Ten years ago this month Kenyan troops invaded Somalia. Coverage of the incursion by the Kenyan media has consistently and uncritically favoured the Kenya Defence Forces.
The government has passed laws that routinely undervalue pastoralists’ land and undermine pastoralism as a system of production and main source of livelihood in the drylands.
The fake councils of elders invented by the political class have robbed elders in northern Kenya of their legitimacy. It will take the intervention of professionals and true elders to end this adulteration of traditional institutions.
For clan elders in Wajir County, a less educated male candidate is still preferable to an educated woman who is regarded as a “weak” leader who cannot deliver on expectations.
The nature of the conflict in Marsabit has changed. Deaths are tallied, and ledgers of the unmourned dead are meticulously kept.
The law needs to be changed to allow herders to carry arms to safeguard livestock rearing which is a valuable economic activity in northern Kenya.
The election of a new national leadership in Somalia will offer an opportunity to develop a new common framework for cooperation.
The discovery of oil and water in Turkana might not be the only answer to the development challenges of this violence-prone county.
In policy and popular discourse, pastoralism is cast as an outmoded form of production. Despite empirical evidence, pastoralism is seen as a drag on national development. This framing of pastoralism has its root's in colonialism, where the colonialists worked overtime to sedentarism pastoralists. As a result, policymakers even post-colonial have ignored and marginalised pastoralists. Despite the neglect, pastoralism continues to contribute to the national GDP. The Elephant's Abdullahi Boru in conversation with Guyo Malicha Roba, a researcher and expert on African pastoralism and livestock value chain.
Kenyan mass media is a replica of news outlets from the global north and its relationship with northern Kenya mirrors how mainstream media in the West portrays African countries.
With climate trend likely to worsen, it is crucial now for development partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and policymakers to rethink climate change adaptation and management in light of pastoralist's indigenous knowledge and traditional resource governance structure such as Deedha to protect pastoralism which has continued to provide a lifeline to millions of households in the horn of Africa.
Since its creation, northern Kenya has been marginalised, alienated and dispossessed by both internal and external actors. The region has been underdeveloped by the central government’s failure to allocate adequate resources. Yet, opines Abdullahi Boru, the future of project Kenya may in fact lay in the development of Northern Kenya.