Oloitokitok (Loitoktok ): Ecosystem services governance

Oloitokitok (Loitoktok ): Ecosystem services governance

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This study uses the theoretical three-step ecosystem service governance approach that analyzes both natural resources attributes and relational data. Results confirm a substantial decline in productivity and huge monetary losses in the agricultural sector of Loitoktok following the 2009 drought. Post-drought analysis reveals high diversification in crops and livestock that are drought-tolerant, fast maturing and high income generating such as camels, rabbits and dairy goats, horticultural and fruit production that sustain food security, income and local livelihoods.

These reactive adaptation activities originate from an active public-private cooperation that promotes knowledge exchange among Loitoktok stakeholders. This cooperation is also seen in the efficient resource conflict resolution network. In conclusion, rural communities seem to be efficiently adapting to changing environmental conditions but require more financial and technical support from the government. Unfortunately, appraisal of national planned adaptation reveals effort- duplication that may divert much needed adaptation funds from being invested in research projects with multiple benefits to Kenyan food producers.

Loitoktok is located at the southern tip of the former Rift Valley province and borders the Republic of Tanzania to the West. In terms of government administration, it is part of Kajiado County and is divided into six divisions, 16 locations and 31 sub-locations . There are two key rainfall seasons in the area, i.e. heavy rains in October to December and light rains from March to May. The rainfall is not equally distributed because of the presence of Mt. Kilimanjaro at the border of the district to Tanzania that causes the lowest elevation to receive about 500 mm while the mountain slopes record an average of 1250 mm. Similarly, temperature varies with altitude from as low as 10˚C on the eastern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro to a mean maximum of about 30˚C around Lake Amboseli.

The district covers a total area of 6356.30 km2 of which 7.66 km2 is forested, 837 km2 contains the parks and reserves (protected area), 4131.6 km2 is categorized as arable land, while urban settlements take up 410.2 km2 . Loitoktok is categorized among the arid and semi-arid districts in Kenya but in the last decade most of the woodland areas have been converted to marginal crop farming areas, the swamps into irrigated land and grassland to bushlands by overgrazing and overstocking. The population is estimated at 171,520 persons who have stimulated land subdivision and fast economic growth.

Economic growth is mainly through increase in agriculture that has been observed through two actions. First, it is estimated that 71% of all herders in Kajiado county have attempted crop cultivation due to declining profitability from pastoralism following persistent droughts, shrinking land for pasture, increasing costs of treating and maintaining cattle and lack of better markets for beef products [18]. Second, people from neighbouring congested central highlands are migrating to Loitoktok district to cultivate the fertile and relatively well-watered slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and other hills. The immigrant farmers focus on horticultural produce (such as Karella (Momordica charantia), Dolichos (Lablab purpureus), Ravaya (Solanum melongena) and Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) targeting Indian markets. Loitoktok is located at the southern tip of the former Rift Valley province and borders the Republic of Tanzania to the West (Figure 1). In terms of government administration, it is part of Kajiado County and is divided into six divisions, 16 locations and 31 sub-locations [16]. There are two key rainfall seasons in the area, i.e. heavy rains in October to December and light rains from March to May. The rainfall is not equally distributed because of the presence of Mt. Kilimanjaro at the border of the district to Tanzania that causes the lowest elevation to receive about 500 mm while the mountain slopes record an average of 1250 mm. Similarly, temperature varies with altitude from as low as 10˚C on the eastern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro to a mean maximum of about 30˚C around Lake Amboseli.
The district covers a total area of 6356.30 km2 of which 7.66 km2 is forested, 837 km2 contains the parks and reserves (protected area), 4131.6 km2 is categorized as arable land, while urban settlements take up 410.2 km2 . Loitoktok is categorized among the arid and semi-arid districts in Kenya but in the last decade most of the woodland areas have been converted to marginal crop farming areas, the swamps into irrigated land and grassland to bushlands by overgrazing and overstocking [17]. The population is estimated at 171,520 persons who have stimulated land subdivision and fast economic growth.

Economic growth is mainly through increase in agriculture that has been observed through two actions. First, it is estimated that 71% of all herders in Kajiado county have attempted crop cultivation due to declining profitability from pastoralism following persistent droughts, shrinking land for pasture, increasing costs of treating and maintaining cattle and lack of better markets for beef products. Second, people from neighbouring congested central highlands are migrating to Loitoktok district to cultivate the fertile and relatively well-watered slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and other hills. The immigrant farmers focus on horticultural produce (such as Karella (Momordica charantia), Dolichos (Lablab purpureus), Ravaya (Solanum melongena) and Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) targeting Indian markets.

http://www.scirp.org/journal/nr

http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/nr.2014.58037

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