Temporal Trends in Kenyan Smallholder Settlement Scheme Allocation (1962 – 2015)

Authors: Christina Mauney*, University of Richmond, John Scrivani, University of Richmond, Kimberley Browne, University of Richmond
Topics: Africa, Temporal GIS, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Kenya, Smallholder, Settlement Scheme,
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Settlement schemes are plots of land transferred from large European farms to Kenyan smallholders. The creation of smallholder settlement schemes played a critical role in the postcolonial development of Kenya. Intended to offer land tenure opportunities to landless people and de-racialize formerly white land at the beginning of Kenyan independence, settlement scheme allocation has continued into the present day. As part of a collaborative project between the London School of Economics, the Kenya National Land Commission, and the University of Richmond, approximately 1,500 individual paper maps depicting smallholder settlement schemes in Kenya were georeferenced and used to digitize 350 smallholder settlement schemes. The larger settlement scheme project’s goals include studying how settlement scheme allocation practices have changed over time. To aid in that understanding, this particular study sought to understand temporal trends in scheme properties such as smallholder plot size and allocated land quality. Due to the long duration of settlement scheme allocation and limited amount of suitable land, we expected to see a decrease in plot size and land quality through time. Using settlement scheme spatial data, limited settlement scheme population information, and environmental data (including precipitation, evapotranspiration, and soil type), temporal trends and spatial patterns in scheme allocation were assessed using Geographic Information Systems and regression analyses. The results of the study show spatial and temporal differences in lands subject to settlement scheme allocation over six decades.

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