A study of soil erosion associated with new settlement in the Longonot-Kijabe area of Kenya, and proposals for its control
Due to high population growth and scarcity of arable land in Kenya, people have been forced to settle on land which is marginal for cropping on account of low and unreliable rainfall, steep slopes or poor soils, New settlement in these areas brings about land use changes which influence the rate of soil erosion. Lack of proper land use plannine prior to settlement increases the rate of erosion. Delayed sub-division of large company/society farms leads to misuse of the "land by people who settle early. Lack of security of land tenure makes people reluctant to carry out permanent soil conservation measures This leads to severe erosion and increases the expenses of soil conservation measures in future, The paper examines soil erosion problems in a newly settled catchment area at Maai-Mahiu. Kijabe, caused by lack of proper land use planning prior to settlement and misuse of land due to lack of security of land tenure. Detailed field observations were made by walking round the catchment. Difforential levelling survey was done at various sites in order to determine. the drainage pattern. Air photo interpretation was used to give data on land use changes. Proposals are made for an overall conservation plan which would allow small scale farming to continue without degradation of the land.