Factors influencing the intensity of household application of watershed management practices within the upper Ena river catchment in Embu county, Kenya
Njeru, James Chomba
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Community led watershed management has in recent period gained momentum in developing countries. This has been attributed partly due to the fact it is becoming a key conservation mechanism in the face of climate change and population explosion. With diversity in the uptake of both traditional and advanced watershed management technologies in several communities, this study aimed at examining factors influencing the intensity of household application of watershed management practices (WSMP) in upper Ena River catchment in Embu County, Kenya. More specifically, the study aimed at investigating the influence of the following four factors on the intensity of household application of WSMP: Socio-demographic factors (age, education level, sex and household size), collective action; household financial investment in WSMP as well as practical knowledge. Nine watershed management practices were studied, they included: mulching, minimum tillage, contour farming, terraces, afforestation, grass strips, cut off drains, and agroforestry. A descriptive research design was used. A random sample of 384 households was interviewed using a structured interview schedule. The data was then analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics in a Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 25). The results indicate that three of the independent variables had significant influence on the intensity of household application of WSMP, they included: collective action (β=0.941, t=54.13, p< 0.001), financial investment (β=0.835, t=29.67, p< 0.001) and farmer’s practical knowledge, (β=0.975, p< 0.001), while the socio-demographic factors had no significant influence. We thus recommend that government to subsidize the cost of some watershed management practices, increase the knowledge base of the farmers in the region through seminars and workshops, increase extension services to the people of Upper ENA River catchment.
Africa Nazarene University