Conflict management and peace building in Karamoja (COMPEK)

Project Facts

01/01/2017 31/12/2019
Payment Mechanisms / Support

Partners: VSF Belgium; KDF
Funding: Belgian Foreign Public Service and VSF Belgium

SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Emmanuel EMARUK: [email protected]

Dethie FAYE: [email protected]

Alternative Email

Case overview/description

Main Challenges
Managing the commons, Reduce Household poverty
Starting point/ Challenges

Since 2009, Karamoja is having a relative, fragile peace due to a recent history of violent inter-clan conflicts
The improved security situation threatening customary land rights and traditional livelihoods
Mineral speculation and activities giving rise to conflicts

Purpose/ Objectives addressed, Results expected

General objective: Improved socio-economic situation of targeted communities in Karamoja through land and natural
resources conflict management
Specific objective: Reduced conflict on natural resources, land and minerals through dialogue and increased capacity of
stakeholders in conflict management and transformation
Result 1: Protection of communal land rights and improve capacities to advocate for them
Result 2: Strengthening capacities for compliance with mining laws and policy

Type of Case
Capacity building, Land development
Agroecological zone
Semi-arid (75 < x < 180 LGP)
Exploring potentials / Specific Payments


Land area size (km2)
Moroto district: 3,538 km2

 Sub-counties: Rupa, Katikekile

Land ownership
Ownership comments

Land is customarily and mostly communally managed in Karamoja. This customary ownership creates gaps that  have allowed mining companies to exploit in order to acquire licenses. There is little community involvement and benefit from the Project.

Livestock system
Livestock Type
Cattle, Camels, Donkey, Goats, Other, Sheep
Comment livestock systems

Extensive livestock system, pastoralism

Cattle, goats, sheep, camels donkeys & poultry


Operating environment

free market and subsistance

Participants in the case/project

Target groups: Traditional institutions (elder councils, clan leaders and kraal leaders), Local government and security institutions, Turkana herders in Karamoja,  Karamojong pastoralists, Communal land associations,  Formal land management institutions, Local artisanal mining associations, Communities affected by land and/or mineral conflicts,  Private mining investors

Methods / Approaches applied to reach objectives

Capacity building of traditional community institutions, facilitation of dialogue and information sharing between the different stakeholders, research and documentation on the functionality of land management structures and on mineral rights

Outcome/ Beneficiaries/ Issues

Sustainability regarding economic issues

An equitable sharing of the resources (land and mineral) will contribute to improving the livelihoods of the communities.

Sustainability regarding social issues

The communities are demanding for a peaceful environment (mitigation of conflicts) and respect of their rights (land and mineral) and will provide all efforts needed

Sustainability regarding ecological issues

Stakeholders are trained on compliance with socio-ecological standard with regard to mining

Knowledge Exchange

Meeting to disseminate action research on communal land right protection
Mass information sharing and awareness raising on land and mineral rights
Multi-stakeholder mining symposium

Key Conflicts / Problems

Inter-clan conflicts over sharing of natural resources or due to cattle raiding
Decline influence of traditional land management institutions
Traditional grazing areas and other communal lands are increasingly targeted for acquisition and investment
Lands are being occupied by mining activities without compensation (royalties) given to the communities due to lack of structure to demonstrate communal land ownership

Lessons learnt

In circumstances where customary institutions have been eroded/or weak like in Karamoja pastoralist communities easily lose land to investors.
Registration and titling of land by pastoralists communities ensures Land rights are recognised and there is better negotiation with investors/government.
Despite some benefits being realised through payment of surface rights by companies, community institutions should ensure that benefits realised should be long time and sustainable financially and environmentally

Research Gaps

How communal land tenure is managed to continues providing benefits to the entire community, and how conflicting interests are managed culturally


Land management structures, land use planning, land rights, mineral rights, community institutions

Source of information
Project reports.