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Influence of Livestock Farming on Vegetation in a Degraded Soil Area on the East Coast of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya: A Case Study of Jimo East Sub-Location in Nyando Sub-County

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2015.68075    2,586 Downloads   2,948 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In the study area located in Western Kenya near the Lake Victoria, severe soil erosion occurred and it thought to relate to vegetation degradation caused by overgrazing. The livestock density estimated by analyzing satellite image (1.39 TLU/ha for available grazing lands) was lower than that of measured for seven farmers’ grazing lands using GPSs (4.41 TLU/ha, 2011) with variation from 0.83 to 12.36 TLU/ha. Thus, it is clear that the grasslands used by farmers are limited compared with the area of estimated available land for grazing identified by analyzing the satellite image. According to growth-consumption rate model that was developed by the Nyangito et al. (2008) in southeastern Kenya, if livestock density reaches over 7 TLU/ha, pasture growth rate became lower than consumption rate. Grass biomasses of the grazing lands were kept low (less than 50 g/50 × 50 cm2) under high livestock density (three farmers out of seven were higher than 7 TLU/ha). In addition, rainfall pattern is very unstable and we observed stunted growth of grasses during dry spells. Therefore, we concluded that overgrazing. It means that inhibition of continuous re-growth of grasses due to high grazing pressure has been occurred even for small area and contributed to the soil erosion.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Yamane, Y. , Asanuma, S. and Umenura, K. (2015) Influence of Livestock Farming on Vegetation in a Degraded Soil Area on the East Coast of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya: A Case Study of Jimo East Sub-Location in Nyando Sub-County. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 824-836. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.68075.

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