community land alongside public and private land as having equal status and protection. However, the Ministry of Lands, National Land Commission and county governments have no coherent strategy to roll out the Community Land Act. Development actors focus only on land registration, which can cause conflict and undermine efforts to protect community land. Meanwhile, community land continues to be expropriated without due process or consultation with communities. This is undermining pastoralist livelihoods.
The discussion brief “The threat and potential of the Community Land Act to protect the community land and pastoralist livelihoods” (2017, 2pp) by Jarso Guyo Mokku highlights the urgent need to promote an understanding of the legal protection for community land and to roll out the Act in a productive way so that strategic grazing areas and mobility and marketing routes are protected, reciprocal resource agreements are promoted and conflict is mitigated. Key to this is promoting an understanding of the Act among the communities working together to protect community land against external expropriation. This is more important than parcelling off tracts of lands, each of which is of little use on its own. The approach requires a common strategy among the governments and NGOs to protect communal rights and its productive potential to the benefit of pastoralists and other land users.
The brief was issued by the Kenyan Pastoralist Parliamentary Group together with the CELEP partner organisation DLCI (Dryland Learning and Capacity Building Initiative for Improved Policy and Practice in the Horn of Africa).