Effects of Conflicts over Common Pool Resources on Gender among the Residents of Lower River Nyando Floodplains, Kisumu County, Kenya

Paul Okello Atieno

Egerton University, Egerton, Kenya

Samson Wokabi Mwangi

Egerton University, Egerton, Kenya

Kibet Ngetich

Egerton University, Egerton, Kenya

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20448/journal.510/2016.3.1/510.1.6.15

Keywords: Conflict, Effect of conflict, Lower, River Nyando floodplains, Gender, Common pool resources, Flood plains, Livelihood.


Common pool resource conflicts affecting communities’ livelihoods are becoming very relevant in natural resource research as it is now accepted as one of the key factors leading to poverty and loss of livelihood, although specific effect on gender is lacking. This study examined the effect of conflict over common pool resources upon gender, of varying age groups, among the residents of lower river Nyando flood plains in Kenya. The study locates use of common pool resources like water, fish, papyrus resources, and land as source of conflict among the residents of this area. The objectives were to identify the frequency of conflict, the results of conflict, and the effect of conflict over common resources on gender among the residents of Lower River Nyando flood plains. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study, and purposive and stratified sampling technique used to select 138 respondents, who were interviewed using interview schedules. Cronbach’s Alpha was used to test instrument’s reliability, and a coefficient of 76% was attained. Gender was categorized as women, men, elders, youth, and disabled, and amongst these, women were the most affected owing that most farming, papyrus harvesting, and dairy products benefit women most in households in this region. Similarly, displacement of men from grazing fields, farming, and use of water resulted into loss of income, dairy resources, and nutrition. Women, being reliant on exploitation of papyrus, lost income from this CPR conflict due to destruction of harvested papyrus and exclusion from the right to cultivate crops on disputed land. It was concluded that there is a significant relationship between gender and resource exploitation, hence conflicts relating to CPRs have gender specific effects.


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