The role of community based organizations in the conservation of the environment in Kenya. A case of Kapcherop division, Elgeyo Marakwet county
Environmental conservation is an essential practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of the natural environment and (or) humans. The main purpose of the study was to find out the roles played by community based organizations in conservation of the environment in Kapcherop division Elgeyo Marakwet County. The study was steered by the following objectives; to identify the role of CBOs in community mobilization towards environmental conservation in Kapcherop division Elgeyo Marakwet County, to establish the role of CBOs in promoting environmental conservation using income generating activities in Kapcherop division Elgeyo Marakwet County, to establish the role of CBOs in implementation of environmental conservation practices and to determine the role of CBOs in monitoring and evaluation of environmental practices in Kapcherop. The researcher used a descriptive survey study design to carry out the study because it provides in-depth information about the respondents. This study targeted 5 community based organizations and 5 environmental experts in Kapcherop division. The researcher therefore targeted a total of 217 respondents which comprised of 212 respondents from the selected CBO’s and 5 environmental experts in Kapcherop division. Stratified sampling technique was employed in selecting the sample size of the respondents. A sample size of 140 respondents was selected for sampling. The study employed the use of both the questionnaires and interview schedules to collect data. The data was collected and analyzed through descriptive statistics and inferential statistics where in descriptive analysis, tables, frequencies, means and percentages were used in interpreting the respondent’s perception on issues in the questionnaires. In inferential analysis, Pearson’s correlation statistics was used to test the relationship between the variables. The study findings are expected to benefit: residents of Kapcherop division, environmental conservation agencies such as Kenya Forest Service, UNEP and other CBO’s, the government, NGOs, and other private organizations as well as the scholars. The study found out that CBOs play a vital role in promoting environmental conservation, mobilizing the community, implementing environmental conservation practices and monitoring and evaluation. The study concluded that CBOs in Kapcherop Division Elgeyo Marakwet County play a vital role in conservation of the environment; CBOs in study area have sufficient budgetary allocations for all income generating activities necessary for environmental conservation, the CBOs have managed to mobilize the local community in conservation of the environment. This study concluded further that there is no effective monitoring and evaluation by CBOs in the division. The study recommends that Monitoring and supervision of CBOs be done to ensure environmental conservation is not compromised. The county environmental secretary should be empowered to strengthen monitoring of CBOs, local leaders and individuals who are participating in conservation of environment. CBOs leaders should ensure that their employees are effectively equipped with skills for effective conservation of environment. The environmental experts as well need to ensure that CBOs and any other stakeholder participating in conservation of environment are well managed and monitored so as to realize the main objective of conserving the environment.