56 Records out of 22207 Records

Potential role of biochar in water management in rainfed agriculture

Author: Flavia, Namagembe

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : MSc

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Biochar ; Sugarcane ; Saccharum officinarum ; Bamboo ; Arundinaria alpina ; Soils ;

Abstract:

The economies of the three East African region (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania), which is the region of interest in this study still rely largely on rainfed agriculture accounting to approximately 80% of the total agricultural production. With the increasing threats from climate variability, the region is prone to extreme conditions of drought and floods. Inadequate soil moisture and low soil fertility have been the challenges facing rainfed agriculture in the region and several approaches have been employed to help manage agricultural water sustainably. Previous studies indicate that incorporation of biochar into sandy soil improves its water retention capacity. This study demonstrates how addition of biochar produced from different feedstock biomass of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum Linn) trash and bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) leaves and branches, all obtained from the region using both the laboratory controlled equipment at 350 oC, 450 oC and 550 oC and a traditional stove, to sandy soil has the potential improve the soil?s water holding capacity. This way, biochar can thus play a significant role in water management in agriculture in the East African region with the aim of reducing agricultural input and maximizing crop yields. For the traditional stove, it was difficult to control the temperature while producing the biochar but the highest steady temperature reached during production was recorded. The hydrologic properties including water holding capacity and hydrophobicity of sandy soil, biochars and soil-biochar mixtures were measured using the gravimetric method and the molarity of ethanol drop test respectively. Additionally, porosity was determined using the mercury porosimetry method in order to compare the pore size distribution of the biochars with their hydrologic properties. Biochars produced from different feedstock biomass under different production conditions varied in their hydrologic behavior and influenced soil?s hydrologic properties differently when added to it. The study demonstrates water retention increases in a sandy soil after addition of 2, 5 and 7 weight % biochar (20, 50, and 70 t ha-1 respectively).

The potential of biochar produced from Eichhornia crassipes and Prosopis juliflora to enhance soil water holding capacity of drylands soils

Author: Aller, Deborah

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : MSc

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Biochar ; Evironmental degradation ; Soils ; Eichhornia crassipes ; Prosopis juliflora ; Northern Kenya ;

Abstract:

Environmental degradation, agricultural productivity, food security, fresh water scarcity, and the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change are all significant concerns of the 21st century. Biochar is a highly porous, carbon rich material which is a natural soil amendment being investigated to address these current issues. Expanding agricultural production into dryland environments where sandy soils dominate is highly likely to be of great importance for ensuring future global food security, as population and food demands continue to increase. Sandy soils have little ability to store water, making food production difficult and crop yields an unreliable source of food and income for inhabitants living in these environments. This study looked at the water holding capacity (WHC) and hydrophobicity of Eichhornia crassipes and Prosopis juliflora for use as biochar, to potentially enhance soil moisture storage and thus agricultural productivity, with a particular focus on arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) and northern Kenya. Both are invasive species found in Kenya which was the reason for their selection for use in this study. Biochar was produced at 350?C, 450?C, and 550?C in a Carbolite furnace and also in a Sampada gasification stove, to mimic traditional kiln char production. Biochar WHC was examined at mixtures of 2%, 5%, and 7%, corresponding to a field application rate of roughly 20 t ha-1, 50 t ha-1, and 70 t ha-1, respectively. Results demonstrated that both biochars increase soil WHC the greatest at a 7% application rate. The greatest hydrophobicity values were apparent at 350?C, with E. crassipes the more hydrophobic of the two. Mercury porosimetry analysis, which compares various characteristics of the pore space in relation to physical properties of the biochar, is consistent with the WHC data, revealing that as the total intruded volume increases the water holding capacity increases. Overall E. crassipes and P. juliflora show potential for use as biochar, but P. juliflora with its greater lignin content, is likely the better choice.

