By the end of the session, you should be able to:
a) Identify different methods of land reclamation
b) Describe the methods of land reclamation
Land reclamation is the process by which wasteland such as a desert
is converted into useful land fit for cultivation and other economic
activities. Land rehabilitation is a process of restoring land to its
former productive state.
Video clip of an area where the forests have been cleared and then a
Irrigation is the artificial supply of water to plants to enhance
their growth. it is thus practiced in areas where there is little
The water is scooped from water source like a canal or a well by
buckets and splashed onto the crops. This method is used on a small
scale such as in kitchen gardens or to water crops that are grown
adjacent to water sources.
It is also called basin irrigation. Basin irrigation heavily depends
on the annual flooding of a river. During floods, the flood waters are
allowed to move into ditches and spread out over the flood plains
through the force of gravity. In Kenya it is used in Mwea Tebere
Irrigation scheme and Ahero Irrigation Scheme and Lower Nyakach.
This is where water under pressure from a central water supply line
through a pipeline is supplied to the plants from above.
Canal irrigation is where canals are dug. Furrows are cut to lead
water from the rivers and storage reservoirs into the farms. In Kenya
this method is practiced in Mwea irrigation scheme.
This is where water is applied to individual plants through well laid
plastic pipes with holes at specific intervals through which water
trickles to the base of the plants.
In drip irrigation bottles filled with water are inverted into the
roots of plants. The plant slowly saps the water from the bottles. This
method is commonly used in low rainfall areas to grow trees, fruits and
This is a method of reclaiming land by removing excess water from an
area that is waterlogged. This can be done by constructing ditches,
canals and dykes.
A tsetse fly is an insect similar to a house fly. It is a carrier of
sleeping sickness in human beings and Nagana (Trypanosomiasis) in cattle
which may be fatal. The fly has caused large stretches of fertile land
to be abandoned. The control measures applied include bush clearing,
insecticide application, sterilization of male tsetse flies and traps.
This is the process of planting trees in an area where there has
never been trees. Forests help to improve the productivity of the land
in the following ways.
Protecting the soil by controlling soil erosion that is caused
by running water and wind.
Protecting water catchment areas.
Improving the climatic environment.
Drought resistant crops consist of plants that require little
moisture to grow and are able to withstand conditions of prolonged high
temperatures. These crops are therefore grown in marginal lands of Kenya
which experience semi arid conditions, but have a high potential for
agriculture . They include areas like Kitui, Machakos, Tharaka, Kilifi
and Taita Taveta to mention but a few.
Various methods are used to restore the affected portions of land
into their former productive states.The methods include
Afforestation and reafforestation.
Planting grass strips and cover crops
Let us now discuss each of these methods
Afforestation is the practice of planting forests or trees in areas
where none existed. Reafforestation is when the trees are replaced after
being cut. Trees play an important role in the conservation of soil and
water in the environment.
Bush fallowing involves cultivating a field for a period of two to
three years after which it is left fallow while the farmers moves on to
another piece of land.During the fallow period the soil is able to
recover its fertility. It is practised in areas that are sparsely
populated like Voi and Mariakani.
Grass strips or cover crops spread on the ground to cover it,
therefore the land is protected from erosion and more water percolates
through the soil.
Mulching takes place when vegetable remains, plant litter and dry
grass or polythene sheets are used to cover the soil. The mulch helps
retain of moisture to
reduce soil erosion especially splash erosion
increase water infiltration in the soil
soil nutrient and organic matter are obtained as the mulch
These are ridges of soil piled across a slope on which plants can be
grown. They help to check surface runoff and increase infiltration
Manuring is done through constant application of animal or vegetation
manure and chemical fertilizers which improve the fertility of the soil
By the end of the session you should be able to identify various
irrigation schemes in Kenya
There are many irrigation schemes in Kenya growing a variety of crops
as shown by the map below.
Mwea irrigation scheme is located in Kirinyaga county at the foot
hills of Mount Kenya.
The presence of black cotton soils which suitable for rice
cultivation due to high water retention capacity.
The gently sloping land allows the water to flow to the field by
gravity. This undulating land also allows for mechanization.
The presence of rivers Thiba and Nyamidi which provide regular and
abundant water for irrigation throughout the year.
The area receives low and unreliable rainfall which cannot sustain
crop production thus necessitating the use of irrigation.
Availability of extensive land with sparse population made the
project viable since there was room for future expansion.
The area was sparsely populated due to its semi- arid
conditions, therefore displacement of people was minimal.
The colonial government needed a project to occupy the political
detainees during the state of emergency in 1952.
The availability of labour by the former detainees and from the
surrounding areas with high population
Large market for the rice available from the nearby urban
centers like Embu, Nyeri, Kerugoya and Nairobi.
There should be a visit to the scheme to get the most recent
organization of the scheme covering cultivation, marketing and
It saves the country's foreign exchange which could have been
used to purchase ricefrom other countries.
