PDF version


Forests are crucial for maintaining and improving the productivity of agricultural lands as well as
sustaining the ecological balance. The Kenya Government has put in place the forest Act Cap
385 in an attempt to increase forest cover and cut down on massive deforestation. Although
many studies have been done on afforestation, very little has been done on factors affecting
afforestation programmes. Afforestation programmes have faced many difficulties that have to
be solved before reforestations can be successful. The main purpose of the study was to find
factors influencing afforestation programmes in Kitui County. The study used a descriptive
survey study that involved the use of qualitative and quantitative methods in data collection and
drawing of inferences and conclusions. The target population comprised of 17 provincial
administration officers, 15 farmers groups and one forest officer. The researcher used complete
census in data collection. Questionnaires and interview schedules were the main research
instruments that had both closed and open ended questions. A pilot test was carried out to
determine validity and reliability of the research instruments. Data Analysis was done using the
Statistical Package for Social Sciences based on the data collected from provincial administration
officers, women groups and forest officer. The findings of the study were presented using
frequency distribution tables. The study found out that majority of the people in Chuluni division
had received formal education up to primary level, and that most household had over 5 members.
The afforestation programmes were affected by high population densities and human settlements,
and wood fuel was the common form of energy in the area. The study concluded that there was a
relationship between afforestation programmes and human settlements. Deforestation involved
cutting down trees for construction, charcoal burning and firewood. The study has
recommended that the government, through the three sister ministries; Forestry and wildlife,
environment and natural resources and water irrigation comes up with sound policies and
strategies aimed at protecting the existing forest cover and achieving the 20% forest cover. Legal
action need to be taken against those who cut down trees indiscriminately.