143 Records out of 22207 Records

A survey of financial challenges facing small contractors in Western Kenya

Author: Simiyu, Moses

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MBA

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Financial performance/Financial management/Small business/Contractors/Western Kenya ;

Abstract:

The study is a survey of financial challenges faced by small contractors in western region. The study is inspired by common business failures witnessed among this class of business in western region. The identified challenges are unique to small contractors in the western region .This study is vital to the Govenunents policy formulation and implementation in the SME sector and specifically small contractors. Financial institutions will gain from the study by appreciating the challenges related to them and put up measures to avoid them and support the small contractors. The small contractors themselves will mirror their situation through the report and put up corrective measures so as to ensure that their businesses continue to a going concern perpetually. The main objective of the study was to determine such challenges that are experienced by the small contractors in westem region. The data used in the study was primary data collected directly from the contractors. The contractors were sampled out of a population of 247 small companies carrying out construction in western to come up with a sample of 87 Questioners and interviews vere used to collect the data which was then summarized statistical From the findings, ten challenges were identified and ranked according to severity. Access to credit was ranked highest, coming out as the biggest challenge to the small contractors in westem region .This implies that the small contractors suffer from lack of funds for running there business. Bribery on the other hand was ranked least among the challenges. This however showed that the respondents were un comfortable to declare if they have participated in a bribe. In conclusion, the study summarized the challenges and identified the parties that are supposed to help in mitigating the challenges. The Government was called upon to relax both the regulations and the taxes in the sector. Bank 0 the other hand was asked to reduce the cost of capital to reasonable levels and employ fair practises during loan appraisal processes

Surplus appropriation in rural households : a study of the beneficiaries of the One Acre Fund project in Western Kenya

Author: Wekesa, Gideon Wafula

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Farmers/Family income/Rural areas/Households/Credit/One Acre Fund/Western Kenya/ ;

Abstract:

Rural households often have extra resources not required for immediate consumption at some point in the year. Tapping into those extra resources to help rural households towards improved livelihoods is a great avenue for enhancing livelihood sustainability in rural areas. The research focused on beneficiaries of One Ac:.re Fund Project in Kanduyi Division. This is a project that supports rural farmers to maximize return from their maize farming activities. The farmers are taught best farming methods, they receive farm inputs in the form of loans and receive field extension services until when they harvest their produce then they are facilitated to store and market their produce gainfully. This study sought to examine the characteristics of households benefiting from the One Acre Fund, how the households use surplus and the factors that determine surplus appropriation the households. There are a number of researches that have been done to document the characteristics of Kenyan households. Other studies have been done in East Africa and other countries on factors that influence investment decisions in poor households. This study was inspired by the thinking that rural households are engaged in farming activities that help them generate some surplus. However, little research has been done to document how rural households use surplus and the factors that influence use of extra resources not required for immediate consumption. The aim of the research was to generate information on factors that influence surplus generation and use of surplus in rural households. Such information can inform government policy and approaches by development actors interested in empowering rural communities. A structured questionnaire was administered to 60 beneficiaries of the One Acre Fund sampled using systematic random sampling technique. Key informant Interviews were done with Field officers from the One Acre Fund while focus group discussions were held in three locations with community facilitators. The data collected provides information on household characteristics, surplus use in the households, and factors that influence use surplus within the households. Information gathered was analyzed quantitatively using descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data was analyzed through generation of descriptive summaries. Data collected shows that households benefiting from the One Acre Fund are vulnerable due to small land holding, high unemployment, and relatively big household size, high dependency due to many children below 15 years and cash scarcity. The main household characteristic that affects surplus generation in the households is engagement in off farm and non-farm activities. Household's that engage in off-farm and non-farm activities had higher surplus than the households that relied only on farming. Quantity of farm produce used in a household is dependent on the household size. This means that household size is a major determinant of amount of surplus that a household can accrue in a year. Due to the mentioned household characteristics, household surplus use is geared towards investment in children's education, intensifying agricultural production, diversifying livelihood e.g. by starting business or building social capital in order to find helping hands during adversity. School fee is the major surplus expenditure item for the sampled households. This is largely because of perceived benefits of education where people in the area view education as a key to life in the changing socio-economic environment. School fees and basic needs like better shelter notwithstanding, many households are concerned with household livelihood diversification and spend their surplus or plant spend surplus on items such as buying milk cow, starting or expanding business and buying more land. The main household characteristics that influence surplus available to households are household size, household composition, and employment status of hous

