PHD-Department of Environmental Studies and Community Development

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    Environmental Security and Governance in Resilience Building for Eastern Mau Forest Communities, Nakuru County, Kenya
    (Kenyatta University, 2023-11) Wando, David Ochieng; Felix M. Ming’ate; Joseph K. Kurauka
    Environmental shocks and stressors, ranging from natural hazards to conflicts and political upheavals, have inflicted profound disruptions on community livelihoods worldwide. These challenges have magnified risks and vulnerabilities, particularly among communities in the developing world who rely on natural resources for their sustenance. Resilience building, a concept frequently invoked by stakeholders across environmental, political, security, and peacebuilding domains, aims to mitigate these threats. However, the literature reveals limited success in achieving broader sustainability goals, with some strategies inadvertently embedding vulnerabilities in communities' futures. This study proposes an innovative approach to resilience building by integrating the concepts of environmental security and governance. Its overarching objective is to investigate the existing environmental security and forest governance systems within the Eastern Mau Forest and their impact on community resilience. The study draws upon four key theories, including natural resource management, people-centred development, nature/nurture, and the resource curse theory, to inform its conceptual framework. Collectively, these theories provide a roadmap for enhancing community resilience through the development of a comprehensive environmental security framework, supported by well-structured stakeholder coordination and comprehensive resource governance policies. To facilitate rigorous measurement and data analysis, the study employs a mixed-methods research design, blending qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The selection of administrative units follows purposive sampling, with households randomly chosen within these units. Quantitative data undergoes analysis using SPSS, leveraging regression models to explore livelihood trends, risk assessments, insecurity, resource scarcity linkages, and other critical indicators. The study's findings hold significance for various stakeholders, offering insights into collaborative strategies to address identified gaps and fortify the resilience of Eastern Mau forest communities. Additionally, the study's implications extend beyond the study area, potentially informing resilience-building efforts in similar ecosystems across the country. Key findings include the prevalence of serious environmental degradation, attributed by 43.3% of respondents, as well as socioeconomic challenges linked to low education attainment (only 10.4% completed high school). A notable 57.6% of the community expressed the desire for greater inclusion in forest governance. In light of these findings, the study recommends a more participative approach to enhance the governance and environmental security framework underpinning the Eastern Mau forest. It calls for heightened awareness among Eastern Mau forest communities regarding the significance of forest resources, emphasizing conservation to prevent degradation and promote sustainability. Furthermore, increased engagement from private and public stakeholders is advocated, with active participation in forest resource management as a means to build resilience. Finally, the study suggests a review of existing policies and legislative frameworks governing environmental security and forest resource governance to align with emerging challenges and opportunities.
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    Benefit Sharing and Community Participation in Ecotourism in Meru and Laikipia Counties, Kenya
    (Kenyatta Universiy, 2022) Ireri, Philip Murithi; James B. Kung’u; Joseph K. Muriithi
    Beneficial involvement of local communities is a cornerstone of ecotourism. It has however emerged that in developing countries, privately-owned ecolodges, joint ventures between private investors and local communities and other types of tourism businesses are characterized by low involvement of local communities and inequitable benefit distribution. This study investigated benefit distribution and community participation within ecotourism enterprises that are owned and operated solely by the local community of Il Ngwesi Group Ranch in Laikipia County and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust in Meru County. Specific objectives of the study were to analyze the socio-demographic factors that influence distribution of the benefits of ecotourism; to investigate the institutional arrangements that influence distribution of the benefits of ecotourism; to examine how the distribution of benefits affects community attitudes to ecotourism, and; to analyze how the distribution of benefits affects community participation in ecotourism. The study used mixed methods approach to collect primary data from a survey of 556 respondents, 18 focus group discussion sessions and 15 key informants. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic analysis while for quantitative data logistical regression and ordinal regression were applied to test relationships between variables. The study established that ecotourism offered a wide variety of benefits to the local community in both study sites, with some accruing directly to individuals while others accrued to the wider community. Each of the two enterprises however still faces some of the challenges that hamper community participation and benefit distribution in other types of tourism enterprises including governance weaknesses that led to some members receiving more benefits than others; disparities in benefit distribution against sections of the community including women, those with low levels of formal education and those dwelling farther away from the conservation area, and; failure to affirmatively channel significant benefits to the poorest members of the community. The study demonstrates that though full control of tourism enterprises by local communities is beneficial, it is not a panacea for the challenge of low community participation or inequitable benefit distribution. Many local communities in Africa and other developing countries remain poor even though they occupy areas that are rich in tourism resources and have a lengthy history of participating in tourism. This study has revealed that the pursuit of equality rather than equity is one of the causes of this prevailing poverty. In addition to reviewing existing tourism policies in order for them to reflect the strong social-justice foundation set by the Constitution, the study recommends for formulation of dedicated policy on community participation in tourism in Kenya.
