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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4386; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124386

From Herding to Farming under Adaptation Interventions in Southern Kenya: A Critical Perspective

1
Department of Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Earth and Life Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract

Improving water supply for irrigable farming and livestock purposes in communities in Africa is an increasingly popular approach for community-based adaptation interventions. A widespread intervention is the construction of agro-pastoral dams and irrigation schemes in traditionally pastoral communities that face a drying climate. Taking the Maji Moto Maasai community in southern Kenya as a case study, this article demonstrates that water access inequality can lead to a breakdown of pre-existing social capital and former pastoral cooperative structures within a community. When such interventions trigger new water uses, such as farming in former pastoral landscapes, there are no traditional customary institutional structures in place to manage the new water resource. The resulting easily corruptible local water management institutions are a main consolidator of water access inequalities for intervention beneficiaries, where socio-economic standing often determines benefits from interventions. Ultimately, technological adaptation interventions such as agro-pastoral dams may result in tensions and a high fragmentation of adaptive capacity within target communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation intervention; agro-pastoralism; water access; social capital; cooperation; conflict; Kenya; adaptive capacity adaptation intervention; agro-pastoralism; water access; social capital; cooperation; conflict; Kenya; adaptive capacity
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Weesie, R.; Kronenburg García, A. From Herding to Farming under Adaptation Interventions in Southern Kenya: A Critical Perspective. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4386.

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