Challenges to secure land ownership and their implications to social cohesion in Nakuru County, Kenya


  • Evanson Njiru Nyaga Department of Political Science, Peace and Security Studies, Kisii University, Kenya
  • George Mose Department of Sociology, Gender and Develipment Studies, Kisii University, Kenya
  • Anthony Ichuloi Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Kisii University, Kenya
  • Pia Okeche Department of Political Science, Peace and Security Studies, Kisii University, Kenya


land conflicts, land ownership, social implications, social cohesion


Land ownership is a critical cause of land conflicts, which have deep social implications. These conflicts degenerate to violence, leading to deaths, displacements, dislocations, and mistrust among people, thereby adversely affecting social cohesion among individuals and communities. This study used a case study of Nakuru County, in Kenya to explore how historical land conflicts have evolved over time, their causes, and implication on social cohesion, given the ethnic diversity in the County. Nakuru county provided a rich ground for exploring the land conflict- social cohesion nexus given its past recurrent land-related conflicts and the heterogenic ethnic populations with differing land use behavior that set the stage for problematic competition for land resources. The study sought to identify and evaluate challenges to secure land ownership that drives land conflicts in Kenya and the implications they have on social cohesion. The study used a descriptive design to explain the underlined variables. Data collection tools were: questionnaires, interview schedules, Focused Group Discussions, and observations. The study recommended the involvement of communities in seeking solution to historical land injustices, sensitizing community members against negative ethnicity towards societal values of trust, respect for diversity and identities, tolerance as well as promoting equality and justice to enhance social cohesion.


Download data is not yet available.


Abdalla, A. (2010). Africa Peace and Conflict Journal. University of Peace, Addis Ababa Vol. 3 Number 2.

Boone, C. (2012). Land Conflict and Distributive Politics in Kenya. In African Studies Review. Volume 55, Number 1, April 2012. The University of Texas, Austin, USA.

Chelimo, S. (2014). Registration of Title to Land: A Critique of the Land Registration Act No.3 of 2012. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.

Constitution of Kenya. (2010). Nairobi: Government Printer

Community Land Act. (20l6). Nairobi: Government Printer

Delhey, J. et. al (2018). Social Cohesion and its Correlates: A Comparison of Western and Asian Societies. Journal of Comparative Sociology. Volume 17, Issue 3-4. June 2018. Brielle, The Netherlands: BRILL.

Derman, B., Odgaard R. and Sjaastad E. (2007). Conflicts over Land and Water in Africa. Oxford: Michigan University Press.

FARMUP. (2015). Baseline Survey of Agricultural Activities in Nakuru and Baringo Counties, Kenya. Nakuru: Egerton University.

Goetz, S., Shortle, J., & Bergstrom J. (2005). Contemporary land use problems and conflicts. In S. Goetz, J. Shortle and Bergstrom, J. Land Use Problems and Conflicts: Causes, consequences and solutions. Routledge: New York and London.

Huth, P., & Allee, T. (2002). Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ichuloi, A. (2018). The Dynamics of Ethnic Identity Politics in Kenya’s Political Landscape. In International Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Vol 5, Issue 11, 1-16.

Kamanthe, M. (2011). A Study on the Effects of Kenya’s Land Policies on the Land Rights of Kenyan Women. KDI School of Policy and Management. Retrieved from

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) (2019). 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census: Volume I. November, 2019. Nairobi: Government Printer.

Kipkemoi, L. J. (2015). Factors Influencing Inter-Ethnic Conflicts in Kuresoi North Sub-County: Nakuru County, Kenya. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.

Kimenyi, M., & Njuguna, N. (2006). Sporadic Ethnic Violence: Why Has Kenya Not Experienced a Full-Blown Civil War? In Economic Models and Case Studies of Civil War. Edited by Sambanis, N. and Paul, C. Retrieved from

Klare, T. (2002). Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Koissaba, O. (2015). The Maasai Contestation of Land Appropriation in Kenya: A Historical and Contemporary Perspective. New York: Centre for Indigenous Studies.

Klopp, J., & Lumumba, O., (2017). Reforms and Counter Reforms in Kenya’s Land Governance. In Review of African Political Economy. Retrieved from

Land Act, Act No.6 of 2012. Nairobi: Government Printer

Land Registration Act, Act No. 3 of 2012. Nairobi: Government Printer

Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. (2016). National Land Use Policy. Nairobi: Government of Kenya.

Murphy, W., Roberts S., & Flessas T. (2004). Understanding property law. 4th Edition.

London: Sweet and Maxwell.

National Cohesion and Integration Act (2008). Nairobi: National Council for Law Reporting.

Nakuru County Government. (2013). First County Integrated Development Plan (2013-2017). September 2013. Nakuru: Nakuru County Integrated Development Plan.

Nyakeri, B. (2012). Land Law: The Concept of Ownership and the Acquisition Rights of Land in Kenya. Nairobi: Nazarene University.

Ojienda, T. (2010). Conveyancing Principles and Practice. Nairobi: Law Africa Publishing (K)


Okowa, D. (2015). Land Reforms in Kenya: Achievements and the Missing Link. Nairobi: Institute for Law and Environmental Governance.

Onalo, P. (2008). Land Law and Conveyancing in Kenya. Nairobi: Law Africa Publishing

(K) Ltd.

Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry Appointed to Inquire into the Tribal Clashes in Kenya. (Akiwumi Commission, 1999). Nairobi: Government Printer

Report of the Commission on Illegal and Irregular Allocation of Public Land. (Ndung’u Report, 2004). Nairobi: Government Printer.

Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence. (Waki Report, 2008). Nairobi: Government Printer.

Shongolo, A. (2009). Interaction of Ethnicity and factors of Land and Power in generating the 2007 Post Election Violence in Kenya. Nakuru: Egerton University.

Sifuna, N. (2009). Public Regulation of the Use of Private Land: Opportunities and

Challenges in Kenya. In Law, Environment and Development Journal. Vol. 5 Issue 1. Retrieved from

Veit, P. (2011). History of Land Conflicts in Kenya. New York: World Resources Institute.

Wangari, J. (2016). Factors Influencing Land Ownership by Women: Case of Khwisero Constituency, Kakamega County, Kenya. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.

Wanjala, S. (2000). Problems of Land Registration and Titling in Kenya: Administrative and

Political Pitfalls and their Possible Solutions. In S.C Wanjala (Ed), Essays on Land Law: The Reform Debate in Kenya. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.

Yamano, T., & Klaus, D. (2005). Land Conflicts in Kenya: Causes, Impacts, and Resolutions. Tokyo: National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.







How to Cite

Challenges to secure land ownership and their implications to social cohesion in Nakuru County, Kenya. (2020). International Journal of Research and Scholarly Communication, 3(4), 7-23.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 16

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.