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    Community Preparedness, Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change in Kajiado County, Kenya
    (Kenyatta University, 2022) Mutua, Kitheka; Samuel O. Ocholla; Joseph K. Muriithi; Eric K. Bett
    Climate change has led to an average of 5% reduction in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of developing countries. Climate change is characterized by changes in climate indicators, for example an estimated 5% increase in global temperatures leads to 10% decline in agriculture productivity. These changes require adoption of adaptation and mitigation strategies among inhabitants of the developing countries. However, there is insufficient knowledge on the indigenous knowledge based early warning systems and indicators that have guided the local community in resource use and management as well as the adaptation and mitigation strategies adopted by pastoralists in Kajiado County. Similarly, the socio-economic impacts of climate variability and change on livelihoods of pastoralists in the County is not well understood. The general objective of the study was to assess community preparedness, adaptation mitigation and the existing communities‟ local knowledge-based early warning indicators with an ultimate aim of generating information that will be useful in climate variability and change early warning, preparedness, adaptation and mitigation. The study addressed knowledge gap by use of mixed method research design, applying the use of multiple methods of data collection and analysis. Multi-stage sampling was applied where stratified sampling was used to select two sub counties, simple random sampling was used in selection of households for administration of the questionnaire and snowballing procedure in identification of key informants. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Science. Quantitative data was analyzed using various multi nomial regressions and thematic analysis done on qualitative data. The results showed that there was an indigenous based knowledge system composed of early warning indicators within Kajiado County. However, most of the respondents were not aware of the early warning indicators. The most commonly used early warning indicator was flowering and shedding of leaves by some plants (48.7%). Others included observation of animal behaviour (11.2%), high temperatures and wind direction (8.6%), orientation of stars (8.4%), shape of the moon (7.1%), appearance of red ants (6.9%), migration of birds and wilder beast (4.8%), bleating of goats (3.0%), colour of sky (0.8.%), and appearance of cyclones (0.5%). Observation of the shoat‟s, intestines was also reported during the focus group discussion. The adaptation strategies adopted by the respondents were grouped into water conservation strategies, sustainable land use strategies, cropping management strategies, livelihood/income diversification strategies, food security and resilience related strategies and livestock management strategies. The adoption of these strategies was significantly influenced by socioeconomic variables that included the age and gender of the household head, cost of water, herd sizes and selling price of cattle, education level of the household head and the formal employment. The elements of extreme weather condition that included drought, floods and extreme temperatures had significant impact on household socioeconomic variables that included size of arable land, food aid, land tenure, number of meals taken by a household per day, household income from formal employment and number of livestock kept. In view of these findings, the study recommends capacity building (through creation of indigenous based knowledge hubs) on indigenous knowledge based early warning system/indicators among the pastoral communities toensure generational transmission of the knowledge and promotion of culturally appropriate climate variability and change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
