Community Mapping Using STDM Enhances Sustainable Management of Communal Resources in Bomet, Kenya

Cheptuyet communal resource management committee pose for a photo in front of the Cheptuyet community cattle dip

The smallholder dairy farmers in Sugurmerka,  Bomet County, re-commissioned their Cheptuyet cattle dip facility after successfully reclaiming it and the land from a land grabber. This was achieved following the implementation of phase 1 of the “Securing shared communal resources through and recordation in Bomet Project” using the Social Tenure Domain Model. The community mapping revealed that the land on which the dip facility was built belongs to the community and not the individual. The dairy farmers belong to the Dairy Commercialization Area 1 (DCA1) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) supported Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Project (SDCP) in Bomet County. With support from Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)’s regional project Land and Natural Resources Tenure Security Learning Initiative, SDCP in partnership with RECONCILE facilitated participatory enumeration of dairy farm households and their animals, and mapping of community grazing land and livestock resources in October 2016.

“The dip has been a subject of concern in the community as the land where it is situated had been grabbed by an individual in the community who erected a fence to curtail the movement of cattle in the area”, said Mr Hezekiel Towett, Treasurer of Communal Resources Management Committee. “We had a certain individual who had encroached into land surrounding the dip, erected a fence around the dip to stop the community from using the dip. He noticed our activities around the communal resource and seemingly got scared, conceding the dip to the community”. “Since we mapped the entire communal resources in Sugurmerka, and reclaimed the cattle dip facility people in the community are now bringing their 1,500 plus animals to Cheptuyet for pest control,” said Mr Towett.

 DCA1 is in Sugurmerka, Chepalungu Sub-County of Bomet County and was selected after a series of community meetings between GLTN, RECONCILE, SDCP, Bomet County government and DCA leaders in Bomet. ”Participatory enumerations generated a database of 498 smallholder dairy farmers and their animals, and community mapping recorded 43 key communal natural resources, (salt licks points, water points, and cattle dips among others) and revealed gaps in terms of accessibility to these communal resources and how these were interlinked to tenure security issues”, said Daniel Langat, Secretary of DCA1. “The process has enabled the Sugurmeka community to identify critical shared resources, develop tenure rules to strengthen the security of their grazing rights from encroachers and land grabbers, and rules for sustainable utilisation of the shared grazing land and water resources,” said Langat.

As part of the sustainability plan for the cattle dipping facility, “farmers agreed to pay a fee of Ksh10 on each animal dip that is done every Saturday”, said Mr Towett, and he continued “… that the community has reached out to the County Government for laboratory technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries collect water samples every month from the dip for testing the viability of the pesticides in use and report back within three days to the community via the local SDCP office”. Adding his remarks, Mr Evans Kiplagat, SDCP Project Coordinator in Bomet County, indicated that “the dip facility users also agreed that clearing of the water and contents of the dip is done once in three months”. The re-commissioned cattle dip facility has now been placed under the management of a thirteen person committee drawn from the local community (Sigor, Nyagores and Kipkeres Wards) who working in conjunction with the local SDCP office oversee the financial operations and general management of the communal resource.

TSLI-ESA is a regional project of UN-Habitat/GLTN and IFAD whose main goal is to strengthen security of tenure on land and natural resources through integration of pro-poor land tenure tools in IFAD supported projects and programmes in selected countries in the East and Southern Africa region. By integrating pro-poor and gender-sensitive land documentation tools, TSLI-ESA strengthens the rights of poor communities in IFAD-supported projects and programmes to land and natural resources and the revenue streams linked to those rights.