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Library The Impact Land Sub-division and Fragmentaion on Rural Development: a Case Study of Vihiga County

The Impact Land Sub-division and Fragmentaion on Rural Development: a Case Study of Vihiga County

The Impact Land Sub-division and Fragmentaion on Rural Development: a Case Study of Vihiga County

Resource information

Date of publication
December 2017
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ISBN / Resource ID

Vihiga is one of the most densely populated counties in Kenya with a current population density of 1,045 persons per square km. The high population has exerted enormous pressure on available land resource resulting in land fragmentation and uneconomic subdivision. However the seriousness of the problem has not been systematically analyzed and documented. This study determined the level, causes and analyzed impacts of land fragmentation and uneconomic sub-division on rural development, assessed the acceptability of alternative human settlement pattern and has proposed policy and planning interventions. Using simple random sampling method, 127 households from Lusengeli Sublocation in Sabatia District and 183 households from Esianda Sublocation in Vihiga District were interviewed to determine the level and causes of land fragmentation and un-economical land subdivision. In addition to secondary data, primary data were collected using household questionnaires, observation, check list, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics and presented in form of tables, charts, photographs and text. With Simons Index (SI), the study reveals presence of land fragmentation in the county. However, the level of fragmentation is higher in Lusengeli Sublocation (0.5) compared to Esianda Sublocation (0.8) with a total average of 0.65. There is also problem of small land size and uneconomical land sub-division with average household land size of 0.41 hectares. A large proportion of households (56.5%) lack title deeds of the land on which they reside. The cause of land fragmentation and uneconomic land subdivision is tradition of land inheritance, land purchase for purpose of farming, investment or bequeathing the heirs and need for space of settlement. Land fragmentation has had both socio-economic and environmental impacts on rural development. There is reported low household income, population out migration and negative environment impact in addition to land related conflicts that are linked to Land fragmentation and uneconomic sub-division in the county. Though dispersed settlement pattern is preferred, the challenge it poses to a highly populated area with scarce land resource is noted. However, the values of cluster settlement are acknowledged though there is need of attitude change to embrace this form of settlement. The study recommends the following: Adhering to land use planning both in rural and urban areas, starting a land bank program, enabling functional and dynamic land market by facilitating acquisition of land title deed, alternative form of inheritance to replace land inheritance, land consolidation at both household and neighborhood level, creation of more job opportunities and family planning to control population growth.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Kihima, Mise V

Data Provider
Geographical focus