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    Challenges and Prospects of Civil Society Organizations in Enhancement of Sustainable Livelihoods and Environmental Conservation in Homa Bay County, Kenya
    (Kenyatta University, 2019-08) Radeny, Enos Otieno
    Although most studies document the benefit of delaying umbilical cord clamping in relation to improved haemoglobin levels, few of those studies have been done in low resource settings. Standard routine practice in most facilities is generally clamping umblical cord in less than 60 seconds. This study therefore sought to establish the effects of umbilical cord clamping time on infant nutritional status at 6 months at Longisa County Referral Hospital through randomized controlled trial design. Sample size of n=204 of mother-infant pair was enrolled in both control and experimental group of the study. The experimental group involved clamping the umbilical cord between 3-5 minutes after delivery while the control group was clamped as per the standard routine practice in the facility. Infant’s blood sample was drawn and haemoglobin was assessed at birth, 6 weeks and 6 months. Ballard maturity assessment score was used to assess infant gestational age at birth. Weight was measured using SECA 354 and length was assed using SECA 210 length Matt. Mother -infant socio demographic characteristics collected using a validated questionnaire. A standard Pre-test questionnaire based on WHO 2014 guidelines was used to measure health workers knowledge on the umbilical cord clamping time. Data was analysed using Stata version 15.1 and Microsoft Office Excel 2007. Mother-infant socio-demographic characteristics by the study group was compared using Pearson chi-square (p < 0.05; 95% CI). Health workers’ knowledge was analysed results presented in percentage. Third trimester maternal haemoglobin was collected in mother child booklet and analysed using Pearson chi-square. Infant haemoglobin levels at birth, 6 weeks and 6 months by study group was analysed using Pearson chi-square. The relationship between maternal and infant haemoglobin status was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficient determinant. The effect of umbilical cord clamping on infant nutritional status and haemoglobin was tested using student t-test. Predictors of infant Nutritional status at six (6) months were established using binary logistic regression model. The results are based on two-tailed tests at 95% confidence interval and a p-value p < 0.05 was used as the criterion for significance. Results were: Mean age of mothers of infants enrolled into the study was (22.73 ± 1.9; p<0.05); about 50% of health workers knew that delaying umbilical cord clamping is beneficial to the infant. Approximately 69% of health workers believe that delaying umbilical cord camping increases the HIV infection. Control group: Mean weight: at birth 2.89kgs (95% CI, 2.81-2.97), 4.81 (95% CI (4.68-4.94) at 6 weeks and 7.41kgs (95% CI, 7.28-7.54) at 6 months. Mean haemoglobin at birth was 18.72g/dl (95% CI, 18.19-19.25), 10.85g/dl (95% CI (10.58-11.12) at 6 weeks and 11.10g/dl (95% CI, 14.26-15.52) at 6 months. Experimental group: Mean weight at birth 2.93kgs, 5.22 (95% CI, 4.99-5.22) and 8.51 at 6 months ((95% CI, 8.40-8.60; p<0.05). Mean haemoglobin: Birth 19.67g/dl, (95% CI, 19.25-20.09), 11.72(95% CI, 11.45-11.99) and 12.22g/dl (11.95-12.49 at 6 months ((95% CI, 8.40-8.60; p<0.05). Predictor of infant nutritional status at 6 months were weight (OR14.90, p<0.05; 95% CI: 7.25-30.00) and infant haemoglobin (OR1.64, p<0.05; 95% CI: 1.3-2.07). The study concluded that delaying the umbilical cord clamping improved infant Nutritional status and haemoglobin. Setting optimal time to clamp the umblical cord is important for Kenyan health facilities.
