Influence of Agricultural Practices and Activities on Conservation of the Ol-Bollosat Wetland in Kenya
Keywords:Agricultural Practices, Agricultural Activities, Conservation, Ol-Bollosat Wetland, Kenya
Literature shows that most of the wetlands are threatened ecosystems due to increased human activities. The proper conservation and management of the wetlands is an important step to ensure that the human population continues to benefit directly and indirectly from the wetlands, and thus the need for this study that focuses on the influence of agricultural practices and activities on the conservation of the Ol-bollosat wetland. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design, targeting 1000 households and the key informants, including the Nyumba kumi representative, Area Chief, Sub chief, KWS officers, MCA’s from Ndaragwa and Ol-jororok sub counties in Nyandarua County. Stratified random sampling was used to select two hundred and eighty seven (287) household heads as the respondents of the study. The data collection tools were interview schedules for key informants and guided questionnaires for household heads. A pilot study was carried out in Rwamuthambi wetland in Kirinyaga County. The researcher used Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS version 26) to analyse data. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis, and the results were presented in form of bar graphs, pie charts and tables. The findings showed that agricultural activities and practices have an adverse effect on the conservation of Ol-bollosat wetland. The analysis showed that the community engaged in unsustainable agricultural practices and activities which were deleterious to the conservation of the wetland. Overgrazing on the riparian land, abstraction of water for irrigation are some of the unsustainable agricultural practices that the local community routinely engages in. The study recommends that inter-agency collaboration be enhanced so as to address the multiple challenges facing the Ol-bollosat wetland. The role of the County and National government in the management of the wetland should be enhanced, and local communities must be engaged. Further, agricultural practices and activities must be upgraded so that more cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods of irrigation are adopted. The study also recommends that further investigations be done to explore areas of meaningful community engagement in the management of the Ol-bollosat wetland.
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