Factors influencing land related conflicts in MT. Elgon District, Bungoma County
Chesi, Anthony S
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In a number of Kenyan regions, land ownership and land use rights are often in conflict resulting into land conflicts. These land conflicts have far reaching negative effects on the certainty of land markets, tenure and food security, economic production and reduction of poverty. Often, the land conflicts lead to; civil strife, loss of lives, population displacement, destruction of property and international humanitarian crisis. One such area is Mt. Elgon District in Bungoma county of Kenya. Unfortunately the factors causing these land related conflicts have rarely been studied and documented. This study determined factors influencing land related conflicts in Mt. Elgon District; Bungoma County in Kenya. It determined the role of geographical boundaries, examined the effects of land tenure system, established the influence of political environment and examined the role of evictions on land related conflicts in Mt. Elgon District. The study was conducted through a crossectional survey design. Target population was 1366 household. Data for the study was collected from 309 local community members, at least 10 key informants and government officials by systematic sampling using questionnaires, interviews, document analysis and focused group discussion. A total or 309 respondents were the sample size for the study. A pilot study was conducted in Kakamega District to ascertain the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Data was presented using frequency distributions; tables. Analysis of the collected data was done by using percentages, measures of central tendency and dispersion. This study indicated that the severity of land conflicts in Mt. Elgon district is high and currently appear to be associated with geographical land boundaries, political boundaries, political environment and evictions from the land that they stay in. It is recommended that all stakeholders must come together in an endeavour to solve the political, social, cultural and economic problems that cause land related conflicts in the region. The researcher also made suggestions for further research on the role of local leaders and land registry officers in the management of land related conflicts in the region of research.