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    Geospatial dimensions of the linkages between ecosystem services and sustainable community development in Shimba Hills, Kwale County - Kenya
    (Kenyatta University, 2018-06) Musau, Francis Mutuku
    This thesis presents the writer’s contribution to knowledge on the linkage between protected areas, ecosystem services, livelihoods and community development. The study, which was conducted in Shimba Hills between March and July 2014, explored the problem of poverty in an area with diverse natural resources. The study argued for a community development approach based on building the capital assets of the communities. Shimba Hills national reserve is a protected area with social, economic and environmental values accruing from its ecosystem services. However, the extent to which these ecosystem services benefit local communities has not been well investigated. Moreover, after having been under conservation for over five decades, its management effectiveness is not adequately documented, thus making its contribution to conservation and development uncertain. The specific objectives of the study were (i) to determine the level of access to ecosystem services by local communities; (ii) to evaluate the management effectiveness of the protected area; (iii) to measure the dependence of household livelihoods on ecosystem services and (iv) to compare the level of community development in relation to proximity to the protected area. This research employed quantitative and qualitative methods including household survey, focus group discussions, Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). A three-point relative scoring scale of low, moderate and high was used to rate the research variables. It was found that over 95% of the households accessed any one type of ecosystem service from the protected area; ecosystem services contributed to livelihoods, accounting for 7% of household incomes; protected area threat status was low (mean score = 0.71) while the management effectiveness was moderate (mean score = 1.87); livelihoods and access to ecosystems services were linked and destruction of the ecosystem would affect 77.5% of the households negatively; and community development index was moderate (mean score = 1.35) and varied with proximity to the protected area. Hot spots of illegal harvesting of resources, human wildlife conflicts and community development index were observed. It was concluded that the level of access to ecosystem services varied significantly (p<0.05) among communities located near or far from the protected area; Shimba Hills was relatively well managed; livelihoods were linked to and depended on ecosystem services; ecosystem services contributed to household incomes; and communities nearer Shimba Hills protected area were relatively more developed than those further away. The results demonstrated application of a monitoring and evaluation tool in assessing protected area management effectiveness. It also showed the use of geospatial techniques in mapping resource use, capital assets and community development. It recommended (i) further research on the impact of protected areas on poverty reduction and community development; (ii) management actions that ensured greater community involvement and more integrated conservation and development projects adjacent to protected areas and (iii) policy actions to enhance protected area benefits and reduce their costs to local people. This study generated new information and tools useful for enhancing protected area management effectiveness and for use in conservation and development planning. The information generated by this study is therefore, crucial in guiding the design and targeting of sustainable development projects
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    Relationship between socio-economic exclusion and community based waste management practices in Kibera informal settlements, Nairobi County, Kenya
    (Kenyatta University, 2016-12) Mburu, Simon Wainaina
    One of the greatest environmental challenges in the 21st century is ensuring successful implementation of participatory community based waste management practices in cities particularly in slums and informal settlements. This study aimed at investigating the relationship between socio-economic exclusion and community based waste management practices in Kibera informal settlements, Nairobi County. To achieve the study objectives this study was guided by Marxist theoretical framework on the occurrence of slums and xv xv the dynamics of waste management. The theoretical framework demonstrates how socio-economic exclusion has forced people to live in places where there are no basic facilities like sanitation, proper sewers and garbage collection systems. The study objectives included: establishing the main forms and causes of socio-economic exclusion among the residents of Kibera, main challenges of solid waste management in Kibera, evaluated the main impediments to the current strategies applied in enhancement of waste management practices in Kibera, assesed at the nexus between socio-economic exclusion and sustainable waste management practices and lastly it identified and discussed sustainable participatory approaches of fostering community based solid waste management practices in Kibera. The study was a descriptive research and it was carried out in seven sub-locations of Kibera informal settlements namely: Kibera, Lindi, Makina, Silanga, Laini Saba, Gatwekera and Olympic/Kianda. The research used primary and secondary data. It employed quantitative techniques to obtain responses from 393 respondents and qualitative means to establish the extent of socio-economic exclusion and poor waste management practices. The data collected were coded, cleaned and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Analyzed primary data (quantitative) was integrated with secondary data and synthesized in line with study objectives. The analyzed data (qualitative) is presented in narrative form under identified thematic areas. Frequency tables, graphs, charts, figures and photographs have been used to present the results. The study found out that the forms of socio-economic exclusion in Kibera include: impoverishment, labour market exclusion and service exclusion. It is usually caused by lack of participation, unemployment, low income, crime and ethnicity. Further, the study found that the main challenges of solid wastes are: lack of access roads, lack of recycling, lack of dumping ground and financial challenges. Moreover, sustainable participatory based community waste management practices only 23% of the residents had been trained mostly by community based organizations meaning that the government and other actors should do more. The study concludes that financial services, age and government services exclusion exists in Kibera due to ethnicity, lack of participation and unemployment, causing poverty and poor waste management leading to the spread of communicable diseases like malaria and typhoid. It is hoped that this study will influence policy making processes whereby urban planners and other stakeholders can get insight into the dynamics that shape socio-economic processes and waste management in Kenyan slums.