The scheme has provided settlement for many people.In Reference
to 2009 Kenya population census report.
Annual floods have been corrected in the reservoirs created for
There is enhanced food security
Alleviation of poverty among the people since they are engaged
in cultivation and selling of rice.
The scheme has led to the effective use of land which was
The farmers also grow other crops like peas, tomatoes, beans and
maize for their livelihood.
Infrastructure has been improved since roads have been built to
transport the rice from the field to the market.
Social amenities such as schools and hospitals have been
provided and this has improved the living standards of the local
The scheme offer employment to many people thus have raised the
Stagnant water in the scheme encourages the breeding of snails and
mosquitoes which cause diseases like bilharzia and malaria respectively.
Siltation and the growing of weeds in the canals interfere with the
flow of water into the field.
Pests such as case worm, stock eyed fly, leaf minor and quelea birds
attack the crop lowering the yields.
Diseases such as leaf streak, leaf grain rot, rice blast downing
meldew affect the rice grain.
The problem of unplanned irrigation expansion can be solved by
building more reservoirs.
Farmers are being trained to participate in managing the
irrigation water through water users association.
Improve on the marketing strategy in order to get better prices
to enable them to hire labour.
The national cereals and produce board to market rice on behalf
of the farmers for prompt payment.
To empower the cooperative societies and have them supply inputs
and extend credit facilities to the farmers.
The government should facilitate the expansion of the scheme.
The government should look into ways of expanding the scheme.
The local people should also be encouraged to use population control
The National Cereals and Produce Board should help farmers In
marketing their produce while the national Irrigation board provides
them with high quality seeds.
The farmers should deliver their rice to Mwea rice stores so
that they will fetch better prices.
Research by National Irrigation Board to develop high quality
seeds should be done in order to ensure the Basmati variety has its
characteristic aroma. The National Cereals and Produce Board will
ensure the supply of quality rice.
Unplanned irrigation expansion has led to increased demand for
irrigation water which the three rivers cannot sustain. Some water has
also been diverted to horticultural farming.
Shortage of labour experienced during the planting and harvesting
Delayed payment lowers the morale of the farmers making them abardon
rice for other crops.
The co-operation societies which replaced the NIB failed to supply
inputs and credit to the farmers. This led to practice of leasing out
all or part of their farms.
Shortage of extension officers makes it difficult for the farmers to
get technical advice
The scheme has become overpopulated. This has created pressure on the
existing facilities including water for irrigation.
Political interference has alienated the management with the farmers.
This has created land ownership conflict making ,management difficult.
The liberalized marketing of rice led to overexploitation by middle
The use of uncertified seeds has lowered the quality of rice produced
for example the basmati rice lacks the original aroma.
Spraying the stagnant water with insecticides to reduce the
breeding rate of the snails and mosquitoes.
Weeds can be controlled by herbicides sprayed on them.
Dredging is done to remove the silt from the canals.
Use of certified seeds which are free from pests and diseases.
There is quelea control unit which monitor the movement of the
birds in order to control them. Various methods such as poisoning
and use of explosives for scaring the birds are applied.
By the end of the session you should be able to compare methods of
land reclamation in Kenya and Netherlands.
The Netherlands , also called Holland, is one of the countries in
western European. Most of the coastal land in the country has been
reclaimed from the sea.
The following stages were used in the reclamation of land from the
Stage 1: construction of protective dykes or walls to enclose the
part of the sea to be reclaimed and protect the area from getting
flooded during high tides.
Stage 2:Ring canals were constructed to carry water from the area to be
reclaimed back to the sea.
Stage 3:pumping stations were installed to pump out water from the sea
enclosed by the dyke.
Stage 4:water was pumped out of the area enclosed by the dyke.
Stage 5:Reeds were sown to prevent weed from growing. They were also
meant to use up the excess water and reduce salinity.
Stage 6:drainage ditches were cut in the land and drainage pipes laid.
More pumping stations were put up on the land being reclaimed. These
were used to drain water from the water table.
Stage 7:The area was divided into rectangular portions using inner dykes
and ring canals.
Stage 8:The soil was treated with chemicals to lower the salinity.
Stage 9:The drained land was flushed with fresh water to remove salt
from its soil.
Stage 10:pumping out of the water from the polders was a continuous
process. This was to prevent the water from accumulating in the
Animate each and every stage to show the various changes taking
Two projects that were successful in reclaiming land from the sea in
the Netherlands are the Zuider Zee to the North and Delta plan in the
south western region.We now look at the benefits of the Zuider Zee
project. The following are some of the benefits of the Zuide Zee
A large water lake Ijssel was created. It supplied water to the
surrounding area for domestic, industrial and irrigation.
The floods in the area were controlled through the canals,
ditches and pumping stations.
Land reclaimed has increased arable land for crop cultivation
and dairy farming.