A multilevel (combined analysis) for a repeated data in two seasons on dry matter yields of common fodder grasses in Western Kenya

Author: Ngumo, Reuben Gachanja

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Western Kenya ; Grasses ; Feeds ; Harvest ;

Abstract:

Fodder grasses are the most common crops fed to dairy animals in Kenya. Although not directly used for human consumption, they are the source of protein and fat i.e. meat, milk and other dairy products that are available to human beings through intermediaries like cattle, sheep, goats, poultry etc. Performance of four grass fodder varieties on two different rainy seasons was evaluated to determine seasonal effects. The fodder grass varieties included in the study were; Bana grass, Cameroon grass, Bajra grass, and Giant Panicum (P. Maximum). Two harvests (cuts) were made in each of the two seasons. The main objective of the study were to determine DM (dry matter) yield of the four varieties in the two different rainy seasons and to determine the effects of cutting times on fodder yields. Kenya has two very different rainy seasons; Long rain. season and short rain season. The total mean yield of the four fodder varieties was high in long rain season (7.14 tlha) compared to the total mean yield of the short season (2.63 t/ha) in the first cut. The mean yield of second cut during short rain season is higher (7.33 t/ha) compared to the mean yield of Long rain (5.97 t/ha). Season had significant effect on the yield (p<O.OOOI for cut 1 and p=O.0067 for cut 2) of fodder grass varieties. The significant reduction in yield during the short rain season could be due to inadequate moisture causing reduction in vegetative growth. Examining the effect of seasons and treatments interaction of the two harvests (cut 1 and cut 2), showed significance (p=O.0067 and p<O.OOI) respectively) meaning that a number of fodder grass varieties produced higher dry matter yield in one of the season than the other. The results of this study indicate that harvest management of fodder grass should vary according to season. There is need of farmers in Kenya to beef up moisture requirement during short rain season to have adequate surplus of fodder crop throughout the year.

Prediction of wood density and carbon-Nitrogen content in tropical agroforestry tree species in Western Kenya using infrafred spectroscopy

Author: Olale, Kennedy Owuor

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Density ; Carbon ; Nitrogen ; Agroforestry ; Trees ; Western Kenya ; Spectrum analysis ;

Abstract:

The global debate on climate change needs to be furnished with accurate and precise measurement of biomass in agricultural landscapes. Wood density is a supporting parameter for biomass estimation; however, empirical methods for wood density determination are destructive and complex, as are conventional wet chemistry analyses of carbon and nitrogen. Thus a low cost and non-destructive method of estimation is required. Infrared Spectroscopy coupled with chemometrics multivariate techniques offers a fast and non-destructive alternative for obtaining reliable results without complex sample pre-treatments. This study sought to develop a prediction model for estimation of wood density, carbon and nitrogen across species using Infrared Spectroscopy. Empirical data for determination of these parameters were obtained from coring 77 trees sampled from three benchmark sites (Lower, Middle and Upper Yala blocks) along Yala basin in Western Kenya. Samples from cored holes in the tree (branch, stern and roots) were used to estimate wood biovolume and density. Models for estimation of these parameters were derived from scanning 404 cores using diffuse reflectance Infrared Spectroscopy and reference values for carbon and nitrogen obtained using a CarbonNitrogen analyzer. partial least squares regression, using first derivative spectra pretreatment, was used to develop a model based on different calibrations sets. Models were compared on the basis of the accuracy of prediction using the coefficient of determination (R2), Standard Error of Calibration (SEC) and Standard Error of Prediction (SEP). Calculated wood density range was 0.20-0.95gcm-3 with the mean being 0.59 gem', while IR predicted 0.25-0.95 gem' (mean 0.53 gem') in the Near Infrared Region (NIR) and 0.32-0.86 gem' (mean 0.53 gem') in the Mid Infrared Region (MIR). Measured carbon range was 40%-52% (mean 48%). while IR predicted 44%-51% (mean 48%) in NIR region and 46%-51 % (mean 48%) in MIR region. Measured nitrogen range was 0.09-0.48% (mean 0.28%). while IR predicted 0.18%-0.47% (mean 0.24%) in NIR region and 0.18%-0.38% (mean 0.24%) in MIR region. Values of SEC were low relative to laboratory analytical errors. Interactions between densities with tree species and tree parts showed significant effect (p<O.OOl). while the interactions between tree parts and species showed no significant effect. Values averaged to the species level predicted much better than the individual core models with R2>0.57 for all the parameters. This suggests large variations within species that cannot be predicted using IR. The data generated here on densities were comparable with those given in a global wood density database. On the other hand. carbon content varied among species but not between the sites. an indication that the often assumed default value of 50% carbon in wood is over estimation of tree carbon and would lead to over estimation of the total carbon stocks. NIR region gave better predictions than MIR. although the prediction performance was insufficient to recommend Infrared Spectroscopy as a practical method for direct determination of wood density and carbon content across species when different percentages were used.

