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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Norvège → Pastoral transformation : Shifta-war, livelihood, and gender perspectives among the Waso Borana in Northern Kenya

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (2010)

Pastoral transformation : Shifta-war, livelihood, and gender perspectives among the Waso Borana in Northern Kenya

Khalif, Zeinabu Kabale

Titre : Pastoral transformation : Shifta-war, livelihood, and gender perspectives among the Waso Borana in Northern Kenya

Auteur : Khalif, Zeinabu Kabale

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Grade : Doctoral thesis 2010

Résumé partiel
This thesis is concerned with the analysis of external and internal drivers of pastoral transformation (i.e. conflicts), their long-term impact on the pastoral livelihood, and community response mechanisms. The thesis examines the roles of a secessionist war and subsequent banditry and violent conflicts in the socio-economic transformation of the Waso Borana pastoralists of Northern Kenya. The thesis shows that a drastic decline in pastoral production following socio-political upheavals in the early years of Kenya’s independence has had major ramifications for pastoral economy and societal coping strategies. The Waso Borana’s responses to pastoral decline reflect changes as well as continuity of the pastoral way of life. The main change is the shift from the total dependence on pastoral production to a diversified economy that includes non-pastoral activities. Changes and continuity can be seen in the gendered responses to pastoral transformation, particularly in the roles played by women as part of their household’s coping strategy. This thesis focuses specifically on how women engage in market economies and how they mobilise resources for their households using indigenous social networks. Moreover, the thesis examines external initiatives such as the introduction of formal women’s organisations as part of the development agenda pursued by the state and other development agencies. The thesis shows that processes of pastoral transformation are not linear but differ from one community to another and also between households within the same community. A fruitful insight into change and continuity in pastoral society cannot be adequately achieved without considering the peculiarity of the societal structure, historical background, and politics of a particular geographical location. In this regard, the thesis uses studies of three localities : Kinna, Kulamawe, and Merti, representing different livelihood strategies. Paper I examines the longterm impact of the Shifta war on Waso Borana pastoral production and societal responses. The main finding is that the protracted conflicts in the Waso rangeland resulted in human casualties, loss of livestock, and the displacement of populations. An assessment of livestock herd size in the three communities shows that households are not achieving the same levels of livestock growth compared to the pre-Shifta war period. The perception of the community is that the conflicts exacerbated the impact of environmental and economic turbulence. Recurrent drought, persistent banditry, and the changing ecology of the rangelands are blamed for the lack of recovery. The Shifta war has had numerous ramifications for the Waso Borana. Firstly, the massive loss of herds has had a long-term impact on pastoral economy, forcing many households out of pastoral production and into sedentary lifestyles. The responses of the community are discussed in papers II-IV.

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