Thursday, October 1, 2009

Economic Assessment of Best Management Practices in the Mara River Basin

George Atisa was a Master's student at Florida International University sponsored by USAID through GLOWS. He was here last year for a while working hard and gathering a ton of information that helped him produce this very informative thesis: ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE MARA RIVER BASIN: TOWARD IMPLEMENTING PAYMENT FOR WATERSHED SERVICES.

Here is the abstract:

The Mara River in East Africa is currently experiencing poor water quality and increased fluctuations in seasonal flow. This study investigated technically effective and economically viable Best Management Practices for adoption in the Mara River Basin of Kenya that can stop further water resources degradation. A survey of 155 farmers was conducted in the upper catchment of the Kenyan side of the river basin. Farmers provided their assessment of BMPs that would best suit their farm in terms of water quality improvement, economic feasibility, and technical suitability. Cost data on different practices from farmers and published literature was collected. The results indicated that erosion control structures and runoff management practices were most suitable for adoption. The study estimated the total area that would be improved to restore water quality and reduce further water resources degradation. Farmers were found to incur losses from adopting new practices and would therefore require monetary support.

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