Quality management practices adopted by sugar manufacturing companies in Western Kenya

Author: Ogada, Pamela Adhiambo

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MBA

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Quality control ; Sugar industry ; Manufacturers ; Western Kenya ;

Abstract:

Quality is widely recognized as one of the most important disciplines Istrategies or competitive priority for an organizational development. In this era of global competition a company needs to apply quality methodologies in the form of strategic quality management; quality systems: quality assurance; quality control, etc.ln other words, the organization has to implement the concept of quality management (QM). This is because the QM principles support the business practices of cost reduction, enhanced productivity and improved quality of products loutputs-i.e., it helps to support and fulfill. The concept of QM provides the approach to realize the manufacturing strategy leading to fulfillment of corporate strategy. The principles and contents of QM philosophy would increase a firm's commitment to quality and if they are applied correctly enhances the firm's competitive position, hence the concept of excellence in manufacturing. The objective of the study was to establish the quality management practices used by Sugar manufacturing companies in western Kenya and to determine the challenges faced during implementation. The research methodology was based on a survey approach for establishing quality management practices and challenges of implementation by sugar manufacturing companies. Surveys are concerned with describing, recording, analyzing and interpreting conditions that either exist or existed. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The questionnaire was divided into two sections which were answered by the top level and the middle level management. The study found that the quality management practices that were practiced by the sugar factories were top management commitment, organization for quality, employee training/education, employee involvement, supplier quality management, customer focus, quality system improvement and statistical quality techniques. The study revealed the importance sugar manufacturing companies attach to quality management improvements. The quality management practice that was largely practiced was top management commitment indicating that top management is actively involved in quality management and is providing clear and consistent leadership. The second most practiced quality system improvement was organisation for quality implying the companies' culture is conducive to quality strategy implementation and improvement. The third most practiced quality 'management practice was statistical quality technique implying that quantitative methods and statistical tools are used to provide workers and managers with the tools needed to quantify variation, identify cause and find solutions to reduce or remove unwanted variation and monitor progress objectively. The fourth most practiced quality management practice was employee empowerment implying the employees are part of the organizations decision making process and have a sense of family. Employees take pride and ownership in their work which may lead to improvement in their job performance and eventually increase organizational quality. The second objective of the study investigated the challenges of implementation of the quality management practices. The results indicate that there is good progress in quality management practices implementation though some challenges do exist.

Factors influencing educational managers' support for distance education mode of delivery : the case of Western Region, Kenya

Author: Mbugua, John Mwaura

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : PhD

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Distance learning ; Education policy ; Educators ; Western Kenya ;

Abstract:

In many countries distance learning has been adopted and has had significant success in terms of accommodating large number of students at the same time. Despite Distance Education. (DE) mode of learning having been introduced in Kenya in the 1960s at the University of Nairobi only a few students are reported to have completed various courses through the mode. This study seeks to establish the factors that influence support by educational managers for DE mode of learning in Western Region. The study undertook to answer the following four research questions: The first research question was to what extent do the educational managers' level of awareness of DE mode of delivery influence their support for DE mode in Western Region of Kenya? The second question was to what extent do the attitudes of educational managers in Western Region influence their support for DE mode of delivery? The research sought to establish to what extent do persorial characteristics - Gender, professional qualifications, work experience and administrative position- held influence their support for DE learners in Western Region? Finally the study focused on to what extent does the government policy on DE influence educational managers' support for distance learning mode of delivery? In addition to these research questions seven hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The data collected was analyzed using both qualitative and qualitative techniques which revealed that the educational managers' support for DE mode of learning was influenced by personal characteristics such as working experience, position held and subject specialization. Further the level of awareness of educational managers about distance learning mode was also found to be having a significant influence on their support for DE mode of learning. The educational Managers' attitudes towards DE mode of learning were also found to have influence on their support for 'DE mode of learning. The study recommended that teacher training institutions should revise their syllabuses to include DE units in their new syllabuses. This would expose students undergoing educational courses to appreciate DE's strengths, weaknesses and situational application for suitability. Further a major campaign also needs to be organized to sensitize existing educational managers of the effectiveness and efficiency of DE mode of learning. It was evident that attitude of majority of educational managers was not based on facts but on mere beliefs. A reasonable number of those who participated in the study were not fully exposed to distance learning mode despite their background in education and their work experiences. More research needs to be facilitated to establish the situational effectiveness of various modes of learning. This would allow stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding appropriate mode of learning taking cognizance of prevailing circumstances. The government needs to review its policy on education to provide an enabling environment for employees / students undergoing DE programme while working.

