Statutory Land Control and the Small holder Land System in Kenya: A study of land control in the Nyanza Sugar belt.

It is generally acknowledged that
insecure and incomplete property rights have large effects on
the use and management of watershed resources.
The standard policy response to this problem is
to privatize farm land, declare riverine areas
to be public property, and establish a set of
restrictions on the use of both private and pub
lic land. This paper presents a more nuanced
concept of catchment property rights, drawing
upon key concepts from watershed hydrology and
the multidisciplinary social science of property
rights. We present preliminary results from a
study of the Nyando river basin in western Keny
a. The implications are that policy reforms
aimed at catchment property rights need to rec
ognize the complexity and inter-connections that
make up hydrologic catchments, give greater pr
iority to key catchment resources such as
domestic water and sediment filters, recognize the
key links between water and land rights, and
devise ways to harmonize the multiple sources of aut
hority that govern the use of management of
watershed resources.