An evaluation of the range management extension services and the range development programs in north eastern Kenya
This study examines the effectiveness of range management extension services in north eastern Kenya and the impact of the range development programs on the pastoral community. The inhabitants of north eastern Kenya are nomadic people, and their livelihood depends mainly on their livestock. The area is arid and the rainfall is scarce and unreliable. Communal grazing is practised which often results in overgrazing of the area and deterioration of the range resources. The range management extension service has two sets of goals: the protection, conservation and improvement of the range resources and the well-being of the people dependent on rangeland production. Three main dimensions of the range management extension programs are addressed in this study. The first dimension deals with the extent to which the innovative range management practices have been adopted by the pastoralists in this region. The second dimension reports on any institutional and/or socio-cultural factors that hinder the adoption of these practices. The third examines the socio-economic impact of the range development programs on the local community. The study reveals that, most of the range practices introduced in north eastern Kenya have not been adequately adopted by the pastoralists. The results of the study also indicate that, the range development programs have not had any appreciable impact on the people's nomadic lifestyle and well-being. The study concludes with some criticisms of the range management extension service and range development programs and puts forward a number of recommendations felt appropriate for the improvement, and effectiveness of the extension service and future pastoral development programs.