Alternative Economic Livelihoods and Inter - Ethnic Conflict Management among Pastoral Communities: Case of West Pokot County, Kenya (2013-2020)
Mosol, Geoffrey Pkite
MetadataShow full item record
West Pokot County is considered as a hostile County owing to the Inter-Ethnic Conflicts, which have been recurring in the county over the years. It is bordered by Elgeyo - Marakwet County to the South East, Baringo County to the East, Turkana County to the North, Republic of Uganda to the West and Trans - Nzoia County to the South. The problem of Inter-Ethnic Conflict in West Pokot County has been severe over the years posing poor relationship with the residents of the neighboring counties due to reasons associated with pastoral nomadism, which attracted commercialization of cattle rustling and increased use of firearms. The study seeks to establish whether the alternative livelihoods introduced in West Pokot County could or could not be the inter-ethnic conflicts management tool in the county. The objectives of the study were: To establish causes and effects of inter-ethnic conflicts in West Pokot County; to examine the impact of alternative economic livelihoods in managing Inter - Ethnic Conflicts and to analyze sustainable strategies of alternative economic livelihoods that could manage Inter-Ethnic Conflicts. The study was informed by the Protracted Social Conflict Theory by Edward Azar, which attempted to analyze what aspects contributes to a persistent conflict in a community with intention to solving them. The study adopted a Descriptive Survey Research Design because it gives accurate observation on how things are rather than why they are the way, they are. The target populations for this study were Pastoralist youth, Administrators, women and professionals of West Pokot County. This study employed convenience and purposive sampling techniques. The data collection instruments were self-administered questionnaires and interview schedules for key informants. Qualitative and quantitative data were both obtained from the data collection. The quantitative data obtained was organized, coded and organized using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0 and was analyzed using descriptive statistics mainly percentages and frequencies, focusing on the objectives of the study. The qualitative data obtained using the interview schedule, was analyzed using thematic analysis by putting into various categories in accordance with the objectives of the study. Presentation of the results was then done in the form of tables, frequency distribution, bar graphs and pie charts. The study found that the most significant impact was the loss of lives, closure of schools and low socioeconomic growth; that nomadic pastoralism is the most practiced source of livelihoods in the county and a major contributor of inter-ethnic conflict in the County pitting the residence against ethnic communities from the neighbouring Counties; that majority of the residents believed that Wei-Wei Irrigation Project, Table Banking Micro-finance and Bodaboda” support to youth, are alternative economic livelihoods that can help manage inter-ethnic conflicts in West Pokot County. The study recommends that the County Government of West Pokot County to enhance provision of alternative economic initiatives to the residents of West Pokot County; the National Governments to collaborate with the County Government of West Pokot County to enhance implementation of alternative economic livelihoods programmes to the residents such as the youth bodaboda empowerment, Table Banking micro-finance, Wei-Wei irrigation scheme among others in order to help manage occurrence of inter-ethnic conflicts in the County; Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs to collaborate with County Government of West Pokot in focusing attention on providing initiatives that will provide employment opportunities for youth; the Youth Enterprise Fund to collaborate with the County Government of West Pokot County to develop policy on sensitizing youth on self-employment and providing seed capital so that youth can start businesses. The research suggests further study on how to lay clear strategies that could promote school going in the community to offset the huge deficit in comparison with other region of the country and whether the huge number of youth dropping their studies are ingredients to this inter-ethnic conflict in West Pokot County.