Factors determining community participation in afforestation projects in River Nyando basin, Kenya
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Factors determining community participation in afforestation projects were investigated. Data was collected from 150 respondents who were selected from a sample population of 1,928 households using systematic random sampling technique. Data was collected using a standardized questionnaire, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Chi-square (χ2) test was used to establish the relationship between community participation (dependent variable) and socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors (independent variables) and also to test the strength of the relationship. The results of the study indicated that there was a strong positive relationship between community participation and the benefits obtained from the afforestation projects (χ2 α 0.05 = 0.000). There was also a positive relationship between environmental degradation and community participation in the afforestation projects (χ2 α 0.05 = 0.001). However, there was no relationship between community participation and cultural factors (χ2 α 0.05 = 0.824). There was also no relationship between respondents’ household status and community participation in the afforestation projects (χ2 α 0.05 = 0.156). The study concluded that for conservation projects to succeed, socio-economic benefits must be tangible to the project participants/ beneficiaries.