The role of Women-groups in the revegetation of degraded sites in Chepareria division, West Pokot district, Kenya
Kiage, Lawrence Morara
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This study examined the role of women-groups in the revegetation of degraded sites in West Pokot district, Kenya. Data were collected by way of questionnaire schedules, intervuews and observation. The questionnaire was composed of open-ended and structures questions and targeted individual members, women-groups, NGOs and government front-line agencies. Primary data were processed and analysed using simple statistical techniques (i.e., frequencies, percentages and tabulations). These data were supplemented with secondary data, which consisted of existing literature and various government reports. Findings from this study showed that the tradition of women-groups was common among the Pokot, but was most pronounced during farm activities such as cultivation and harvesting. None of the traditional women-groups was, however, involved in revegetation since land degration was a rare in an ASAL? Phenomenon. It became clear that following increasing land degradation, women-groups have incorporated revegetation in their day-to-day activities. Revegetation programmes use, mainly indigenous (usually multipurpose) trees that have physiological advantage over exotic species to the effects of termites attack and stressful climatic conditions of the area. This study further showed that traditional knowledge on environmental conservation was richly embedded in the Pokot culture. This knowledge was reflected in the existence of sacred trees and vegetation communities that were set aside for various cultural practices. Women were reponsible in passing this valuable knowledge to children. Despite willingness among women-groups members to participate in revegetating degraded sites, dependence on external institutes makes the exercise unsustainable. This approach denies exploitation of local knowledge of the species to use in revegetation. It is recommended that the parties involved in revegetation activities recogniseAX this limitation and work towards collaborative effort between local and outside institutions.