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  • Thumbnail for Subdivision as a catalyst for land use change and its consequent effect on the economy and ecosystem of Loitokitok District, Kenya
    Subdivision as a catalyst for land use change and its consequent effect on the economy and ecosystem of Loitokitok District, Kenya by Baumann, Natalie

    Since the formation of Kimana Group Ranch in 1972, land tenure in Loitokitok District has been based on a system of communally owned group ranches. Currently, only five group ranches remain, as Kimana has been fully subdivided. This study assessed the effects of subdivision on Kimana Group Ranch and forecasted the effects that subdivision will have on Mbirikani and Kuku Group Ranches. An emphasis was placed on diversification of land use and how that relates to the economy and ecosystem of the region. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview 369 residents of the three group ranches. Interviews were also conducted with key informants, such as ministry officials, group ranch officials, and representatives from non-governmental organizations. Data was analyzed using a multiple regression linear probability model and chi-square goodness of fit statistical tests. GIS points were also analyzed to create a map of land plots that have and have not been sold within Kimana Group Ranch and the wildlife sanctuaries that it contains. Results showed that the factors that most greatly influence one’s decision to diversify their livelihood strategy are ethnic background, acres owned, and the perception that their current land use affects their opinion of subdivision. Diverse land uses such as leasing plots, conservation areas, and development are, unlike pastoralism and agriculture, not as susceptible to adverse affects from unforeseeable difficulties, such as drought. Community involvement in conservation and other sustainable economic endeavors is necessary for subdivision to be successful. It is also vital that landowners be educated on the importance of land so that they can make an informed decision about selling.