Orma livelihoods in Tana River district, Kenya : a study of constraints, adaptation and innovation

Author: Pattison, James Lee

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Orma (African people)/Pastoralists/Climate change/Tana River District/Gender/Nursery schools/Education/ ;

Abstract:

This study focuses on the constraints, adaptations and innovations in the livelihoods of Orma pastoralists. The fieldwork took place with families around Tiltila, Waldena and Kalalani over a period of 9 months in 2007/08. The position of pastoralist peoples in East Africa is characterised by social, political and economic marginalisation, weak land tenure, and declining per capita livestock holdings, while their shrinking grazing lands are widely regarded to be on the front line of climate change, both in terms of climate impacts and biofuel/agribusiness land pressure. The dearth of good quality data on pastoralist populations and livelihoods is widely cited as one of the fundamental barriers to improving the effectiveness of development support in the drylands. This study seeks to address these knowledge gaps for Orma pastoralists, while contributing to the body of theory on pastoralist livelihood dynamics. Data on the effects of wealth, education and food aid on household mobility were analysed using a theory of asset threshold dynamics. An adapted typology of livelihood strategies was developed to interpret and structure the data. Using child mortality as a proxy for respondent health, the impacts of wealth and mobility status on families? health were explored. In the context of an almost total lack of data on community redistribution of food aid, both for the Orma and for East African pastoralists more generally, the study provides empirical data on de facto community food aid allocation patterns. The study also examines a controversial large-scale expropriation of land in Tana River (subsidised under the Kyoto Protocol?s Clean Development Mechanism) which will undermine the capacity of Orma pastoralists and other minority groups, to adapt to increased and more extreme environmental variability. In an environment in which enrolment in formal education is very low (particularly for girls), the study found that community nursery schools represent a relatively recent (and thus far undocumented) innovation organised and funded by groups of parents. The data demonstrates unprecedented levels of female enrolment despite cost constraints faced by least wealthy families. It is therefore suggested that incorporation of the community nursery model into the basic literacy element of the proposed national distance learning strategy, offers significant potential for addressing ?Education For All? in Kenya?s drylands.

Developing a framework for evaluation of renewable energy in developing countries

Author: Kiarsi, Sepideh

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : MSc

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Renewable energy/Energy resources/Wind power/Solar energy/Geothermal power/Hydropower/Biomass energy/ ;

Abstract:

In this dissertation, I develop a framework for evaluation of renewable energy projects in developing countries. There is a global common sense that addressing the increasing energy demands of both developed and developing countries with the conventional exhaustible fossil fuels will be difficult in the long-term. In developing countries, in addition to providing energy for the industrial development, providing services to meet basic human needs such as heat and light in the rural and poorer regions are other main reasons for their increased energy demand. This provides the opportunity for renewable energy resources to gain an increasing share in global energy supply. I explain the environmental and socio-economic impacts of renewable energy in general and in developing countries as a basis for assessing renewable energy projects. I evaluate the renewable energy potentials in Kenya, a leading developing country in East Africa. I investigate the available potentials for different renewable energy sources in Kenya, which provides valuable information for policy and decision-makers to alleviate the development-related issues of the country. Furthermore, I identify the main problems and opportunities associated with renewable energy projects in Kenya, which are used to develop a decision-making model. Multi-criteria decision making (assessing social, economic and environmental aspects) is applied here. Based on the potentials, I focus on five main alternative renewable energy resources in Kenya; wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro and biomass. For multi-criteria decision analysis, I identify a range of criteria including cost of generated electricity, job creation, available infrastructure and potential, safety, environmental impacts and land use. Based on my analysis including multi-criteria decision analysis of renewable energy in Kenya, geothermal energy gains the highest rank among the five alternatives which is mainly due to the available extensive resource, government and industrial supports and relatively low feed-in-tariff.

Examining the adoption, usage and outcomes of mobile money services : the case of M-PESA in Kenya

Author: Morawczynski, Olga

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Money ; M-Pesa ; Information and Communication Technology ; Socioeconomic factors ;

Abstract:

