P 14

Land Use and Mobile Livelihoods: Intersectional Perspectives on Pastoralism, Migration, and Displacement

Panel abstract
The interplay of land use and mobile livelihoods offers exciting perspectives to new and old forms of maintaining a living. Our specific interest lies in populations that are on the move. This includes pastoral communities, migrants, and people who have been displaced by development projects, nature, or civil strife. One can observe a transformation and yet continuation of mobile land use techniques like pastoralism (nomadic herding) especially in areas which are otherwise difficult to access or commodify. Migration patterns also influence local land use systems. Also, customary tenure systems change through individual members’ travelling strategies with implications for women’s land access and use rights. In the context of border crossing and reintegration of both voluntary and involuntary return migrants, access to land plays a vital role. So do internal migrants who often re-locate in search of farmlands. All of these issues are highly interconnected. Land acquisitions lead to massive migrations, displacements and sedentarization. Displaced pastoralists become migrants to the global North. Not only conflicts and civil wars can be explained by struggles over land but land ownership and land rights also play a pivotal role in peace building process and the repatriation and reintegration of refugees and displaced people.

Time: Thursday, 28/06/2018, 8.30 - 10.30 am
Venue: Seminargebäude, S 420

Convenors
Akua Opokua Britwum (University of Cape Coast, Ghana)
Ulrike Schultz (Friedensau Adventist University)

Panellists
Jill Blau (Friedensau Adventist University)
Tra Goin Lou Tina Virginie (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Prisca Ama Anima, Simon Mariwah & Kwabena Barima Antwi (University of Cape Coast, Ghana)
Dickson Ogbonnaya Igwe (National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria)
Florian Köhler (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle)
Maurine Ningala (Egerton University, Nakuru, Kenya)
Babere Kerata Chacha (Laikipia University, Eldoret, Kenya)

 

Paper abstracts

Jill Blau
Sedentarization and the Modern State: Pastoralists in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to many pastoralists and semi-pastoralists. Instead of recognizing the contribution pastoralists have in maintaining an ecosystem, the state has an active sedentarization policy, undermining both customary institutions and future visions of the pastoralists. This takes the form of so-called ‘villagization’ as a more subtle state action and military violence in harsher scenarios. This paper discusses the Ethiopian state’s strategy and asks whether it is possible to give justice both to the livelihood of Ethiopian pastoralists as well as to the state's vision of ‘development’. Can one, in an overall industrial-agrarian agenda, find a space for pastoralists at all? What have other African and European states done with pastoralists and what are feasible future visions? A special focus will be placed on the role of persons in the administration with pastoralist backgrounds.

Tra Goin Lou Tina Virginie
When Changes Jeopardize the Access to Pastureland: the History of Livestock Farming in Northern Côte d’Ivoire

For many years, transhumant pastoralists have been moving to Côte d’Ivoire with their livestock during the transhumance period. This movement has considerably amplified due to the effect of droughts that have occurred in the Sahel between 1970 and 1980. This movement was encouraged by the Ivorian government which facilitated the settlement of these herders in the northern part of the country by the implementation of SODEPRA in 1972 (Société de Développement des Productions Animales). Despite problems encountered (conflicts, diseases due to the presence of tsetse flies, economic issues) the areas have recorded an increase of local livestock. Also, the presence of these herders has favoured a growing interest in livestock ownership among local people who use livestock as assets, further increasing local livestock numbers. However, in recent years, increasing climate variability in the Sahel has provoked an earlier arrival of transhumant pastoralists into these areas, where the introduction of perennial and cash crops has caused an extremely rapid local population growth. This precarious situation has deteriorated substantially due to the socio-political crisis that affected the country from 2002 to 2011. All these above-mentioned events have increased the pressure on resources and have exacerbated conflicts over access to pastureland. By using a political ecology approach, this paper addresses the issues related to the access to pastureland, focusing on the history of livestock breeding in Côte d’Ivoire and its consequences on actors’ interactions.

Prisca Ama Anima, Simon Mariwah & Kwabena Barima Antwi
Shifting Livelihood Activities in Response to the Construction of the Bui Dam in Ghana

Rural livelihoods mostly depend on natural capital and the construction of a dam (which takes a large tract of land) can substantially challenge the security of rural livelihoods. In this study, we therefore sought to assess the shifts in livelihood activities, resulting from the construction of the Bui Dam, and the role of stakeholders in ensuring livelihood security. Employing a mixed method design, 188 households in the 8 resettled communities were selected for the study through a census. In addition, 11 key informants and stakeholders were purposively selected and interviewed. It was revealed that the construction of the dam has led to a great shift in the livelihood activities of the people from predominantly agriculture (farming and fishing) to trading, due mainly to decreased farmlands and loss of access to the rivers and streams. Meanwhile, efforts of stakeholders have not been adequate to ensure livelihood security for the surrounding communities. It is therefore recommended that to ensure livelihood security, the Bui Power Authority, Banda and Bole District Assemblies should support technical and vocational training to enhance the skills of the residents in non-farm livelihood activities.