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    Dynamics of conflict in decentralised forest management in Mount Kenya forest
    (Kenyatta University, 2016-11) Wairuri, Stephen Chege
    Many developing countries have been decentralizing some aspects of natural resource management. Governments justify decentralization as a means of increasing access, use, management, and decision making on natural resources. In Kenya, decentralisation points to conflict resolution whether explicitly or implicitly. However, the questions of to what degree and in what ways decentralization affect conflict in management of natural resources in Kenya have largely been overlooked. Thus, the main focus of this study was to analyse the role of forest decentralization reforms in influencing conflict in management of forest resources in Kenya, with a focus on Mount Kenya forest. A case study approach was employed. A sample size of 375 respondents was used. The study was guided by a conceptual framework derived from Walker and Daniels Conflict Process Triangle. Data was gathered using a constellation of social science research instruments which include household questionnaire, Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interview and documents analysis. Data analysis of interview scripts and field notes was based on an inductive approach geared to identifying patterns in the data by means of thematic codes. Questionnaire data was subjected to quantitative analysis using SPSS Version 20.0. Results showed that decentralisation altered the substantive, procedural and relational permutations in Mount Kenya Forest. Consequently, after decentralisation of forest management, conflicts in Mount Kenya forest has reduced. Conflict scores were significantly higher for the period before decentralization of forest management (M = 29.7, SD = 5.6) than for the period after decentralization (M = 25.0, SD = 5.0), t(375) = 14.6, p<0.05. Variant legal frameworks have given traction to macro-macro conflicts. Impacts of conflicts before and after decentralisation were experienced more significantly by women. Fear, disharmony, distrust and delay in accessing forest benefits were cited as the most important impacts of conflict after decentralisation of forest management. The study found that access to the forest declined after decentralisation in Mount Kenya forest. The mean score for access/use before decentralization (M = 19.14, SD = 5.90) was significantly higher than for the period after decentralization (M = 17.82, SD = 7.58), t (375) = 3.528, p<0.000. Forest User Group members have more access to forest benefits than non-members. The study found there is poor enforcement of law relating to authorised firewood loads and livestock grazing. The study found that reliance on forcing and avoiding conflict management styles decreased after decentralisation. The use of accommodating, compromising and collaborating conflict management styles increased significantly after decentralisation. It can be concluded that decentralisation has achieved one of its objectives which is reduction of destructive conflict. The study concludes that decentralisation under the current legal regime is more of “deconcentration” rather than “devolution” (democratic decentralisation) considering that Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has the final say on the fate of Forest Management Plans and Forest Management Agreements. Laxity in enforcement of law will continue to undermine sustainable forest management. It is recommended that KFS and Community Forest Associations consults widely before reaching certain decisions on the forest. There is need to audit the conflicting sections of different laws and amend them to avert macro-macro conflicts. Lastly, the Forest Act amendment should give timelines within which Forest Management Plans and Agreements should be adopted and signed respectively. An amendment of the Act should also add a clause to protect Forest Management Plans and Agreements them from arbitrary decisions by KFS.