This thesis will examine the adoption, usage and outcomes of a mobile money service called MPESA. Since being launched in 2007, the service has seen phenomenal growth in Kenya. Over 7.5 million users, or 34% of the adult population, have registered with M-PESA. Such growth is impressive as it has surpassed other ICTs in the country. This includes the mobile phone, which has been hailed as the fastest growing ICT in Africa. It has also surpassed the growth of mobile money in the North, where many services have been discontinued because they failed to attract a sufficient number of customers. M-PESA thus provides an interesting case of an ICT growing rapidly in the South, and ?failing? in the North. In this context, the first part of the thesis examines why such rapid growth occurred. This analysis is presented from two perspectives. First, the socio-technical systems framework is used to present M-PESA as a complex system rather than an isolated application. This perspective makes clear that M-PESA grew rapidly because it had a dedicated team of system builders. These individuals took numerous strategies to enroll the elements and maintain the stability of the entire system. They further worked to engineer the social, economic, legal and political environments of the technology. Growth is also explained from the perspective of the user. The thesis makes clear that M-PESA was widely adopted because it fit into existing social practices and systems of logic. In other words, it helped users to do what they were doing before the technology was introduced. This includes money transfers back home. It also includes savings. The thesis further reveals that financial practices began to change as M-PESA became integrated into daily life. For example, users began to send money home more often. They also increased the number of their savings transactions. Such changing practices engendered a variety of consequences to daily life. This includes rising household incomes in the rural areas. It also includes new struggles over limited resources. The impacts, or wider-scale implications of usage, are also discussed. The analysis shows that a whole industry for mobile money developed as a result of M-PESA?s success. The thesis makes a contribution to knowledge in several ways. It presents a case of domestication in the South and highlights the unique factors that shape this process, from wide-scale political violence to structures of debt and obligation. It further makes the relationship between technologies and impact more clear. It shows that the technology itself does not engender the outcomes. It does, however, have a role in shaping the practices that do.

Prophet, priest and king in colonial Africa : Anglican and colonial political responses to African independent churches in Nigeria and Kenya, 1918-1960

Author: Higgins, Thomas Winfield

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2010

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: African Independent Churches/Central Kenya/Nigeria/Christianity/Missionaries/Anglican Church of Kenya/ ;

Abstract:

Many African Independent Churches emerged during the colonial era in central Kenya and western Nigeria. At times they were opposed by government officials and missionaries. Most scholars have limited the field of enquiry to the flash-points of this encounter, thereby emphasizing the relationship at its most severe. This study questions current assumptions about the encounter which have derived from these studies, arguing that both government and missionary officials in Kenya and Nigeria exhibited a broader range of perspectives and responses to African Independent Churches. To characterize them as mainly hostile to African Independent Churches is inaccurate. This study also explores the various encounters between African Independent Churches and African politicians, clergymen, and local citizens. While some scholars have discussed the positive role of Africans in encouraging the growth of independent Christianity, this study will discuss the history in greater depth and complexity. The investigation will show the importance of understanding the encounter on both a local and national level, and the relationships between the two. It is taken for granted that European officials had authority over African leaders, but in regard to this topic many Africans possessed a largely unrecognized ability to influence and shape European perceptions of new religious movements. Finally, this thesis will discuss how African Independent Churches sometimes provoked negative responses from others through confrontational missionary methods, caustic rhetoric, intimidation and even violence. These three themes resurface throughout the history of the encounter and illustrate how current assumptions can be reinterpreted. This thesis suggests the necessity of expanding the primary scholarly focuses, as well as altering the language and basic assumptions of the previous histories of the encounter.

Indifferent justice? A history of the judges of Kenya and Tanganyika, 1897-1963

Author: Swanepoel, Paul Arthur Albertus

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2010

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Judiciary/History/Justice/Mau Mau/Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa/Colonialism/ ;

Abstract:

This thesis examines the history of the judges of Kenya and Tanganyika between 1897, when the first British court was established in Mombasa, and 1963, when Kenya gained independence. The formation of judicial identities and the judiciary?s role within the colonial state are the main themes. The recruitment process into the Colonial Legal Service is discussed. Legal recruitment was both unique and problematic, mainly because there was a shortage of vacancies for newly-qualified barristers. Many were forced to seek employment elsewhere, but for those fortunate enough to secure positions within the barristers? profession the financial rewards were substantial. This led to fears that second-rate barristers who were unable to make a living in Britain applied to serve in the colonies as legal officers. As a consequence, the length of applicants? professional experience became an important factor for recruitment officials. Aspects of judges? backgrounds are systematically analysed in order to produce a profile of the type of judge who served in the two territories during the colonial period. Judges were among the most mobile of colonial officers and typically served in four or more territories during their colonial careers. These factors shaped their collective identity. At the same time, they partly determined their attitudes towards the various laws they were called on to administer. In setting out the structure of the courts and the laws that were in force, a number of cases are discussed in order to demonstrate judicial attitudes over time. Two chapters focus on Tanganyika during the interwar period, illustrating divides between the administration and the judiciary regarding the administration of justice. Based on memoirs and personal papers, the professional lives of two judges are traced in order to gauge their views on the political events that surrounded them. The final two chapters focus on Kenya in the 1950s. The testimony of advocates is used as a means of inquiring into the characters and attitudes of the judges they appeared before. It provides an impression of the legal profession in late colonial Kenya, as both advocates and judges alike defined their professionalism with reference to the legal profession in Britain. The focus then shifts to judicial decisions made during the Mau Mau rebellion between 1952 and 1959, with particular emphasis being placed on the attitudes and professionalism of the judges of the Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa. The thesis offers a new interpretation of the judiciary?s place within the colonial state; by arguing that as a result of remaining part of the barristers? profession in Britain, it suggests that colonial judges found it more difficult to adapt to the realities of functioning within the colonial state than members of other branches of the Colonial Service.

