Methane gas emissions by enteric fermentation from cattle production in Kenyewa location of Kajiado county in Kenya: a study on potential climate change mitigation strategies
Kimongo, Agnes N.
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The study focused on the enteric fermentation contribution to the methane emissions as part of the global anthropogenic greenhouse effect by cattle in Kenyewa Location. The study used cattle numbers and IPCC default values to compute levels of enteric methane emissions from cattle production in Kenyewa in order to get its right perspective. In this endeavour five specific questions were addressed and these included the level of enteric methane emissions in Kenyewa Location, the existing technological options in enteric methane mitigations, viability of existing technological options in enteric methane mitigations, level of participation of the Maasai in Kenyewa Location and, potential for participation in climate change mitigation strategies. These questions were addressed with the objective of determining the levels of methane gas emitted from enteric fermentation by cattle in Kenyewa location of Kajiado County and the existence of technological options for reducing enteric methane gas emissions. In order to guide in achieving the objectives the study hypotheses were that enteric methane emissions from cattle production were minimal and thus insignificant to global anthropogenic greenhouse effect that there were no existing technological options for reducing enteric methane gas emissions in Kenyewa Location. To address the study questions, meet the objectives and test the hypotheses the study adopted a multistage sample survey. This involved purposive selection of the study area with all the homesteads (manyattas) in Kenyewa constituting the study population but only those that had designated heads, 395, constituted target population. The target population was then stratified based on administrative sub-location units to give two strata which were then sampled in terms of the homestead by simple random method. From each homestead only the head of the homestead was interviewed and this covered a total of 200 homesteads. The sample survey was used to acquire primary data of varied sizes and sources, 200 questionnaires targeting heads of manyattas, 2 key informants meetings, 1 focus group discussions, 50 photographs, 200 field observations and, 200 GPS points obtained from field survey in Kenyewa Location. The primary data were supplemented by secondary data from different sources required for sampling frame, sample size determination and to support primary data for analysis. The acquired data sets were used to generate information for answering the stated research questions and test the study hypotheses in order to meet the objectives of the study. v Data were checked, arranged, coded, edited, mined, sub-files created and entered into SPSS program version 20 software for analysis. The generation of the required information involved the use of statistical tools, both descriptive and inferential. The descriptive tools used provided accurate description of sample data and included frequency distribution, tabulation and graphing, cross tabulation as measures of central tendency dispersions and measures of association and differences. The inferential statistical tools were used to measure the statistical significance of the observed sample distributions. The study used t-test, ANOVA, chi-square and, Kruskal Wallis for measures of differences, while for correlations measures, both Spearman‟s rank correlation and Pearson‟s regression coefficient were used. The regression measures were based on Pearson‟s Linear regression, time series and for temperature trend, time series sequential plot and, time series long term mean variance autocorrelation all of which time domain measures were used. In all inferential statistical measures, significant tests were at α 0.05 given degrees of freedom. Data analysis results, at the time of the study, indicated that Kenyewa Location of Kajiado County produced a total of 220,428 Kg of enteric methane, a contribution to global anthropogenic greenhouse effect of 5,510,700 Kg CO2-Eq. There were some viable technological options for reducing enteric methane emissions in Kenyewa Location. The level of participation of Maasai in Kenyewa to climate change mitigation activities was insignificant but there was potential for adoption of other climate change mitigation strategies. In conclusion, enteric methane levels from cattle production in Kenyewa Location were minimal but cumulatively a contributing factor to global warming and climate change. Something was being done and more could be done to mitigate enteric methane emissions in Kenyewa Location. This study recommended creation of awareness by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) on effects of enteric methane emissions. The government of Kenya was obliged to do capacity building on activities that lead to mitigation of enteric methane emissions through extension services and offer subsidy on cattle production inputs. Future research could be done on a more accurate measurement of enteric methane levels by Tier 2 and 3 methods and other viable climate change mitigation strategies. This study can be replicated on a larger sample to make comparison between cattle in relation to climate change on extensive and intensive systems of production.
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