Zona de Desastre


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The arid/semi-arid northern districts (Turkana, Baringo, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia) are part of a
conflict-affected region, ravaged by internal and cross-border conflict with raiders from Uganda, Sudan,
Somalia, Ethiopia.

Pastoralist groups in these areas (2 million people, 70% women & children) have highest poverty
(among 10 poorest Kenya districts), lowest education levels with large numbers out-of-school, highest
food insecurity (crisis status on famine-index), and experience highest levels of civil insecurity. 90% are
dependent on animal husbandry and subsistence agriculture. Unreliable rainfall and cyclical drought
impoverishes, causes food scarcity, malnutrition, and high child mortality. Competition over scarce
pasture and water is often severe and violent. Cattle rustling, traditionally practiced, has become more
destructive with increasing poverty and proliferation of illicit arms and the influence of external
political and economic motives.

Land grabs and political incitement is contributing to growing ethnocentrism and violence. Lack of
clarity and breach of rights related to boundaries, inheritance and land sales, user rights, evictions as the
major concerns.

Livelihoods are frequently disrupted, and unemployment among young pastorals, is turning them into
key participants in perpetuating conflicts. Welfare facilities are limited, and the few that exist are
destroyed, leaving children with no access to education and health services. The perpetual conflict
makes it difficult to carry out effective development action and infrastructure building. There is
frequent loss of life/property, and displacement of people (115,182 Internally Displaced People),
rendered landless and without access to livelihoods. In the camps of the displaced, there is a high level
of starvation, epidemics, as well as increased rape, assault, prostitution, child labour. There is a
disproportionate effect on children and women, with associated impaired development and psychosocial
trauma, and inadequacy of protection, relief and peace building measures/interventions. Conflict
management is made difficult due to remoteness of the area and nomadism of pastorals. There is
inadequate state security, whereas influence of traditional governance systems is diminishing.

Markets and Poverty in Northern Kenya


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