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    Topo-sequence analysis of climate variability and land use changes among smallholder farmers in Meru County, Kenya
    (2014) Mwoga, Gilbert Muthee
    Land use change in Meru is increasingly being influenced by among other factors climatic variability, with consequent implications on community livelihoods. This study sought to assess the relationship between land use changes and climatic variability in this area with the ultimate aim of deriving lessons towards sustainable agricultural land management. A topo-sequence approach was used in order to capture specific effects across different agro-ecological zones. Rainfall data ranging from 1976 to 2009 for three stations, daily temperature and stream flow discharge served as hydro-climatic data. Geographic Information Systems generated land use data for the period 1976-2011. This information was triangulated with data from household surveys, key informants interviews, and focused group discussions. Other data were analysed using standard procedures. Future implications of land use changes were assessed by use of exploratory scenarios analysis. Findings indicated that the key evidence of climate variability was variations in rainfall, which influences planning for land productivity. In the low highland 1, coefficient of variability in rainfall amount for first season (i.e. March-May) was 0.43 and 0.26 for second season (i.e. October-January). For the upper midland 2 and in the transition zone with upper midland 3 the coefficient of variability for first season was 0.36 and 0.37 respectively. As such the first season was the main determinant of land use performance in both upper midland and low highland agro-ecological zones. Stream flow coefficient of variability ranged between 0.22 and 0.44 with months of February and September being more variable, while April and December were less variable. Therefore, proper management of water resources in the months of February and September is critical. There were variations in mean annual temperatures between low highland 1 and in upper midland 2. The observed increase in annual mean temperature trends in low highland 1 was linked to decreasing forest cover. That majority of the respondents (91.6%) concurred that there was climate variability is indicative of increasing awareness of this global threat and hence opportunity for spontaneous community participation in intervention measures. Observed land use changes could not however be linked to decadal rainfall trends, implying that other factors were at play in influencing land use trends. In six out of the seven sub-agroecological zones there were changes in land use types but no marked changes were detected in low midland 4 perhaps as a result low population density arising from absentee land lords, boundary disputes and poor infrastructure. While In low highland 1, upper midland 1, 2 and 3 and low midland 3, areas under agricultural use increased while that under forest decreased. In low midland 6 shrubs were replaced by rainfed crops (r² = 0.98) an indication that natural vegetation was being cleared for cultivation. Scenarios analysis suggests that agricultural land use would cover up to 86% by 2025 thus effectively replacing forested area and hence services there-from. Since there was some divergence in observed and perceived climate variability parameters, there is need to integrate farmers and scientific approaches in mitigation planning against effects of climate variability. Planning for effective land performance needs to be season based and agro-ecological zone specific. Emerging land uses which included tea and irrigated crops have had only short term gains. Continuing reduction in forest cover and stream volumes are likely to negatively impact community livelihoods in future. Strategic interventions that integrate policies, structures and process are needed for land use planning at the county and household levels to mitigate and adapt to climatic variability and its implications.
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    Effects of Changes in Indigenous Environmental Knowledge Systems on the Bio-Physical Environment and Community Livelihoods in Teso Distrct, Kenya
    (2014-02-22) Ayaa, Dominics Dan; Nyaga, Stephen N.; Waswa, F.; Ochola, Samuel
    Although an integrated approach that combines modern and indigenous knowledge is critical in the attainment of environmental sustainability, a framework to facilitate the same needs to be designed for Teso District. To contribute to this need, this study assessed the effects of changes in indigenous environmental knowledge systems on the bio-physical environment and community livelihoods between 1960s and 2000s with the ultimate aim of providing building blocks for the intended framework. The study targeted household heads in general and the Teso Sages aged 70 years and above because of their wealth of experience and knowledge in the community‟s indigenous knowledge. A sample size of 384 respondents was used. Data were collected using a variety of social science research instruments such as structured questionnaires, in-depth face-to-face interviews, focussed group discussions, content analysis of literature and environmental check lists. The status of the bio-physical environment was tracked using GIS techniques. Questionnaire data were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis using SPSS. Results showed that adherence to the Teso community indigenous environmental management systems has been on the decline since the 1960s. Use of traditional terracing, grass-strips and fallowing have declined by 54%, 61% and 74%, respectively. Also use of totems, protection of sacred places, prohibitions and gender and age restraints have declined by 41.3%, 68%, 41.8% and 38.2% , respectively. The evident decline in the use of the indigenous environmental knowledge systems has negatively impacted on the state of the bio-physical environment and community livelihood as exemplified by the Chi-square Pearson (P) values of 0.00 between decline in the use of age and gender restraints and the deterioration in land fertility, 0.003 between a few elders using indigenous knowledge systems and increased cost of living as well as 0.001 between only a few elders using the knowledge systems and increased morbidity and mortality leves from the 1960s to the 2000s era. GIS results showed evidence of environmental changes such as an increase in land size under rain-fed agriculture by 11.2% and a decline in land under seasonal swamps by 21% between 1973 and 2010. Land size under wetlands dropped by about 33% between 1973 and 2000. These changes were indicative of the declining ability of indigenous systems to protect and conserve these resources. As a final output, an integrated environmental management framework for Teso was developed. Its main building blocks are (i) partnership engagements, (ii) Scientific and community problem analysis, (iii) Scientific and community points of convergence and divergence (iv) community and expert based resolutions (v) community-based project implementation monitoring and evaluation. The study findings showed that indigenous beliefs and best practices with proven utility are still capable of enhancing environmental management (use, care and improvement); and also the community livelihood among rural communities such as the Teso. In view of the above, it is recommended that rekindling, recording and preservation of indigenous environmental best practices among local communities such as the Teso for sustainable natural resources management be re-invigorated and integrated in conventional environmental management plans. This also calls for participatory decision-making between policy makers, implementers and actual resource users.