Dickson Ogbonnaya Igwe
The Social Context of Ezillo and Ezza-Ezillo Land Conflict in Ezillo Community, Ebonyi State, South-East Nigeria

This project examines the context of over eight decades-old intermittent land conflict between Ezillo and Ezza community groups in Ezillo community. It interrogates the existing contentions on authority intersecting social identity classification to constrain land access and use that obstruct livelihood and communal survival. The study argues that identity supremacy claims undermines effective network in land relations and promotes a rivalry between perceived in-group and out-group that restrict inclusive access and use of land. These concerns combine to exacerbate rural impoverishment and conflicts. This research focuses on the social context of Ezillo and Ezza-Ezillo land conflict in Ezillo community, Ebonyi State, South-East Nigeria. Its adopted qualitative methodology and preliminary reports reveal historical and contemporary nuanced context of the intra-communal conflict that makes land matters intractable factor of attrition for supposedly Ezza and Ezillo ‘brothers’. Revealed, also, is how contemporary identity debates continue to be shaped by socio-historical processes in Africa.

Florian Köhler
Sedentarization, Territorialization, and New Mobilities Among Pastoralists in Niger

Based on extensive fieldwork, this paper discusses recent strategies of land appropriation among Fulɓe Woɗaaɓe pastoralists in Niger. Once a paradigmatic case of highly mobile nomadic pastoralists, the Woɗaaɓe are today engaged in a process of livelihood diversification, based notably on regional urban work migration and agro-pastoralism that goes together with partial sedentarization in the vicinity of pastoral wells. The latter must also be understood as a strategy to secure access to the increasingly competed land resources on the basis of recent land tenure laws. While historically mobile pastoralism in Niger was characterized by collective appropriation of pastoral resources without territorial property, the new texts grant settling pastoralist communities priority use rights over local grazing lands, yet only on condition of a permanent local fixation. Since sedentariness does not suit the herds’ grazing needs, however, new models are developed which combine household stability with herd mobility – although with undesirable social and nutritional effects. The recent transformations have thus not entailed the end of mobility, but rather, mobility takes new forms and new dimensions. Urban migrants, who generally maintain close social ties to their pastoral home communities are also often highly mobile and move regularly between the pastoral zone and the city. The paper shows the key role of this translocal connectedness for the rural transformation processes. With their urban connections, migrants bring in new ideas and concepts as well as the knowledge of administrative requirements necessary to translate the legal options resulting from the new spatial practices into definitively recognized land rights.

Maurine Ningala
Land Tenure, Resource Struggle, and Power Relations in Western Kenya

Studies on gender in Africa tend to view policies such as registration and the privatization of land as a setback for women which leaves women in a state of even greater insecurity with poorer prospects for accessing land and obtaining a livelihood. In addition, commercialized agricultural production, privatization of land, land scarcity, urbanization, increased commercialization, and the expansion of non-agricultural incomes have lessened dependency on clan-controlled land and hence negatively affected women. In other words, it has commonly been argued that customary land tenure systems were eroded and transformed in ways that were disadvantageous to women. The focus of this analysis is the inherent tension in a system in which husbands have ultimate control over the property – livestock and land – that wives are expected to hold in trust for their sons. Consequently, the question is what customary strategies do women invoke to traverse these barriers? Woman-to-woman marriage is such an example of such strategy. These highly structured relationships appear to have been an essential aspect of African society that occur(ed) in different forms and purposes in many African societies. However, debates have emerged on the nature of sexual practices associated with the marriage and or whether the marrying woman attains a transformed status. The paper intends to adopt a gender perspective on the analysis of customary law to ascertain the efficacy, relevance, scope, and capacity of African customary law to adapt and answer to the current claims and demands of women regarding their legal status in society. Thus the study requires an analysis of the nature of customary law in Kenya and the ways in which it treats women. It will locate the historical and present status of this form of law and how it relates and intersects with state law.

Babere Kerata Chacha
From Pastoralists to Tobacco Peasants: Land Use and Change in Kuria District Kenya, 1945-2002

This study is a historical examination of a tobacco-growing peasantry in Kuria District of Kenya. The focus of the study is an attempt to understanding the history of men and women for whom tobacco became an important part of their existence as small-scale agricultural contract producers for the tobacco companies. The study also examines how tobacco farming has continued to transform a people previously associated with a predominant livestock economy into tobacco producers for the international market. The emphasis is placed on the socio-ecological change that has occurred in Kuria District in relation to changing modes of production – from agro-pastoralism to a large tobacco production. By so doing, the social dynamics that have operated within these conditions will bring a better understanding of the nature of the problems of Kuria agriculture. Ultimately, such an approach is best able to reveal the reasons for the poor agricultural performance of many African societies in the post-colonial era. The study takes into account not only shifts in land use and valuation but also the ways that the Kuria have come to conceive of, and work with, local ecological dynamics.