The effectiveness of different grass spp. in reducing runoff and soil loss was studied at Kabete campus, University of Nairobi, Kenya. Half metre wide strips of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), Nandi setaria (Setaria anceps) and tall Signal grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis) were established on 11m x 2m runoff plots, and runoff and soil loss were monitored for each rainfall event during the long and short rains of 1990. In terms of runoff control, there was no significant difference between treatments during early establishment; however, runoff form plot with filter strips was always lower than controls. B. ruziziensis was most effective at runoff and soil loss reduction and this was attributed to growth habit and slow rate of establishment. The capability of the strips to impede runoff improved with time.