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    Effects Of Climate Variability and Change On Dry-Land agriculture and Adaption Strategies by Small-Scale Farmers in Yatta District, Kenya
    (2013-08-14) Mburu, Benson Kamau
    Yatta District farmers depend on rain fed agriculture and over the years frequent droughts, crop failures and water shortages have become common. Food relief has become a recurrent feature in the district. Climate scientists predict increasingly dry conditions in much of sub-Saharan Africa due to climate change. Farmers‘ efforts to cope have shown both adverse and positive effects and hence the need to be examined. This study looked at the effects of climate variability and change in agriculture and the adaptation strategies by the dry-land farming communities in Yatta District. The study also appraised the environmental effects of such adaptation strategies and the existing climate change policy options. Study participants included 510 small-scale farmers randomly sampled in all the 17 Locations and the district departmental heads from the Ministries of Water, Agriculture, and Environment. Systematic quadrat sampling method was applied to study the effects of climate variability and change on plant species of social importance in the study site. Questionnaires, interviews, stakeholder analyses, field observations and desk research techniques and tools were used to generate relevant data. Four single sex focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in the study area. Data from the FGDs complemented the survey results. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques were used while the results were presented in tables, figures and charts. Findings of the study indicate that climate variability has negatively affected food availability, food access and food adequacy in Yatta District. Pearson correlation coefficients for annual precipitation coefficient of variation (CV) against crop yield for the period 2004 to 2010 revealed negative correlations for maize (r = - 0.614), beans (r = -0.579), sorghum (r = -0.328), cow peas (r = -0.568), and pigeon peas (r = -0.221). For the period 1964-2010, the mean annual rainfall decreased by 34.27mm whereas the rainfall coefficient of variation increased by 0.0874. The results further showed that climate variability and change has negatively affected plant species of social importance in Yatta District especially in agro-ecological zone LM5. Most farmers engage in autonomous adaptation strategies through changing their livelihoods in response to changing precipitation patterns. These adaptation strategies were found to have both adverse and positive environmental effects. The major limitations to climate change adaptation are financial constraints (93.4%), lack of relevant skills (74.5%), lack of scientific and technical knowledge (71.6%), lack of information (67.9%) and lack of infrastructure and inputs (61.7%). Furthermore, the study revealed that farmers in the area had also low knowledge about climate variability and change. The study concludes that climate variability and change has affected crop production and hence food security negatively in Yatta District. The study recommends that farmers be sensitized about climate change to improve their understanding thus impacting positively on the farmers' adaptation to climate change. The Ministry of agriculture should also formulate policies specifically focused on small-scale farmers‘ adaptation to climate change. Farmers need to compliment rain-fed agriculture with water harvesting techniques and development of small-scale irrigation schemes to improve food security in Yatta District.
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    Deforestation and decimation of Biota in Kericho district of Kenya, East Africa
    (2012-06-12) Kerich, Richard Kimutai; Koech, Michael K.; Njuguna, Stephen G.
