Involve pastoralists in Kenya-Uganda border deal – Dado

He says the initiative won't succeed if indigenous knowledge and experience is not incorporated.

In Summary

• Dado wants the technical committee to involve the communities in coming up with programmes and projects.

•The agreement will  be signed before the end of July at Moroto, Uganda.

Devolution and ASAL CAS Hussein Dado during a past press conference.
TAP KNOWLEDGE: Devolution and ASAL CAS Hussein Dado during a past press conference.

Devolution CAS Hussein Dado has said the Kenya-Uganda border peace deal among pastoralists could fail if it is imposed without their input.

Indigenous knowledge and experience of pastoralist communities must inform interventions in ASAL areas, Dado said on Tuesday. He is the former Tana River governor.

He told the Joint Kenya-Uganda Technical Committee on the Pokot, Turkana and Karamojong (Uganda) cross-border peace process that for sustainable peace, the communities must be involved.


The technical team is led by the Permanent Secretary Micah Powon. 

The peace deal seeks to end the perennial conflict among the Pokots, the Turkana and the Karamojong. 

Dado said, "The unique aspects of indigenous knowledge of pastoralist communities are often overlooked in designing government and donor programmes in these arid regions."

This lack of involvement makes them fail in the long run, he said.

Dado, who is also in charge of ASAL programmes, said the peace process could fail if foreign ideas are imposed on the three communities.

“The tendency to parachute in with a programme for the people while disregarding their existing useful knowledge has killed many noble interventions,” he said.

The technical committee met at Sarova Panafric Hotel for two days — from Monday — to fine-tune the details of the peace deal among the three communities.


They have fought for decades over water and pasture. 

The deal is due to be signed before the end of July in the Moroto area of Uganda.

Dado said mos donors and state agents in the past have viewed communities in marginalised regions as inferiors who need to be "saved from their problems'.

This approach has resulted in "catastrophic failures", he said.

“Through conditioning and by virtue of the environment, the pastoralist has the best geographical map in his head," Dado said.

He said pastoralists reliably predict the weather and have first-hand knowledge of vector-borne diseases afflicting cattle and humans. This knowledge can enrich programmes, he said.

The MoU details a series of joint cross-border activities up to 2023. These include strengthening of peace committees, infrastructure (water, health, education, power, telecommunications, commerce, and joint security initiatives. These include organised seizure of illegally owned firearms.

It will also provide guidance on how the bordering communities will allow each other to access water and grazing land during droughts.

Edited by E. Kibii