Impact of Mau forest catchment on the Great Riftvalley lakes in kenya

Authors: Margaret Onserio*, Jomo kenyatta university
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Water Resources and Hydrology, Natural Resources
Keywords: catchment,conservation
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download

Forests are very important assets for economic,environmental protection,social and cultural values and should be conserved in order to realize these benefits to the country.Kenya's forests are rapidly declining or experiencing degradation due to pressure from growing population,technological innovations,urbanization and human development and other land uses.
Mau forest is one of the major forest in Kenya that is a catchment area fo many Riftvalley lakes within the country Kenya and faces a lot of destruction.Continued destruction of the Mau forest will cause catastrophic environmental damage resulting in massive food crises and compromising the livelihoods of millions of kenyans and eventual collapse of the tourism industry.
The purpose of this research was to investigate relationship between increasing rate of deforestation and the reduction of volumes of water in neighbouring lakes between the years 2000 and 2018.Remote sensing and GIS applications were used in this research study.The dynamics of neighbouring water bodies evaluated were those of lakes Naivasha,Baringo,Nakuru,Elementaita and Bogoria.
The research showed that from the period of 2005 to 2015, Mau forest has been decreasing due to deforestation and the water bodies have irregular dynamics.During the El nino rains experienced in the country during the years 1997 and 1999,there was rise in the volumes of the water.Unlike 2005 to 2015 the volumes decreasd as the forest is also decreasing.
Its recommended that the government creates awareness to sensitize the public on the importance of such forests as catchment areas in Kenya.This will ensure that the public understands the benefits of conserving forests.

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