LIVELIHOOD IMPACTS OF SAND HARVESTING ALONG KERIO RIVER IN KERIO VALLEY, KENYA.

Date

2021

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University of Eldoret

Abstract

Sand in riverbeds is vital for human wellbeing and sustenance of rivers. The People living in Arid and Semi Arid Lands experience livelihood challenges due to frequent drought episodes. In response, inhabitants of these areas have evolved various coping strategies such as sand harvesting. Sand harvesting is inevitable due to its ever increasing demand attributed to rapid population growth and urbanization which has led to expansion in infrastructure and construction industry. It focused on the livelihood impacts of sand harvesting along the Kerio Valley. The objectives of the study were to examine the impacts of sand harvesting on the livelihood of the community; to compare sand harvesting with other livelihood strategies in the study area and to examine the existing policies/legislation and their implications on sand harvesting. The study used descriptive design, purposive and snowball sampling designs. The study involved 136 respondents and used questionnaires, observation schedules and key informant interviews. Data was analyzed descriptively using Statistical Product and service solutions IBM SPSS Statistics version 20. The findings showed that, sand harvesters operate and earn in different levels of income leading to income disparities. Despite low income from sand harvesting, the results showed that it had enabled harvesters to acquire assets with key financial capital in the form goats and sheep. It also showed that sand harvesting is dominated by male with females only engaged in economic activities that complimented it. Sand harvesting from the findings recorded the highest percentage on a likert scale to have helped families very much in handling the very basic needs hence presenting a viable livelihood option besides farming the most prominent livelihood strategy in the study area. The existing, and enactment of new laws to be used to manage sand harvesting is lacking. In conclusion, the full potential of sand harvesting is yet to be realized. On the basis of the findings, the study recommends, the strengthening of control of sand harvesting; increasing access to an appropriate combination of assets, creating an enabling policies environment and supporting local institutions

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