Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Rangeland rehabilitation using micro-catchments and native species in Turkana County, Kenya

Jesse O. Owino
  • Jesse O. Owino
  • Turkana Forestry Research Sub-centre, Rift Valley Ecoregion Research Program, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, P. O. Box 53-30500, Lodwar, Kenya.
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Jackline Kemboi
  • Jackline Kemboi
  • Turkana Forestry Research Sub-centre, Rift Valley Ecoregion Research Program, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, P. O. Box 53-30500, Lodwar, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Gabriel M. Muturi
  • Gabriel M. Muturi
  • Kenya Forestry Research Institute, P. O. Box 20412, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 13 May 2020
  •  Accepted: 23 September 2020
  •  Published: 31 May 2021

Abstract

Turkana County is prone to perturbations and famine owing to the prevailing climatic conditions. Due to degradation through natural and anthropogenic activities such as charcoal burning; over time, existing woodlands have been degraded, necessitating rehabilitation. Several drylands adapted plant species studied over the years for the response to the needs of the communities were identified and isolated through a survey. The species identified to be most useful to the communities included Cenchrus ciliaris, Tamarindus indica, Salvadora persica, Moringa oleifera, Aloe turkanensis, Acacia senegal, Acacia tortilis, Acacia mellifera, Cordia sinensis, Adenia  obesum, Dobera glabra, Parkinsonia acuelata and Balanites aegyptiaca. The final species planted were A. mellifera; A. senegal; A. tortilis; Adenium obesum; B. aegyptiaca; C. sinensis; D. glabra; P. aculeata, S. persica and Melia volkensii were introduced for observation on performance. This study's objectives were to determine the effectiveness of micro-catchments in rangeland rehabilitation and to compare species performance to appraise the species highly adaptable to the environment. This offered an opportunity to demonstrate climate-smart technologies regarding rangeland rehabilitation. The methodology was adapted from proving phase provenance trials using nested intensity design to give the best measurements that measure native and exotic plant species. The site was in Ekalees 10 km off Lodwar -Kerio road, Lodwar. Micro-catchment was used as a treatment where a similar number of species of the same age were grown with micro catchments and others without micro-catchments. The major result of this study was found in the site with micro-catchments having higher mean heights and root collar diameters for each species tested. The results indicated the usefulness of micro-catchments, especially in arid and semi-arid areas, as well as showing the performance of selected native species performance in the natural ecosystem.

 

Key words:  Water harvesting, land restoration,  climate-smart technology, native species.