Prevalence and co-infection of cassava with cassava mosaic geminiviruses and cassava brown streak virus in popular cultivars in Western Kenya

Author: Irungu, John

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ; Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Headquarters Library ;

Subject Terms: Disease/Manihot esculenta/B. tabaci/Cassava mosaic virus/Cassava brown streak virus/Infections/Western Kenya ;

Abstract:

Cassava mosaic gemtntviruses (CMGs) and Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) cause diseases of major economic significance to cassava in Kenya. The Western region of Kenya ,contributes about 60% of cassava production in the country. Currently CBSD distribution is ,being newly reported in the Western region where over 90% CMD incidences have been observed. Transmission studies have confirmed that B. tabaci transmits both CMGs and 'CBSV. The co-occurrence of the vector, CMGs and the newly reported CBSV undoubtedly raises the alarming possibility of a 'dual pandemic'. This study was designed to investigate the dual virus spread, the possible interactions of CMGs and CBSV on the host plant and their effect on the development of symptoms on the popular cassava varieties. To evaluate the status of the two viruses on the local popular varieties in terms of incidence, prevalence and severity, a survey was conducted in Kakamega, Teso, Bungoma, Siaya and Busia districts in Western Kenya and 273 samples collected from 67 farmer's fields. The CMGs and CBSV were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) respectively. The CMD incidence among the varieties was highest in Embwanatereka 89%, Serere 87%, Adhiambolera 86%, and lowest in Kibandameno 83% while CBSD incidence was highest in Serere 73%, Adhiambolera 69%, and Kibandameno 56% and lowest in Embwanatereka 51 %. To assess the possible interactions of the two viruses, 10 Nicotiana benthamiana plants were sap inoculated with CMGs and CBSV singly and in combination in two trials. A highly significant difference (P<0.05) was observed in the interaction of the virus and time. At 30 days post inoculation, dual infection of CMD+CBSD showed the highest severity score (4.7) followed by CBSV (4.1) and CMD (3), suggesting synergistic interaction of the two viruses when occurring together. To determine effect of dual infection of CBSV and CMGs species in 4 local popular cultivars, 10 replicates from each cassava landrace were graft-inoculated with diseased scions and foliar symptoms examined using a scale of 1-5. No significant difference (P>0.05) on mean severity was observed when each virus occurred alone in the cassava landraces. However, in combination of CMD and CBSD, significant difference (P<0.05) were observed on mean severity among the cassava landraces. The study provides the first report of the presence and foliar effect of dual infection of CMD and CBSD in popular cassava landraces and possible interaction of CMD and CBSD. The study further gives evidence of possible synergistic interaction between CMD and CBSD. The high level of the virus disease incidences observed indicates an urgent need to deploy control strategies in Western Kenya.

Who cares for orphans? Challenges to kinship and morality in a Luo village in western Kenya.

Author: Cooper, E

Awarding University: University of Oxford, England

Level : DPhil

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Orphans ; Luo (African people) ; Kinship ; Morality ; Western Kenya ; HIV (infection) ; AIDS (disease) ;

Abstract:

This dissertation analyses an ethnographic study of how people in a peri-urban, agricultural village in western Kenya have responded to the questions of who will care for children, and how, when those children?s parents, or other primary caregivers, have died. It examines the practical and ideological implications of wide-scale orphaning among a population that has experienced increased numbers and proportions of orphaned children mainly due to HIV/AIDS, as well as the gradual depletion of resources in terms of both the availability of middle-aged adults and the security of economic livelihoods. The research explores how specific caring relationships, as well as general sociality, have been challenged, adapted, and affirmed or rejected normatively and practically in this context. The research revealed a high degree of questioning in people?s efforts to forge responses to children?s orphaned situations. Rarely was there unambiguous consensus in the study context concerning what should be done in response to children?s orphanhood in light of families? diminished livelihood capacities. More broadly, there was a distinctive concern with how such situations might be appraised in moral terms. The analysis therefore focuses on three main concerns, including: how to understand uncertainty as a condition of life, and the implications of this; how a shared perspective of uncertainty has spurred a concern with morality in the study context, and specifically galvanised a moral economy of kinship; and how the concern with morality affected what was deemed at stake in people?s lives.

