Assessment of changes in natural resources: a participatory approach

Onwonga RN, Gachene CKK;, Baaru MW;. Assessment of changes in natural resources: a participatory approach.; 2010.


This study analyzed changes in natural resources in Machakos District of Kenya using participatory approaches. The results show that natural resources have decreased since the ranch became a settlement scheme. Natural forests decreased, vast land was cleared, rivers dried-up while soil erosion, drought, temperatures and land degradation increased. Land productivity declined and most farmers abandoned the traditional crops for modern high value crops. However, farmers adopted various coping strategies. Drought resistant crops, early maturing crops and water harvesting were some of the strategies adopted by farmers. The results also show that resource base management at the community level was still a challenge and a lot of investment needed to be made in this area. As part of the study, farmers knowledge of changes in natural resource use was assessed in a resettlement area. Over a period of about 50 years, significant land degradation has occurred as a result of increased population pressure, poor natural resource management and climate change effects. This was reflected in poor/low land productivity and reduced availability of water. Farmers responded by moving away from growing indigenous crops to growing short-duration crop


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