Sustainable urban development and resources base sustenance: a case study of Elburgon town and its hinterland,- Nakuru District
The recognition of urban development as a strategy for development is a recent phenomenon in the Kenyan development scene. It was first stated in 1974-78 .National development plans. Developing countries have overtime formulated policies directed towards rapid economic growth especially in rural development given that most of these countries are predominately rural. However, the scenario is changing. Urban population is expected to grow to 2 Billion by the year 2000 in the world. Over two thirds of this population is expected to be living in developing world. In Kenya urban growth is very high. It is expected to be 9-10 million by year 2000 compared to only 4 million in 1988. The crucial development role that towns and cities play has been recognized, although it is questionable whether they will be able to contribute to national economic growth on the desired scale in future. Urban areas are faced with physical and living environment deterioration. Urban areas are also causing serious strains on title resource base they depend on. This puts into question the sustainability of urban-development and that of the resource base sustainable urban development is dependent upon sustainable use of the environmental resources on one hand and upon minimization of vulnerability of human settlements to natural and man made hazards on the other Resource management er se has been explored but little has been done on sustainable urban development and its relation to resource base sustenance. The study set out to look at the relationship between resource utilization and sustainable urban development .In this study the resources that were considered were forest and agriculture. The effects of urban development on environment were looked at. Effects of urban expansion on air pollution and its related diseases incidence was also looked at. The study established that Elburgon's Urban development is dependent on natural resource utilization. It was noted that the resource base is diminishing. Survival rate in established forest plantation is too low. This has its implications: unless the-present trend is reversed the industrial sector (saw milling) will collapse, there by causing unemployment and other socio-economic problems. In agricultural sector land degradation in form of soil erosion is the major problem. This is coupled with increase in population. Agricultural land has been subdivided into small units of less economic-importance. It was noted that production of major crops in the districts are on a decline It is suggested that sustainable agriculture could be achieved by integrating forest and farming. Farmers in the rural areas could be encouraged to practice forest farming which would reduce pressure on forest in form of wood fuel. Non-residential farming should be encouraged in forest reserve on the clear fell areas (areas that forest plantations has been harvested). This can supplement the rural and urban dwellers with food supply and incomes. This region has a rich biodiversity which is a potential for future development. This biodiversity need to be and optIons for sustainable exploitations chosen. This implies there also need for research. This calls for a new development policy with in-built mechanism to ensure sustainable development. Urban management tied with sustainable resource . management should lead to sustainable urban developement and resource base sustenance. '