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Modern Concepts & Developments in Agronomy

The Effects of Shifting Irrigation on Community Livelihoods and Environmental Quality in the Lower Ewaso Nyiro Basin of Isiolo County, Kenya

  • Open or Close Nicodemus Nzombe and Nelson Mango*

    Department of Environmental Studies and Community Development, Kenyatta University, Kenya

    *Corresponding author: Nelson Mango, Department of Environmental Studies and Community Development, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Submission: April 02,2018; Published: July 02, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/MCDA.2018.02.000545

ISSN: 2637-7659
Volume2 Issue4


This study sets out to investigate the effects of shifting irrigation on community livelihoods and environmental quality along the Ewaso Nyiro Basin of Isiolo County in Kenya. The study uses longitudinal data collected between 2006 and 2015 through participatory research techniques, case studies, observation, key informant interviews and questionnaire survey. Results from the study show that the lower Ewaso Nyiro basin has nine operational irrigation schemes which households along the basin depend to practice irrigation farming. Irrigation has diversified the means of livelihood of the people and is an important source of food in the lower Ewaso Nyiro basin. Due to irrigation practices, environmental degradation has been experienced. These include, soil erosion, deforestation, salinity and water logging. However biocide and chemical fertilizers use is low in these irrigation schemes. Environmental conservation practices are rarely practised in the irrigation schemes with minimal cases reporting soil erosion control, afforestation, soil fertility management and safe use of agro-chemicals. The study recommends portable means of lifting water from the river schemes and environmental conservation at the household level and at the scheme level in the short term. We also recommend policy measures that will ensure flood control at the catchment level as this will enable setting up of permanent irrigation schemes in the study area as a long term solution.

Keywords: Shifting irrigation; Livelihoods outcome; Land degradation; Environmental conservation; Kenya

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