Mechanisms of Conflict Management over Common Pool Resources among the Residents of Lower River Nyando Floodplains, Kisumu County, Kenya

Paul Okello Atieno, Samson Wokabi Mwangi, Kibet Ngetich


Conflict management is the process of reducing the negative and destructive capacity of conflict through a number of measures and by working with and through the parties involved in that conflict. However, scholars have not addressed how latent conflicts can be managed by the parties involved without any feeling of grievance or betrayal among the conflicting groups. This study was set to examine mechanisms of conflict management over common pool resources among residents of lower river Nyando floodplains and to explore the appropriate means of managing conflicts. The recurrence of conflicts in the lower River Nyando floodplains despite the interventions by different actors called to attention the need to address these conflicts. It was therefore necessary to undertake a study highlighting conflicts over common pool resources among the residents of lower River Nyando floodplains with a view to finding solutions to the continuous loss of human lives, environmental degradation, and displacement of persons among other issues. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study, and purposive and stratified sampling techniques were used to select 138 respondents who were interviewed using interview schedules. Cronbach’s Alpha was used to test instrument’s reliability and a coefficient of 0.76 was obtained. Key actors in conflict management were found to be the government, nongovernmental organizations, elders, community based organizations and religious leaders while conflicts that were common in the area arose from the use of land, water, fishing, and exploitation of papyrus. Litigation, negotiation, and coercion were the main mechanisms of managing conflicts. It was concluded that negotiation was the most appropriate mechanism in resolving conflicts over common pool resources. This study is beneficial to the government in that it identifies key actors in conflict management hence appropriate mitigating mechanisms can be implemented to enhance gainful management of conflicts in common pool resource areas.

Keywords: Conflict; Mechanism; Conflict Management; Common Pool Resource; Flood plains.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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