    Deforestation and decimition of Biota in Kericho District, Kenya. Deforestation and decimation of biota have been recognized as some of the most pressing world problems of the recent times. Today certain plants and animals are faced with a threat of extinction due to increased deforestation and decimation of biota within the natural environment. This study focuses on deforestation and decimation of plants and animals and sought answers to the following questions: a)Is the amount of land under natural forests in Kericho District the same extent now as it was twenty (or more)years* ago? b) What kind of faunal and floral changes have taken place within Kericho District since the last twenty (or over) years* ago? c) Is the productivity of soil the same now as it was twenty (or over)years* ago? and if not why? d) Is there a plant or animal whose existence in the District is endangered outside the protected areas? e) What are the major causes of increased rate of deforestation and decimation of species within the District? *Refers to twenty or over years from 1988. The study was carried out in Kericho District of Kenya, East Africa using fifty (50) randomly selected nodal or study points. The selected study points were scattered throughout the District. From each study points ten (10) interviewees were selected. Interviewees were selected. Consequently the total number of people interviewed were five hundred (500). When all the fifty nodal points are considered. The District was divided into two ecological zones and for each of the zones thirteen (13) plants and thirteen (13) animals were sampled for the study. The information required from the respondents was that which helped in the attainment of the objectives stated. Specifically, four broad areas were dealt with by the stated objectives and these are:- a) Magnitude of deforestation of the past twenty (or over) years ago as compared with the present. b) Relative abundance of named plants and animals. c) Cultural traditions and perception of environmental conservation. d) Environmental awareness and mode/rate of information dissemination. The data required were collected through the use of a questionnaire and an observation record sheet. Field observations were done by the researcher using the observation record sheet as a tool while the questionnaire was used to elicit information from the respondents. When preparing the research tools, the objectives of this study were borne in mind. This was necessary if the set objectives were to be achieved. In summary, the study was intended to: a) determine the extent of deforestation in Kericho District. b) identify the major reasons for deforestation in the District. c) identify the conservation measures taken to safeguard the forests in the District. d) identify those floral and faunal species that are endangered within the District. e) identify major causes of elimination of plant and animal species within the District. f) identify (if any) attitudes and perceptions of the people of the District that would reinforce or go against the conventional conservation measures for soil, natural forests, and endangered plant and animal species. g) determine the state of environmental awareness of the people of Kericho District. The tools were therefore designed so as to meet the requirements of the stated objectives. Majority of the data collected were in form of stated opinions checked off in the provided Likert Scale within the questionnaire. To ease analysis and interpretation of data, responses were categorized depending on their position within the provided Likert Scale. For all the responses received in form of a Likert Scale, categorization was done accordingly. Classification of the opinions expressed made it easy to distinguish between the extreme opinions e.g. "Low" and "High". However, "decision" level was set for all responses given in form of a Likert Scale. In judging the provided responses the set "decisions" level was "moderate". Any response that was either high, or very high was categorized "high" while responses given as very low, low, or moderate were categorized "low". From the recorded opinions, frequency of responses falling into any one category (i.e. low or high) was determined using the set criteria mentioned above. As a basis for conclusion, means, percentages and absolute counts were determined for the various categories of responses received. The other set of data collected was that obtained from field observation and these include actual counts of plants within their natural environment and self assessment of the extent of deforestation within the study areas. Data derived from actual field observation were intended to confirm the information given by the respondents regarding deforestation and decimation of biota. From the assembled data relevant calculations were done depending on the parameters involved in the objective under consideration. Basically, averages, percentages and frequencies were computed and these sufficed for to conclude on set objectives. It was from the computed values that conclusions were made concerning the stated objectives. The research findings indicate that: a) Deforestation in Kericho District is currently higher than it was in the past** according to peoples views. (see table 11p.83). b) Majority of the forests within Kericho District have reduced in size by people's opinions. (see table 12 p.86). c) Due to habitat destruction (in form of deforestation) animals have greatly reduced in number everywhere within the District). d) Within Kericho District, there has been a great reduction in both plants' abundance and their species diversity. e) Cultural traditions and environmental perception of the people of Kericho District are supportive of conservation measures of plants and animals. f) Of the sampled plants Juniperus procera was found to be the least frequent outside the gazetted area and needed protection from wanton destruction. g) Acacia lahai, although still abundant within the District, was found to have experienced the greate