Kiserian - rural development. Kajiado district, Kenya.
University of Nairobi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
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Work of the Embu field station (Kenya) involves working and planning with and within the rural community to improve understanding of and relationships with local areas, and promote local participation. It performs an extension function for the local area, and feeds back its experience into education curricula. Kiserian Location lies in the Ngong division of the Kajiado District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and is covered by the Highlands Field Station. It was selected for study of rural development in general and implementation of any one project in particular, in consultation with the District Commissioner of Dakiado District and the District Officer of the Ngong Division in the District. From the initial stages, the Chief of the Kiserian Location, the District Officials and the staff and students of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University worked together with local leaders and farmers. On a number of occasions there were individual meetings with residents of the Location and a Baraza was held to introduce afforestation and other Harrambee projects. The study was carried out between October 1976 and May 1977. The report gives the analysis of a rural location which is on the border between high-productivity agricultural regions and semi-arid regions. The Location is in proximity with the national capital of Nairobi and a number of activities of the Location are linked directly or indirectly to Nairobi. Water resources in the location are scarce and a policy of conservation is of high priority. The efforts of the students on the rural afforestation project is directed towards preserving the sources of water. University participation has: (i) helped people in the location to discuss their problems with the government officials and other agencies; (ii) tried to answer questions regarding individual responsibilities towards tree planting and taking care of the trees. The interest generated in the implementation of the project could be directed to realization of other Harambee projects such as a bus-shelter, access roads etc.
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