Suitable location and influx of immigrants have made pastoral peri-urban Kajiado County a centre of two conflicting interests; urban sprawl and agricultural intensification. To understand the resulting trends over the period 1984-2010 satellite image based analysis of land use cover changes and interviews with landowners were conducted. Interviews focused on the changes and trends in land use, their causes and future forecasts. Percentage changes in land use and land cover types for the years 1984 to 2004, 2004 to 2010 and 1984 to 2010 were determined. Between 1984 and 2010, significant (p < 0.05) changes occurred in built-up, crop land, rangelands, bare ground, rocky areas and woodlots and riverine vegetation. Only water bodies showed no significant changes. Land use and cover changes resulted from activities due to human population growth and agricultural expansion which in turn resulted in increase in riverine vegetation and woodlots. The interviews revealed that selling of land contributed to land use change depending on the intended use of the buyers who were mainly influenced by the physical location with respect to distance to Nairobi, urban centres, electricity supply and road networks. As per the findings of the study, the present scenario demands a revision in the zoning policy using the land use land cover maps produced, involvement of all stake holders and revision of implementation strategies given that the 2008 land use master plan for the area was not actualized.
Key words: Pastoral peri-urban, immigrants, land use change, intended land use, Kajiado County.
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