A study of erosional features and environmental restoration of river Kalikuvu catchment in Kitui county, Kenya
Kambua, William Winfred
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Soil erosion is one of the most significant processes of land degradation that reduces productivity of agricultural land and forms erosional features,. The present study of erosional features and environmental restoration in Kalikuvu river catchment is in a semi-arid area with sparse vegetation cover in Kitui County, Kenya and this has promoted both water and wind erosion. The objectives were to determine factors that cause soil erosion, investigate geomorphologic landforms resulting from soil erosion, study the impact of soil erosion on crop production, especially maize, and suggest restoration measures used in Kalikuvu catchment to control soil erosion. A sample of 44 respondents from a total of 1,297 households (KNBS, 2009) was selected. The primary data was collected through direct field survey while secondary data was extracted from existing documents and records from various institutions. For purposes of data collection, the Kalikuvu river catchment was divided into three segments namely youthful, mature and old since there were differences in the extent of erosion and erosional features in the three stages. The resulting data was subjected to statistical and descriptive analysis. The results show that the causes of soil erosion in the study area are due to both human and physical factors. Soil erosion has impacted negatively on the community in terms of relief food dependency and rills and gullies that criss-cross the study area. The restoration responses put in place are “Fanya Juu” terraces, planting of trees and gabion construction. The soil erosion was found to be a serious problem in the study area and containing it in the near future seems to be unlikely due to the challenges faced by restoration responses being used, namely the dryness and bareness of the area.