Over the years, Northern Kenya has experienced stagnated development which most development partners have attributed to harsh climatic conditions and struggle over livelihoods. Government Agencies and Development partners have spent colossal sums of money in mitigating the effects of harsh climatic conditions with little results attributably because most development players have not taken time to understand the root-cause of the slow pace of development in this vast region. Misconceptions of the Region’s nomadic culture have proved to be key among the reasons conflicts over pastureland and banditry has dogged the Kenyan security system in the North since independence. This is the reason Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) in collaboration with Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) established an FCDC Blue Economy Multi-Agency Working Group to unearth the main causes of underdevelopment in Kenya’s North and assess if a Multi-Agency Blue Economy approach would bring sustainable development in the Region. This report is a preliminary effort by the said Working Group to document how sustainable utilization of Blue Economy Resources can transform development thinking in the FCDC Region. It is a product of a one-week engagement between FCDC and Kenya Maritime Authority technical experts. The Working Group divided the FCDC Region into two clusters, namely, the Lamu – Tana River cluster and the Turkana – Marsabit cluster, with the Indian Ocean and Lake Turkana being the blue economy pull-factors respectively, in the pilot phase, with future escalation to all FCDC Counties in mind. This report therefore outlines:

1.     Background and potential of Blue Economy in the FCDC Region

2.     FCDC Blue Economy Resources Preliminary Mapping.

3.     FCDC Blue Economy Proposed Multi-Agency Action Plan.

4.     Recommendations and way forward both short term and long term.


It is here submitted that, since severe drought, intermittent floods and other effects of climate change have severely affected livelihoods in FCDC counties, leveraging Blue Economy by steering away communities from traditional livestock herding to begin harnessing marine and water related opportunities could provide them with another avenue of income, and in effect foster peace and security in a region where struggle over inadequate sources of livelihood has led to perennial conflicts and insecurity.


 The success of this document is as a result of efforts put in by Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC)’s Blue Economy Sector Forum as well as technical experts from the University of Nairobi, Moi University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) and Turkana University College. Further technical input was received from National Government departments and agencies including the State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries (SDBE&F), Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS), Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS). We thank the Council of Governors (CoG) and Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) for the effort they put in institutionalizing the efforts and interpreting aspects of the Law for us to get this far.

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