Effects of the changing land use practices on the well being of Peri-urban inhabitants of Kamulu area, Nairobi, Kenya
Ochieng, Vivian Adhiambo
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Urban sprawl is a phenomena experienced around most big cities. Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, has caused this effect to the surrounding towns as most people want to settle around the town area for various reasons. Kamulu town is one such area where population pressure from Nairobi city has caused movement of persons into settling. Currently, there has been increased population in Kamulu town, which in turn has led to changes in land use patterns from the large tracts of ranch to smaller portions which are of diversified uses. This study sought to assess the effects of the changing land use practices on the wellbeing of peri-urban inhabitants in Kamulu area, Nairobi County, Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the influences of reduced land sizes on the wellbeing of the peri-urban inhabitants of Kamulu area; to establish ways in which infrastructural development had impacted on the wellbeing of the residence of Kamulu area; and, to assess the influence of peri-urban land use economy on the wellbeing of the people of Kamulu area. The study used a descriptive research design where systematic random sampling technique was used to select a random sample of 378 respondents for the study. A household survey using a researcher administered questionnaire was conducted. The unit of analysis was the household and the contact persons for the feedback were the household heads. A pilot study was conducted on 20 random selected residents of Nairobi-Kangundo corridor to determine the validity and reliability of the data collection instrument. An alpha reliability coefficient of 0.799 was obtained and considered for the study. One Focus Group Discussion was conducted to triangulate the household data. Descriptive (frequency distributions, means and standard deviation) and inferential (multiple regression analysis) statistics were used to analyse the data at 95 % level of confidence. Land use diversification was found to significantly affect wellbeing of the residents of Kamulu area (β= 0.85, p=0.04). Land use diversification impacted wellbeing at 48.9%. Infrastructural development was found to significantly affect wellbeing (β=0.49, p=0.04). Infrastructural development impacted wellbeing at 24%. The three variables altogether impacted on the wellbeing at 45.3%. This implies that there are other variables that were impacting on the wellbeing of the residents in Kamulu area. Based on a scale of 0 to 10 the overall wellbeing of the residents was found to be 6.3 indicating the household heads have wellbeing slightly above the average of 5. The researcher therefore recommends that infrastructural development and land use diversification being vast should be exploited fully within Kamulu area for it to impact with a greater margin on the wellbeing of the residents. Also more variables resulting from the changing land use practices can explored to get a better feel on the residents wellbeing.