Kenya's Water Towers; A Scenario Scrutiny of Njoro Sub Catchment, Eastern



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The continent of Africa is endowed with natural capital and its sustainable development is dependent on the capacity toefficiently and sustainably manage the natural resourcesespecially water, land and forests for the benefit of itspopulation. A mountain forest plays an irreplaceable role inwater catchment, in the retention and release of water in thehydrological cycle. The highland itself causes clouds toform, which drop their moisture in the form of rain or mist.A mountain forest with its numerous plant species absorbsand retains far more water than farmland or any other formof vegetation. Natural ecosystems such as forests, wetlands,rivers and lakes provide a wide range of goods and services to society including food, water, energy and recreationand can therefore they should be considered as life insurance assets. Mau water catchment is a fragile ecosystemwhose dynamics have been subjected to human interferences. The purpose of this study was to determine the coverchanges within the Njoro catchment from 1986 to 2016 and thereafter propose necessary strategies and mitigationsto prioritize interventions to check on further degradation. Desk top literature and Landsat images of 1986, 2006 and2016 were used to analyse and determine the extent of changes in forest cover over the period of 30 years. The resultsobtained from the Landsat images showed the area under forest in 1995 was approximately 10,383 Ha which reducedover time to 6,653 Ha in 2016. In conclusion, the variability in forest cover is thought to be dependent on othercatchment factors like soil type, slope and climate variability consequently therefore there is need to evaluate andmanage land cover and land use changes for sustainable development of Njoro sub catchment of Mau towers.