Direct-use of ecosystem services by rural households: Case Study of SAGLA Park
Keywords:Sagla Parks, direct-use, ecosystem services, rural households
Sagla Parks are ASALs invaded by sisal plant Agave sisalana P. They were discovered in 2015 at 0o24’29.73”S 34o31’10.04”E and 0o24’32.95”S 34o31’18.40”E locations in Homa Bay County (Kenya) but are now widespread through adoption by pastoralists. Their main function is Sisal, Acacia, Grass and Livestock Agrotourism (SAGLA). Their direct-use by rural households is unstudied and therefore unknown. The direct-use of ecosystem services at the parks was quantified for 60 households across two villages in Homa Bay County, Kenya. The link between household wealth status, gender and direct-use of ecosystem services was also assessed. Simple random sampling method was used to select households. Questionnaires were used as main instruments for data collection. Results indicate that consumption of ecosystem services from the park was extensive, with the most common being livestock grazing (93%), sisal craftsmanship (64%), fuel-wood collection (87%), charcoal burning (13%), beekeeping (6%), gum collection (3%), sisal poles harvesting (72%), and thatching grass harvesting (28%). The mean annual direct-use value of ecosystem services was Ksh39, 590 per household and Ksh4, 215 per person per year, with the value being highest in the poorest village. Women respondents dominated sisal craftsmanship (95%) and fuel-wood extraction (91%) direct-uses, while male respondents dominated grazing (86%), charcoal burning (100%), beekeeping (100%), harvesting of sisal poles (98%), and thatching grass harvesting (100%). Results indicate that rural households rely heavily on ecosystem services from Sagla Parks, and there is gender disparity in extraction of ecosystem services. These findings serve to guide scientists, community developers, and policy-makers in the context of poverty and sustainable rural development.
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