The seasonal abundance of Anopheles gambiae, Malaria transmission and the parasite sensitivity to Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine in Western Kenya

Author: Obala, Andrew Ambogo

Awarding University: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Level : PhD

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Library ;

Subject Terms: Malaria ; Anopheles gambiae ; Chemelil Sugar Company ; Children and youth ; Anopheles arabiensis ; Disease control ; Bed nets ; Artemisinin ; Kopere village, Western Kenya ;

Abstract:

The retrospective and prospective data collections were done at Chemelil Sugar Company Limited and Kopere village respectively, in western Kenya. Retrospective malaria and weather data were analyzed to provide clues on critical weather components responsible for malaria epidemics in the neighbourhood highland districts. A cross-sectional study design and two-stage sampling techniques were used to collect prospective malaria and mosquito vectors' data. A sub-sample of captured indoorresting mosquitoes was investigated for species composition, feeding preference, parity and sporozoite rates, and the entomological inoculation rates (EIR). Malaria prevalence, mean parasites densities (MPD) and gametocytaemia were determined using finger-prick blood from volunteer candidates. Malaria positive cases were treated with sulfadoxinelpyrimetharnine (SP), and repeat blood smears (BS) done after every three months to determine SP resistance. Spatial and temporal malaria incidence rate distributions were demonstrated using geographic information system (GIS) plots on the digital map of the study area. Malaria prevalence of 49.5 and 46.8 percent were obtained from the retrospective and prospective data respectively with significant non-uniform malaria incidence distribution detected in the latter (t=5.771, p=O.029), although malaria prevalence trends for two-year period were highly correlated (1-0.943). Compound clusters proximal to mosquito residual breeding habitats had consistently high parasite incidence rates, one of which averaged 55.3 percent compared to 42.1 percent for one located further away from these habitats. These findings demonstrate GIS potential in identifying temporal and spatial pattern of malaria transmission, and showed this technique has the ability to assist in targeting malaria control where it is most needed to minimize cost of operations. The highest MPD of3,744-parasites in the blood was obtained among children 2-4 years compared to 232-parasites in the blood for older age-group 15 years and above. This makes children in former age-group most parasitaemic and were the main parasite reservoir which feed local malaria transmission cycle. The SP parasite resistance of 29.2 percent was higher than WHO recommended limits of 10 percent, and this drug has since been replaced as first-line drug for malaria treatment in Kenya. Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (ss) and An. arabiensis, two cryptic species of An. gambiae comprised 75.2 and 24.8 percent of total indoor resting malaria vectors respectively. Significant differences were found in vector densities between months during the study period (p < 0.001). Combined climatic components had significant impact on vector densities (ANOV A: p < 0.05), but this statistical method could only account for 49.9 percent of the variance in the data (R2=0.499). Both rainfall and minimum temperatures were positively associated with the vector densities (r=O.280 and r=O.626 respectively), but only the latter had significant impact on the vector densities (p < 0.05). Human blood preference, parity and sporozoite rates, and EIR were moderately high (57.7, 62.0, 5.7 percent and 259.4bites/person/year respectively) suggesting efficiency in malaria transmission in the study area. These results showed malaria control should aim at reduction ofMPD to less than 1,OOO-parasites/ litre blood to temper gemetogony and reduce transmission. This parameter is easily amenable to control in the short-term than often used malaria incidence and prevalence rates. The SP parasite resistance of29.2 percent exceeds 10 percent limit recommended by WHO, and this drug has since been replaced by artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in Kenya. Both insecticides residual sprays IRS) and insecticide treated nets (lTN) are recommended for effective malaria control due to heterogeneous resting habits of a component of the vectors caught resting indoors.

Management options addressing soil fertility decline and weed infestation in smallholder maize production systems of Western?Kenkya

Author: Ngome, Ajebesone Francis

Awarding University: University of Bonn, Germany

Level : PhD

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: ;

Subject Terms: Soil fertility ; Weeds ; Maize ; Western Kenya ; Management ;

Abstract:

ABSTRACT NOT AVAILABLE