Kenya: Traditional council to manage grazing amidst drought (Trust)

| July 11, 2016

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Pastoralists in northeast Kenya are reviving a traditional council system to better manage grazing, particularly when resources are limited—like during a drought.

Isiolo County is suffering increasingly frequent and longer droughts, which can wipe out a community’s herds. Pastoralism is the main source of income in this region.

But the Borana people, who own land communally, have decided to manage their land through their traditional “Dedha” councils. These councils resolve resource disputes among herders by managing where animals graze and which water sources livestock can drink from.

The council system was abandoned after Kenya’s independence, when the government refused to recognize its authority and preferred to let police manage disputes.

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Photo credit: TRF/Anthony Langat