Young Karimojong present research analysis on land and customary law

Karimojong boy at Arukan's Kraal in southern Kotido district

In Uganda, the Jie traditional parliament has ruled ‘Let all the Jie respect the cow. A Jie herder may put his kraal on any Jie land’.

This ruling was made in the akiriket (traditional parliament) of the four sub-counties of Jie in August 2013. With increasing cultivation, the blocking of trackways where animals used to pass has become a problem for herders. “Even the very oxen used for cultivating have nowhere to pass when they are pulling the plough,” says Naputaria, one of the Karamoja Action Research Team members, of Nabwal in Napak District.

But after research into this issue, the teams discovered there are a few communities using the old system of community meetings (etem or ekokwa) to discuss how to open trackways within the area managed by the community. After researching this, the team spread this information around Karamoja and since then many  etems have taken place and trackways are being opened up or kept open. The akiriket ruling in August means that keeping open trackways and grazing areas in now enshrined in Karimojong law.

This is just one of the Karamoja Action Research Team’s findings and achievements accomplished over the last six months. The team have now analysed all their findings and are in the process of putting together a book which will put forward their findings around land, peace and customary law.

The Karamoja Action Research Team have also been mandated by different communities and elders to continue their work of researching and spreading ekoi (information and knowledge). They are currently registering their organisation.

Click this link to read their latest bulletin, which summarises their research findings from the past six months.

The team is supported by Restless Development Uganda, the Institute of Development Studies and PCI. Irish Aid is funding the research. (September 2013)