EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Plantation Development in the Turkana Basin: The Making of a New Desert?

Edward G. J. Stevenson ()
Additional contact information
Edward G. J. Stevenson: Department of Anthropology, University College London, London WC1H 0BW, UK

Land, 2018, vol. 7, issue 1, 1-11

Abstract: Since the early 20th century, “desert reclamation” has been synonymous with large-scale waterworks and irrigation. These techniques have made it possible to produce abundant crops in arid or semi-arid environments. The costs have often been externalized, with increased environmental productivity in the new croplands counterbalanced by increased aridity elsewhere. In this paper I consider whose interests are served by such projects, and what kinds of social constructions of the natural and human environment make them possible. I focus on the Turkana basin, a watershed spanning the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders, where large dams and irrigation projects are currently being established with the goal of producing cash crops and hydro-electricity. In the narratives of the projects’ proponents, the schemes are represented as part of a tradition of development stretching back to the American West. In the discourse of critics, the Aral Sea of Central Asia is frequently invoked. Considering Turkana in relation to these cases sheds light on the political and ecological gambits involved in desert reclamation, and helps us to understand the costs and benefits of such projects.

Keywords: desert reclamation; desertification; river basin development; political ecology; water (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/7/1/16/pdf (application/pdf)
https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/7/1/16/ (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gam:jlands:v:7:y:2018:i:1:p:16-:d:128579

Access Statistics for this article

Land is currently edited by Prof. Dr. Andrew Millington

More articles in Land from MDPI, Open Access Journal
Bibliographic data for series maintained by XML Conversion Team ().

 
Page updated 2018-10-02
Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:7:y:2018:i:1:p:16-:d:128579