The Lamu District at the Crossroads: A Narrative of Chronic Trauma and Community Resistance1

  • R Laher

Abstract

The Kenyan government’s plan to build a sea port in the Lamu District has been met with considerable resistance by local residents, which comprises two interrelated concerns; that the proposed port will destroy the history, heritage and culture of the district, and that the port represents an additional ‘land grab’ by the government who is yet to institute land adjudication. The weight of their protest is tied to chronic trauma that reaches back to colonialism and extends to the current era, and is characterised by feelings of displacement, dispossession and alienation. The government has remained reluctant to engage the residents, but in order to address the situation it is necessary
to confront its overall disruption and work toward amicable redress and reconciliation.
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