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Remote Sensing for Biocultural Heritage Preservation in an African Semi-Arid Region: A Case Study of Indigenous Wells in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

By January 17, 2022January 31st, 2022No Comments

The region of Southern Ethiopia (Borana) and Northern Kenya (Marsabit) is characterised by erratic rainfall, limited surface water, aridity, and frequent droughts. An important adaptive response to these conditions, of uncertain antiquity, has been the hand-excavation of a sequence of deep wells at key locations often along seasonal riverbeds and valley bottoms where subterranean aquifers can be tapped. Sophisticated indigenous water management systems have developed to ensure equitable access to these critical water resources, and these are part of well-defined customary institutional leadership structures that govern the community giving rise to a distinctive form of biocultural heritage. These systems, and the wells themselves, are increasingly under threat, however, from climate change, demographic growth, and socio-economic development…

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