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Conflict, Environment and Poverty: A Minor Field Study from Yala Swamp, Kenya
Linköping University, The Tema Institute.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this master thesis, I have studied conflicts that have arisen because of a development project, in a wetland in the Lake Victoria region in Kenya. The aim of the project is to improve the standards of living for the local community by increased food production and employment, but it has developed into a conflict because of, among other things, competition over natural resources. The objective of this study is to analyse these conflicts and identify the causes behind them. A further aim is to analyse if the communication has been sufficient in Yala Swamp, from the stakeholders’ point of view, through out the implementation of the project. The stakeholders that were identified in the conflict are the local community that have been affected by the project, the county councils where the project is located, and the company Dominion, which is the exploiter. Conflict theory is the analytical tool used to identify causes to the conflict. Primary data was collected through qualitative research interviews and secondary data are various reports. The result of the conflict analysis shows that there is a conflict between the local community on one side, and Dominion and the county councils on the other side. The conflict is caused by incompatible goals. The goals that are incompatible, which depend on contested resources, have to the largest extent to do with land access and to some extent with employment. The reason for contested resources has its origin in that the local community feel they have been deprived the land they used to farm on and have not gained what they were promised. They also live in absolute poverty and therefore whish to have more land than they have now. Conflicts over land leads to environmental degradation when people are squeezed into limited areas and put more pressure on land. This issue needs immediate attention to not lead to violent conflicts and further environmental degradation. Foremost the local community is dissatisfied with how the communication between the stakeholders worked before the implementation of the development project and after. A committee was going to be set, but today it does not seem to work adequately from the community members’ point of view. A committee would, however, probably improve the communication and resolve some conflicts. This would reduce the conflict potential and lead to a more sustainable development for all stakeholders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för tema , 2006. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
Conflict analysis, land conflict, communication, Kenya, Lake Victoria
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7229ISRN: LIU-TEMA/MV-D--06/05--SEOAI: diva2:22264
2006-06-01, TP1, Täppan, Norrköping, 00:00
Available from: 2006-09-25 Created: 2006-09-25

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