Conflicts around access to land and water

Some recent conflicts in Kenya have revolved around access to land and water.

In 2007, for example, the post-election violence quickly degenerated into various communities fighting each other over access to grazing and farmland.

And during the 2009 drought, flower farms began to construct canals between their farms and the lake to abstract water. Two children died from falling into these canals, which also injured Maasai herders’ cattle. This led to fighting between the pastoralists and flower farms. The police intervened and there were three deaths. The media, which is predominantly anti-flower farm, put a spotlight on the issue, focusing on the errors of the flower farms.

Yet, such violence is not inevitable. Distributing natural resources more fairly, increasing trust between communities, and ensuring greater public consultation are vital steps for dealing with climate change in a peaceful and inclusive way.