Benefits Derived From Rehabilitating A Degraded Semi-arid Rangeland In Private Enclosures In West Pokot County, Kenya

Wairore, J. N., et al., 2016. Land Degradation and Development

Original research (primary data)
View External Publication Link


Rehabilitating degraded rangelands using enclosures offers various benefits to agro-pastoral households. However, enclosure benefits cannot be generalized as there are variations across dryland ecosystems and societies. This study assessed the qualitative and quantitative benefits derived from rehabilitating degraded rangelands using private enclosures in Chepareria, West Pokot County, Kenya. Dry-season grazing reserves, healthier livestock, improved livestock productivity, easier livestock management, food security, reduced animal losses, ecosystem services, land ownership, independence and improved standard of living were the main qualitative benefits from private enclosures identified. Quantitative benefits were manifested through various enclosure enterprise combinations, sale of enclosure marketable products and adoption of alternative income generating activities. They included the sale of livestock and livestock products, maize, wood cutting, grass cuttings, contractual grazing, grass seeds, poultry products, fruits and honey, amongst others. Livestock production directly accounts for 42·4% of the total enclosure income and is the main source of livelihood in Chepareria. There was a significant trend of increasing total enclosure income with enclosure acreage (p?0·05) while enclosure age was insignificant. Enclosures cushion households against climatic shocks such as drought by providing additional flexibility in land, fodder, livestock management and the uptake of various income generating activities. We conclude that enclosures have the potential of contributing to resilience as attested from the benefits reported in this study. However, private enclosure tradeoffs such income differentiation, reduced communal land and conflict have implications on how the ecological and socio-economic aspects may be impacted as the establishment of private enclosures in Chepareria continues.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-104-1
  • Intervention type: Combination
  • Intervention description:

    rehabilitation program: sustained changes in land management by establishing enclosures, starting with churches and schools as demonstration sites. enclosing previously communal rangelands

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: No
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Loss of food production  Positive qualitative assessment from interviews, based on community members' observations/perceptions measures on: increased livestock productivity (improved livestock health and productivity (milk and meat)), easier livestock management, reduced animal losses
    Soil erosion  Positive qualitative assessment from interviews, based on community members' observations/perceptions "proper land management fostered by land ownership has been instrumental in addressing land degradation and increasing ecosystem/environmental services such as vegetation cover and reduced soil erosion"
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Chepareria, a ward in West Pokot County (Figure 1), is situated in the northwestern rangelands of Kenya between latitude 1°15′ and 1°55′N; longitude 35°7′ to 35°27′ E. Three locations, namely Ywalateke, Chepkopegh and Morpus were selected for this study.

  • Country: Kenya
  • Habitat/Biome type: Montane/Alpine |
  • Issue specific term: Not applicable


  • Notes on intervention effectivness: effectiveness determined from qualitative assessment of interviews based on community observations/perceptions of the impact the intervention has had since implementation
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Not applicable
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: No
  • Impacts on GHG: Not applicable
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: Yes
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Positive
  • Ecosystem measures: qualitative assessment comparing measures inside and outside intervention zone "simplest indicator of the ecological ben- efits of rangeland enclosures is the remarkable difference of vegetation cover/regeneration and soil health inside respec- tive of outside the fence"
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
  • Impacts for people: Positive
  • People measures: Improved living standards fostered changes in gender roles with both men and women, highlighting that they have time for alternative tasks and income generating activities besides their traditional gender roles.
  • Considers economic costs: Yes
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Qualitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic: