Policy Outcomes and Community Perceptions of a Dryland Invasive Species: A Case Study of Prosopis juliflora in Baringo County, Kenya.
This paper explores the outcomes of policy interventions related to Prosopis juliflora and how these outcomes have shaped communities’ perceptions to-wards the tree. It set out to narrate the story of Prosopis in Baringo County, Kenya. An inductive research approach was used drawing its inspiration from the core ideas of political economy and political ecology. Findings indicate that Prosopis was introduced in Kenya’s ASALs as a way of curbing desertification and soil erosion but later, the tree became a problem due to its invasiveness. The invasion of this tree to farmland, homesteads and pasturelands led to loss of communities’ livelihood, human and animal health impacts as well as some perceived environmental problems like flooding. This resulted in communities suing the government demanding for its eradication as well as compensation for their losses. As a way of responding to the problem, the government lifted the ban on charcoal production, which in turn enabled a livelihood activity that has been widely taken up by some but not so much by others. There are indications that the tree is currently being appreciated due to its economic benefits from charcoal production as well as the halted desertification. Currently, a planned power plant that intends to use Prosopis for electricity generation has added a new dilemma to debates over Prosopis and local livelihoods. It can therefore concluded that, while planning of this intervention may not have been perfect in terms of ensuring educating the people on how to manage the tree to avoid or control invasion, the adaptive management approach that was used to minimise the impacts played a big role. The government’s flexibility and willingness to adjust its policy through lifting of the ban on charcoal made a big difference. Further, ensuring continuous monitoring and research on ways of managing the tree through KEFRI and KFS is also playing a key role in helping the affected residents to adapt and benefit from the tree.
|Keywords||Invasive Alien Species, Prosopis juliflora, charcoal production, electricity, perceptions, policies, interventions, Baringo County|
|Thesis Advisor||Hunsberger, Carol|
|Series||Agrarian and Environmental Studies (AES)|
Wabusya, Elca Namaemba. (2013, December 13). Policy Outcomes and Community Perceptions of a Dryland Invasive Species: A Case Study of Prosopis juliflora in Baringo County, Kenya.. Agrarian and Environmental Studies (AES). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/15225