The road distance between north and south Holland has been
Soil salinity l has been reduced because of the fresh water from
the lake this has lead to an increase in crop and livestock
The following are the additional benefits of delta plan region.
1. The salination of inland fresh water was controlled by damming the
2. The formerly isolated islands of Zeeland were connected to the
3. Recreation facilities and tourist attractions increased in the area.
Land reclamation in Kenya and Netherlands can be compared in the
In Kenya it is done on a small scale while in the Netherlands it
is done on a large scale.
In Kenya it is both on dry and swampy land while in the
Netherlands it is from land flooded by sea water.
The methods of land reclamation in Kenya includes draining of
swamps by digging ditches, channels and diversion canals, irrigating
arid and semiarid areas clearing of jungles and bushes and
afforestation while in the Netherlands the methods involved
construction of dykes, ring canals, drainage ditches and planting
reeds after pumping sea water from the land.
The conservation measures undertaken include
establishment of game reserves, National parks and game
Establishment of anti- poaching unit.
Ban on game hunting and trading in game products
Establishment of game ranches
Fencing of forests and national parks
Nongovernmental organizations initiatives
Gazettment of forests
Eco- tourism and pollution control
Rehabilitation if land damaged by mining and soil erosion
We shall now discuss these conservation measures.
Establishment of game reserves, national parks and game
Land has been set aside for the above and gazetted to enjoy
government protection against destruction by people. For example Kenya
has 23 National parks, 4 marine parks 6 marine reserves, 28 national
reserves and 5 national sanctuaries occupying a total of 47,674km2.
Establishment of anti poaching units
The government has set aside anti poaching units which are manned by
well trained paramilitary personnel with the responsibility of tracking
down and arresting poachers.
Provide a video clip of Solio ranch and galena ranches, Kikopei game
ranch at Gilgil.
Ban on game hunting and trading in game products.
In east Africa the hunting of wild game is prohibited so as to allow
for their population increase. In 1978 trade of all wildlife products
was banned in Kenya. Example of such products are the rhinoceros horns ,
hippopotamus teeth, elephant tusks, crocodiles, leopard, lion and zebra
skins. This was to reduce poaching. The east African countries are
signatories of international convention that prohibits game products.
Establishment of game ranches.
Game ranching refers to protected large tract of land, together with
the necessary personnel, buildings and equipment for rearing a specific
kind of wild animals.
These ranches have been established to exploit wildlife for meat and
other products while at the same time conserving. For example Galana
game ranching research on the boundary of the Tsavo East National park
in which eland , Oryx and buffalo are raised, Solio ranch in Laikipia
and Nyeri county.
Fencing of forests and National parks.
Forests reserves , National parks and sanctuaries are fenced off so
as to limit human interference.
Non-governmental organizations initiatives
The organizations have played key roles in the conservation of
wildlife in the East African region. For example the world wildlife fund
(WWF) which has given support to the lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya.
Other organizations are ; National save the rhino project
Kenya rhino rescue project and conservation strategy and management plan
for the black rhinoceros. The youth for conservation is also an NGO
which conducts regular desnaring in major National parks in Kenya,
besides conducting public awareness programmes.
Forests are homes of many wild animals and birds. There are also many
species of trees.
Forestry and wildlife conservation in these areas go hand in hand and if
properly managed may increase the income from tourism. For example
Kakamega forest, Meru forest and Karura forest.
Insert a photo of Karura forest.
Eco tourism and pollution control
Eco-tourism in an environment friendly tourism where by a tourist
enjoys watching what nature has provided for enjoyment while at the same
time protects what nature has provided.
Eco-tourism enhances conservation of the wildlife through reduced
construction of facilities such as lodges, roads and airstrips into
Through eco-tourism proceeds from tourism are shared with local
communities hence encouraging them to conserve wildlife for example the
Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary in Kwale.
Provide a documentary interviewing the local community benefiting from
Mwalangaje elephant sanctuary
Do a documentary of Kenya range land ecological monitoring unit (KREMU)
head quarters is in Nairobi.
Rehabilitation of land damaged by mining and soil erosion.
The rehabilitation of land after severe soil erosion and mining has
been put into economic use especially where suitable wildlife has been
introduced for example bamburi cement company has rehabilitated waste
land after mining of limestone to create Hallers park.
Provide a video clip of Hallers Park at Bamburi
Some research centers have been established to research on wildlife
feeding habits diseases reproduction rates, lifespan and conditions
needed for their habitation. For example there is a unit established by
the government called Kenya Rangeland Monitoring Unit (KREMU)
Availability of transport and communication opens up remote areas for
economic activities such as mining, fishing, tourism and trading.
Provide a video clip of the area around Magadi and the industry.
The concluding remarks on transport and communication will high light
the problems facing transport and communication.
large scale development projects by the government may necessitate
compensation and relocation of people to create room for the project.
For example the mining of titanium in Kwale has already displaced many