Turkana's new water sources: catalysers for livelihood transformation? Analysing the impact of the newly found water resources on livelihoods and conflicts in Northern Turkana

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This research focuses on the aquifer discoveries of September 2013 in the drought prone region of Northern Turkana, Kenya. The goal of this research has been to find out the impact of the newly found water resources on livelihoods and livelihood change in the conflicted affected areas of Northern Turkana. In this mixed-methods research, this has been investigated by questioning the people of Northern Turkana regarding their preferences and expectations for possible livelihood changes. The analytical frameworks used are the Galtung conflict triangle and the Cocoon Initiative Kenya Framework for the natural resources-conflict nexus. Preferences for the usage of water have been towards life needs such as water through boreholes and troughs, food(security) through irrigated agriculture and feedlots to provide livestock fodder. Expected livelihood changes entail a possible increase in sedentarised Turkana population, possible increase in general livelihood options, possible increase into partial agricultural livelihoods and a possible increase in education. These livelihood diversifications might influence the pastoralist conflicts in multiple ways, both positive and negative, influencing the conflict situations, conflict behaviour and conflict attitudes. In the end respondents perceive the possible livelihood diversifications as a positive development, which in turn could lead to changes in the pastoralist conflicts.
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