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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Community Fencing in Open Rangelands: Self-Empowerment in Eastern Namibia
Authors:Twyman, Chasca
Dougill, Andrew
Sporton, DeborahISNI
Thomas, David
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Namibia
land law
communal lands
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240108704500
Abstract:This article examines the cross-cutting debates of empowerment, vulnerability, sustainability and livelihoods within the local and global contexts relevant to the people of Okonyoka, a settlement of less than 150 people situated in Omaheke District in the Eastern Communal Lands of Namibia. Okonyoka is the first settlement in the area to erect a community fence, but surrounding settlements are impressed with the positive environmental and societal results and are planning to follow suit. Such fences can, however, inhibit neighbouring people's livelihoods and can change long-standing regional drought-coping strategies. The article examines the processes leading to self-empowerment and assesses the implications at different levels and within different spheres. The introduction reviews the research methodology, outlines Namibia's land policy and addresses recent conceptual approaches to empowerment and sustainable livelihoods. The main section describes the building of the community fence at Okonyoka, which started in January 1998, and questions whether it is a defensive or conservation strategy. The power relations involved in this case illustrate the complexity of the empowerment debate. The article concludes by drawing out some wider lessons for Namibia's communal lands and for conceptual debates surrounding empowerment. Bibliogr., sum.