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Traditional pastoralist decision-making processes: lessons for reforms to water resources management in Kenya


  • Lance Robinson
  • John Sinclair
  • Harry Spaling


The purpose of this paper is to consider the vision for public participation in water resources management embedded in Kenya's 2002 Water Act, as it relates to pastoralists. The Act envisions that responsibility for management of water resources at the local level will be devolved to community-level bodies. Our approach was qualitative and included interviews with government officials and Gabra pastoralists, observation of and participation in traditional Gabra korra meetings and focus group discussions. We conclude that the 'institutional model' of participation being pursued through the creation of Water Resource User Associations is particularly problematic for mobile pastoralists such as the Gabra, and we suggest an alternative strategy that would focus on the fostering of deliberation processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Lance Robinson & John Sinclair & Harry Spaling, 2010. "Traditional pastoralist decision-making processes: lessons for reforms to water resources management in Kenya," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(7), pages 847-862.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:53:y:2010:i:7:p:847-862 DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.490051

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jakob, Martin, 2006. "Marginal costs and co-benefits of energy efficiency investments: The case of the Swiss residential sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 172-187, January.
    2. Urge-Vorsatz, Diana & Novikova, Aleksandra, 2008. "Potentials and costs of carbon dioxide mitigation in the world's buildings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 642-661, February.
    3. Niederberger, Anne Arquit, 2005. "The Swiss Climate Penny: An innovative approach to transport sector emissions," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 303-313, July.
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