Lost and reclaimed: A case study of gully rehabilitation in central Kenya highlands using low-cost measures

Citation:
Gachene, C K K; Mureithi JG. Lost and reclaimed: A case study of gully rehabilitation in central Kenya highlands using low-cost measures.; 2004.

Abstract:

Gully control and reclamation activities using low-cost measures were carried out in early March 2001 at Gatanga division, Kenya. The study area was selected on the basis of previous work carried out in farmers fields by the Legume Research Network Project (LRNP). The project’s main objective is to introduce green manure legume species that perform well in different agro ecological zones of Kenya mainly for the purpose of soil fertility improvement and erosion control in smallhold farms. Area studied is characterized by a mean annual rainfall of about 1100 mm with a bimodal distribution, deep red soils, steep slopes and intensive landuse. Field activities were carried out in one of the farms which had literally been abandoned due to gully erosion. The length of the gully was 130 m with an average width and depth of 1.62 and 1.4 m, respectively. Work involved planting of grasses (mainly Brachira humidocola) and mucuna (Mucuna pruriens) on the floor and sides of the gully. In addition ‘macro-contour lines’ were constructed in the farm which involved planting lines of mucuna, sesbania (Sesbania sesban) and napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) along the terrace embankments. Through photographs taken over a 3 year period, evidence is given to show that the gully has completely healed and that the farm has been brought back to productivity.

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