La résilience

Greater Karamoja Cluster | Local perspectives on peace: community testimonials

Mar 2020

This gallery documents beneficiary-level testimonials from cross-border communities on the Kenyan and Ugandan sides of the Karamoja Cluster, an area slightly smaller than the UK and also spanning Ethiopian and South Sudanese border zones. The region is home to 4.5 million people, largely pastoralists, and twice as many cattle, putting livestock at the heart of lives and livelihoods. IPC analyses show Phase 3 crisis in the Karamoja region, and food insecurity in the cluster is a persistent concern. Pastoralist communities symbiotically rely on knowledge and resource sharing to ensure the survival of their families and flocks, communicating crucial information relevant to herding while traveling across their own borders in search of water and grazing ground.

This interdependence and mobility were shaken by years of violent disputes. Though feuds around access to natural resources were never uncommon, petty tensions flared into armed cattle raids with the proliferation of guns. A climate of violence and fear soon segmented pastoralist groups, disrupting traditional knowledge networks and curtailing the movement of herders and their families—movement upon which their lives depend.

A set of FAO interventions carried out over a decade-long period and documented as a good practice by KORE, “Cross-border coordination of livestock movements and sharing of natural resources among pastoralist communities in the Greater Karamoja Cluster,” helped restore mobility and revive longstanding traditions of knowledge sharing. The interventions, which were selected as one of 25 best practices to be displayed at this year’s Expo Dubai, relied on a community-centered approach along the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus and involved four levels of participation, including community leaders, local governments, national governments, and regional governments, namely IGAD. Beginning with community peace dialogues and local peace agreements between pastoralist elders, the intervention culminated in the historic signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, which allows for cross-border access to grazing lands.

Author: FAO