An Analysis of the Social and Economic Effects of Land Tenure Practices among the Maasai Community in Ngong Division, Kajiado County, Kenya

Jonathan Mumo Kinyenze, Charity Irungu

Abstract


Kenya's population has increased more than fourfold since 1963, from 8.1 million to more than
43 million people. The majority of the population lives in the rural areas and depends mainly on
land as a productive resource. This increase in population therefore has put a lot of pressure on
land resulting in land tenure changes even amongst the pastoral communities in Kenya. This
study sought to answer the research questions: How has land tenure changed over the last 50
years amongst the pastoral Maasai of Ngong, Kenya; and what are the socio-economic effects of
the changes in land tenure among the Maasai of Ngong, Kenya. A descriptive survey using semistructured
questionnaires from 120 purposively selected respondents, as well focused group
discussions and key informant interviews were done to generate data for the study. The results
showed that communal land ownership is still being practiced although individual land
ownership is increasingly replacing the latter. This trend is fuelled mainly by economic factors,
population growth, government policies and climatic changes. These changes have overall
negatively altered the livelihood and lifestyles of the community members.
Key words: Land Tenure, Population growth, Poverty, Pastoralism, Maasai, Kenya

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