An Assessment Of Soil Erosion And Its Effect On Rural Livelihoods In Kenya: A Case Study Of Kijabe Location

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This study was carried out in Kijabe Location, Lari Constituency, Kiambu County located in Central Kenya. The general objective of the study was to assess the causes of soil erosion and to determine how these drivers of land degradation affect the livelihoods of farmers in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study was to determine the major causes of soil erosion and its effect on agricultural productivity and livelihoods as well as identify the methods used to control soil erosion in the study area. The study used both primary source of data collection and secondary sources. Primary sources included use of interviews, field observations, photographs and questionnaires, whereas secondary sources Included literature materials from various journals and publications. The sample population was 41 households which were selected using simple random sampling techniques. Key findings of the study indicated that soil erosion is a major problem which negatively affect agricultural productivity and also affect the livelihoods of farmers. There is also need to educate the farmers on better methods of soil conservation and farming technologies so as to reduce the problem of soil erosion. The study also indicated that environmental degradation as a result of soil erosion had reduced the goods and services that the community had access and thereby negatively affecting their standards of living. The farmers are also forced to increase farming expenses. From the findings of the study, it is clear that awareness should be created at all levels on the negative effects of soil erosion which affect the livelihoods of farmers. There is also need to enhance community mobilization to improve soil fertility through cost-effective conservation and comprehensive natural resources management planning to achieve sustainable land management interventions at community level and vigorous national-level. Finally, alternative technologies in soil and water conservation measures are vital to improving the farming activities of farmers in general, management there-by reducing the impact of land degradation on livelihoods of farmers and ensuring food security and sustainable land management.

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Mwaura Philip W
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