The discovery of oil, huge water aquifers, gas and coal in 2012 had the potential of boosting Kenya’s socio-economic development. The main challenge for Kenya’s emerging extractive sector however included outdated legislation, limited capacity for negotiating exploration contracts, and potential conflict over management of resources between national government, counties and within communities. Most communities living along such areas have not been consulted adequately for them to understand issues of compensation and benefits. The communities need to be well informed and give consent on land resettlement, their participation and even how to value their land to demand fair compensation and adequate involvement.
Oxfam’s work in the natural resources sector is a three programme approach that seeks to; promote women, men and youth in poor and marginalized communities secure their rights to access, control and own their land. Equally, the programme seeks to empower communities to make strategic decisions relating to their land and natural resources, monetarily and non-monetarily benefit from all forms of exploits derived from their land. In addition, Oxfam is working closely with policy makers to effectively implement accountable and transparent laws, policies and regulations.
What does success look like?
- Poor and marginalised communities increasingly have access to all contracts for natural resources in Kenya and are holding governments and investors to account by 2020.
- Women in Kenya report an increase in knowledge relating to their right to own, access and have control over natural resources by 2020.
- Women empowered and meaningfully influence and participate in decision-making about natural resources by 2020.
Community Land Rights
Oxfam’s Community Land Right Program, implemented in partnership with the Kenya Land Alliance and Namati, funded by DFID’s Security and Justice Innovation Fund, was aimed at improving land governance and strengthening tenure security at the community level. By applying innovative legal empowerment techniques, communities in Turkana and Tana River counties were supported to gain legal protection over their land and natural resources. The project has adopted Namati’s Community Land Protection methodology which is an integrated approach that combines the legal and technical work of mapping and documentation with the local governance work of resolving land conflicts, ensuring intra-community equity, and strengthening mechanisms for accountable and participatory management of land and natural resources.
Community land rights around the discovery of oil in Turkana. Views and opinions from the Turkana community.