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Yearning for an Apple: The Changing Lifestyle of the Tana River Delta Communities in Kenya and Implications on Livelihoods and Conservation of Natural Resources

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: Tana River Delta is occupied predominantly by pastoral and farming communitiesthat inhabit defined zones in the Delta. A study was undertaken to assesschanges in the lifestyle of communities living in the Delta and itsimplications on livelihoods and conservation of natural resources. Literaturereview, household questionnaires, social and resource mapping, key informantinterviews, village-based focus group discussion and structured observations were used to collect data. It wasevident that the delta communities are aware ofthe delta resources, their uses, utilization andbest management options. Additionally, they were knowledgeable on the delta resourcesuse by non-residents, the resultant conflicts and the food status in the community. They had a good understandingof the new food they would wish to have in their diets and the means of accessingthem. Modernity has pushed the community to yearn for development (“Yearn foran Apple”) to access foods that other parts of the country are eating, withimplications on livelihoods and conservation of Delta resources. Reversingdegradation and enhancing the development of the Delta area require theinvolvement of all stakeholders, informing and seeking the consensus ofdecision-makers and the real users of the Tana delta. The Government has toprovide overall security and development.

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