chapter  10
19 Pages

The Design of Community and Its Socioecological Consequences: Marsabit District, Kenya

WithAsmarom Legesse

The spontaneous and planned settlements that emerged in the area make it possible to understand how the structure of homes, farms, and communities works to support or disrupt socio-economic activities. Borana settlements vary in size, structure, and other properties. This variation is dependent on seasonal and ritual cycles which cause people to agglomerate during the rains and to disperse in the dry seasons when families usually fend for themselves as they migrate extensively in search of pastures. Numerous communities have been formed near Marsabit town, some of which are based on the development of new skills, or the application of old skills to new circumstances. The northernmost political subdivision of Kenya, called Marsabit District, is a vast expanse of semi-arid to arid land surrounding two elevated areas: Hurri Hills and Marsabit Mountain. The district agricultural office has made some effort to introduce Borana farmers to high-yielding varieties of com, such as Kenya-bred Katumani maize.