Impacts of sand harvesting on the riparian land along Nyamasaria River in Kisumu County, Kenya
Bingo, Molven Adhiambo
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Sand is an important mineral for the construction industry in the Kenyan society at large. However, protecting the environment in areas where this practice of sand mining takes place has become an environmental concern given that the demand for sand increases with the growth of industry and construction. Sand mining can lead to considerable environmental damage. Such as pit formation, soil erosion. One area in Kenya where sand mining takes place is along Nyamasaria River. The objectives of the study were; to find out the methods of sand harvesting along Nyamasaria River and the effect on the environment; to identify effects of sand harvesting on vegetation, erosion, and land cover; establishing the effect of sand harvesting on the socio-economic environment of the people of Nyamasaria; and to find out the conservation measures put in place and the challenges experienced. A study population of 386 was used, composed of NOO staff and municipal council, local area authorities, sand harvesters and the local community. The local community was randomly sampled while purposive sampling used to gather information from the sand harvesters, area chief, nongovemmental organization and the municipal council. Data were collected by means of a self administered questionnaire, guided interviews and observation by the researcher. The results indicated that there was no significant association between effects of sand harvesting on the organisms habitat and replenishment rate (X2=2.47, p=O.12).It also showed that the association between land degradation and replenishment rate were not significant. (X2 = 1.13, p=O.51) On socio-economic impacts, the study established that sand harvesting is a source of income to the people, and recommends strong regulation of sand harvesting activities in Nyamasaria.