Are we prepared to lose our precious land? Community approaches to pasture and cropland restoration in Marigat District, Kenya
Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, CSU and CCC Graduate Fellow
Summary: Global concerns about deforestation caused by fuelwood shortages, prompted introduction of prosopis juliflora in Lake Baringo area early 1980’s. Prosopis juliflora is on IUCN’s new list of 100 world’s worst invasive alien species. Prosopis juliflora has survived where other tree species have failed and in many cases become a major nuisance. In Baringo, prosopis is reported to depress the growth and survival of indigenous vegetation around it, and farmers claim to have lost their farmlands, reduce grazing potential and space of pasture lands. Its invasion in Baringo area in the last 10-15years has attracted national attention and contradictory responses from responsible agencies. Unlike in other parts of the world where it has been introduced, potential benefits have not been realized. Strong local calls for eradication and replacement appears to be well justified. Prosopis problem is further compounded by the fact that the land is communally owned. Thus, where land is held under common property arrangements, management responses to the invasive species require cooperation among affected individuals. This project plans to actively engage on regular basis and mobilize the local community to work cooperatively in checking the spread of this shrub, at the same time seek alternative land uses that will help to control any further invasions.
Clement Isaiah Lenachuru is a PhD candidate in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, CSU. Clement obtained a Diploma (Range Management), Bachelors (Natural Resources Management (Wildlife major) and Masters Degree (Natural Resources- Human Ecology) from Egerton University. He joined CSU from Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya, where he served as an Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Environment & Resources Development, Department of Natural Resources. He also served on the committee that deals with research needs in Kenya’s drylands. He has been awarded a Ford Foundation International Fellowship.
His current research interests are in climate change and indigenous knowledge systems of the pastoralists in Kenya. He has published with colleagues in the area of “Role of Formal Education in Assets Diversification among the Ilchamus in Baringo District Kenya”. He has also presented a number of unpublished workshop papers in the area of environmental management and effects of invasive weeds (the case Prosopis juliflora) in pastoral lands in Kenya. Clement has also served for 4 years (2005-2009) as national coordinators for a non-governmental organization that voices and advocates for the pastoralist friendly policies in Kenya.