River Nyando Basin, Kenya

Challenges · Landscape Restoration · Livestock and Pasture · Water

Landscape Profile

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River Nyando Basin, Kenya

Approximate size (hectares)



Tropical Wet & Dry

Production Systems

Fish, Horticulture, Livestock, Millet, Sorghum


The climate varies from the hot humid dry low lands to cool wet climate of the highland river source. The landscape covers the mid-Nyando basin where people mostly keep cattle and do subsistence farming, to lowlands where people fish along the lake and raise subsistence crops such as sorghum and millet. The gradient from the midlands to the lowlands is steep which, coupled with the pressures of a growing population, has created environmental stress within the region. Vegetation cover has been lost from livestock pasturing and burning of charcoal. This has resulted in massive soil erosion from the escarpments into the low lands leading to floods and displacement of communities.

Voices From The Field

I have a bachelors degree in forestry, and currently I am pursuing a masters degree in environmental science.  I have worked with Vi-Agroforestry since 2000 with the communities promoting agroforestry, environmental conservation and farmer enterprise development activities.  Working with communities on matters of environment has been my inspiration. It is good to see changes over time as families improve their livelihoods and at the same time the environment.   

Wilson Odongo Nyariwo Deputy Country Manager, Vi-Agroforestry

Major Successes



The success has been on re-vegetating the landscape through agroforestry, where various agroforestry tree species have been introduced into farms.  The trees have had impact on provision of fodder (to enable the management of livestock), provision of fruit trees for nutrition security and management of environmental stress.


Stakeholder Collaboration

The players now work through stakeholder forums from where activities are coordinated and community members brought in during various stages of development.

Working Together

There are active stakeholder forums in the areas, where partners meet and deliberate on various issues. The constitution has created county governments, which are in charge of various functions such as agriculture. This has created room for participation by the local communities. There are strong farmer groups that are commodity-based and have created business approaches based on farm enterprises. Stakeholder forums are frequently organized where community members share the successes of various groups within the landscape.

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