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University of Toronto (1989)

The development of carrying capacity scenarios for population dynamics : a case study in Machakos District, Kenya

Mwendandu, Richard John

Titre : The development of carrying capacity scenarios for population dynamics : a case study in Machakos District, Kenya

Auteur : Mwendandu, Richard John

Université de soutenance : University of Toronto, Canada

Grade : MSc 1989

Résumé
Sound natural resource development policies are crucial to avoid ecological and resource degradation. Historically, natural resources policies have been based on decisions where the decision makers relied on instinct, past experience and political influence. Although past experience will continue to play an important role in decision making, other practical approaches based on empirical formulations have taken root, for example the Linear Programming (LP) technique. The LP technique was employed to model 6 basic scenarios and 7 subsequent scenarios for each, in 4 different objective functions for Machakos District, Kenya. A total of 168 scenarios was employed (i.e. 6 x 7 x 4 = 168). The LP models are used to determine various estimates of human carrying capacity in the district and identify priority areas of increasing the carrying capacity. Each scenario is a mathematical representation of the many biophysical, ecological, socio-economic, administrative and political constraints of what constitutes the present and possible future versions of realistically attainable improvements. The determination of the carrying capacity in each scenario, which is based on the present level of welfare, will provide some insights into the many factors, which interplay to determine each carrying capacity. Activities are identified, which should receive emphasis in improved management of the natural resources. To avert ecological and resource degradation as evidenced by the presence of soil erosion, land denudation, overgrazing, fall in agricultural production and deforestation, it is generally acknowledged that immediate initiation of an integrated development approach in the district is crucial. In the case of Machakos District, this will involve immediate concrete and continued population control, increased agricultural productivity (through the application of cowdung, adaption of agroforestry technologies and the development of irrigation projects, with priority for the semi-arid areas), active afforestation and improved fuel wood utilisation .

Mots clés : Machakos District, Kenya / Population / Agriculture / Ecosystems / Natural resources

Présentation

Page publiée le 23 septembre 2010, mise à jour le 5 février 2018