Dynamics of Land Use Changes on The Livelihoods of The Local Communities in Baringo County: Understanding The Drivers

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Date
2021-09-09
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International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
Abstract
This paper examined the dynamics of land use changes on the livelihood of the local communities in Baringo County. Land is a principal factor of production, a source of life and livelihoods. It provides a means of living and a variety of uses such as agricultural, human settlement, environmental conservation, urban and industrial development purposes among others. These uses compete for space in a fixed area, hence the rising land use conflicts and degradation. The situation has threatened lives and livelihoods, making it difficult to plan for the livelihood activities in the County. This is happening against the backdrop of land use policy changes including; sessional paper no 3 of 2009 on the National Land Policy, the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Land Act, 2012, the Land Registration Act, 2012, the Community Land Act, 2016 and sessional paper no 1 of 2017 on National Land Use Policy that were intended to alleviate the situation. This situation is now a major threat to the livelihood of the local communities in Baringo County. This study, therefore, sought to examined the dynamics of land use changes on the livelihood of the local communities in Baringo county with specific objective to establish the drivers of the changes. A comprehensive desk review of existing literature was done, and land use changes were descriptively analyzed. The review spanned from pre-colonial (before 1895), colonial (1895 to 1963), independence (1963 to 2010) including the subsequent years of land reforms following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 onwards to 2020. The study found that the key drivers of land use changes originate from the change of land use policies from customary to European-like systems during the colonial era (1895 to 1963). These drivers revolve around the conflicts in the application of land use policies and laws, dual production system (different land use for registered private land in arable areas and the unregistered community land in non-arable areas within the county) occasioning wide productivity gap and economic disparity. Further the knowledge gaps associated with colonial perceptions, ideologies, and attitudinal practices, which led to misconception and wrong policies aggravated the situation. The consequences disorganize the local community land use and social system, broke down the traditional grazing and cropping patterns, depleted soils fertility & degraded the environment. In addition, the study found out that in the unregistered community land, land use conflicts were rampant, and characterized by invaded and claim interest as well as unscrupulous legal manipulation of land ownership records leading to dispossession. These two salient features are the main drivers of land use changes that led to continuous and frequent fatal inter-ethnic land use conflicts among the local communities; causing displacement and destruction of property among other atrocities working against politically weak local community. This scenario destabilized livelihood possibilities making it difficult for local communities to engage in basic livelihood activities and create uncertainty for future development. The study concluded that the security of land tenure perpetrates land use conflicts particularly in the unregistered community land. The government, therefore, need to register the community land to enhance land tenure security in the county.
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Kateiya, E. L.,Thuo, A. D. M., & Ombok, M. O. (2021). Dynamics of Land Use Changes on The Livelihoods of The Local Communities in Baringo County: Understanding The Drivers. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 11(9), 560–591.