Chapter 4.2 – Transforming Land Conflicts into Sustainable Development: The Case of the Taita Taveta of Kenya

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Ednah Kang’ee, Armed Conflict and Peace Studies Program, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Nairobi, Kenya


The focus of this section is to identify factors that transform land conflicts into sustainable development. I have used Taita Taveta in Kenya as a case study. Three questions guide the thinking about the subject. What is the nature and type of land conflict in Taita Taveta? What is the cause of the conflicts? How can the conflicts be transformed into sustainable development? This study argues that the conflicts have had impacts on the people of Taita Taveta and their neighbors in the entire region both negatively and positively. I further argue that these conflicts can be transformed into sustainable development projects. This can be achieved by programs that guarantee community partnerships and participation in the sustainable exploitation of land resources in the region such as wildlife, mining, large-scale commercial farming, and government-sponsored infrastructure projects. In this research, I used qualitative approaches to acquire primary data. I collected data using questionnaires and interviews and used snowballing for sampling. I have adopted the theoretical approaches of greed versus grievances in analyzing and understanding the conflict. Implementation of proposed legislation on management of natural resources is expected to ease the transformation of land conflicts into sustainable development.


Download the full chapter at ScienceDirect.


Abridged Review by Muhammad Swazuri, Chairman, National Land Commission – Kenya:

Ednah describes the origin and historical moment of the Wadawida and how they ended up in a largely mountainous region prone to land degradation. With little arable land on flat terrain, the communities have had little option but to occupy mountainous areas for all types of land uses. … Ednah captures the efforts that are underway to warn the Wadawida of the dangers of land degradation and what ought to be done to arrest it.

This is a well-researched chapter that extensively scrutinizes the historical background, the nature and causes of land conflicts in Taita Taveta, Kenya.

This chapter highly compliments the book in its concept of restoring land for a sustainable future by explicitly providing the mechanisms that can be used to transform various land conflicts into sustainable development.

Download the full review of the book and Ednah’s chapter here.

Further Information

More about Ednah Kang’ee:

Ednah Kang’ee is a Peace and Conflict Consultant born and raised in Mombasa, a cosmopolitan second largest city of Kenya. Ednah Kang’ee is a devoted Christian of Anglican Domain, serving in the children’s ministry of the All Saints Cathedral Church of Kenya. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in Armed Conflict and Peace studies, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Administration and a diploma in Public Relations all from the University of Nairobi. She achieved international training as a Caux Scholar in Switzerland and trained in Peace Mediation at the Institute for Conflict Transformation and Peace Building in Switzerland. Ednah is currently a PhD candidate focusing on Culture and Women Land Rights with specific reference to the Law of Succession and Inheritance Act (1981). In 2007 Ednah married her best friend Kenneth Kang’ee Waiganjo and is a doting mother to her two sons Edley and Kenley Kang’ee.


Connect with Ednah  on Twitter: @Ednah_Kangee

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