Landbesitz und Landnutzung im Umbruch: Das Beispiel des Laikipia Distrikts nordwestlich des Mt. Kneya


  • Thomas Kohler



Mount Kenya, land use, land ownership, Kenya


Land ownership and land use in Laikipia District in the semi-arid highlands northwest of Mt. Kenya have changed considerably since independence. About one third of the areas formerly occupied by large scale ranching has been africanized and has mostly been subdivided into small holdings, a process which creates a form of land use previously unknown to the District. Most of the small scale settlement was initiated by private, i.e. non-governmental land purchase groups,which formed cooperatives and companies to pool enough money for the purchase of the large scale properties. The plot sizes resulting from sub division are very small, the majority ranging between 2 and 6 acres. They are based on the purchasing power of the shareholders, and not on ecological considerations. They cannot cover the caloric demand required for the subsistence of the small scale farming households (especially in the drier areas). Most of these try to cover the food deficit by selling smallstock or by engaging in off-farm activities. Where these fall into the category of permanent employment, the total household income is sufficient for subsistence, but where off-farm activity consists of contract work, which is often the case especially towards the dry margins of small scale settlement, the incomes are generally low and sustained subsistence, which includes meeting the minimal caloric requirements and the other basic needs of the households such as education, clothing, housing and transport, may not be guaranteed in the longer term. The changes in land use have not yet been finalized. The process is expected to continue within the small scale sector itself, which is far from being optimally adapted to the semi arid environment. The frequent maize crop failures are a case in point. Moreover, the driest places of the District are still under large scale non-african ownership. Though the movement of land purchase has come to a halt since the late 1970s, these areas might eventually be bought and subdivided, too, which would greatly increase the problems for the settlers and the District as a whole.




How to Cite

Kohler, T. (1988). Landbesitz und Landnutzung im Umbruch: Das Beispiel des Laikipia Distrikts nordwestlich des Mt. Kneya. ERDKUNDE, 42(1), 37–49.