Land use change in Maasailand drivers, dynamics and impacts on large herbivores and agro-pastoralism

Author: Msoffe, Fortunata Urban

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2010

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Land use ; Land use change ; Masailand, Kenya ; Herbivores ; Pastoralism ; Wildlife ;

Abstract:

The Maasailand of Kenya and Tanzania supports one of the richest wildlife populations remaining on Earth. However, over the last century, Maasailand has experienced land transformation notably through conversion of former rangelands to croplands. With the anticipated human population increase in East Africa, more impacts should be envisaged on these rangelands. This thesis investigates the root causes and underlying drivers of land-use change in the Maasai-Steppe ecosystems, stemming from historical, socio-cultural, political as well as the biophysical conditions. To analyse the different drivers of change, an integrated methodological approach was employed. This included a collation of historical data and information derived from both gray and published literature, analysis of remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data, field surveys, workshops, observations, as well as personal communications. Observed land-use change from savannah rangelands to expansive croplands are mainly linked to government policies, land tenure, human population growth (which is also likely to be the largest future driver) and climatic conditions. Consequently these changes have impacted the agro-pastoralist community, whose main incomes for their livelihoods depend on pastoralism. Subsequent loss of formerly communal grazing lands to establish protected areas; large-scale farming and/or private ranches have aggravated the problems of sedentarization due to villagization and privatization policies of the formally mobile agro-pastoral communities. Land-use change also had negative impacts on migratory wildlife species, particularly those utilizing both protected areas and dispersal ranges in communal and/or private lands. The impacts ranged from loss of their migratory routes and corridors to massive declines of populations due to the loss of access to grazing resources. The study recommends government?s interventions for keeping the land open for access to grazing resources as well as opening up wildlife corridors, where it is deemed necessary for national interests.

The Ogiek indigenous healer as a purveyor of indigenous knowledge : the implications for sustainable development in Kenya

Author: Mwangi, M

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2009

Holding Libraries: Index To Theses ;

Subject Terms: Okiek (African people) ; Medicinal plants ; Health care ; Sustainable development ;

Abstract:

This thesis seeks to determine the effectual relationship, if any, between the Indigenous Knowledge (IK) of the Ogiek Indigenous Medical Practitioner (IMP) regarding Ogiek Indigenous Medicine (IM) and Ogiek Indigenous Forest Related Knowledge (IFRK). This relationship is examined through the lens of sustainable development in Kenya. Specifically, this research explores issues pertaining to affordable, effective and locally-based health care regarding two opportunistic infections of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, and Ogiek IFRK regarding the management of the natural resources of the Mau forest. This research further analyses the relationship between the Ogiek communities connection to their ancestral land and mental health, with the aim of postulating the potential applicability of the findings in today?s world. This dissertation explores such a relationship, where the Ogiek IMP plays a vital role in the Ogiek community not only as a health-care provider but also as a facilitator of sustainable forest and biodiversity conservation. As land-based economy, Kenya?s management of natural resources is crucial in planning future development strategies. As a developing economy, inadequate healthcare provisions can potentially create a developmental challenge. It is within context of self-determination that the utility of IFRK and IM from the Ogiek IMP is positioned to play a pivotal role in facilitating the process of sustainable development in the fields of healthcare and natural resource management in Kenya.

Multi-species pollination interactions in a Kenyan savannah ecosystem.

Author: Baldock, K C R

Awarding University: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Level : PhD

Year: 2007

Holding Libraries: Index To Theses ;

Subject Terms: Biological sciences ; Ecosystems ; Plant reproduction ; Grasslands ;

Abstract:

Co-flowering plant species (species that flower together in space and seasonal time) that share pollinators could compete for pollination. This can result in a negative effect on reproductive success for one or more species. Such plant species could compete for one or both of pollinator visits or pollen load quality. Plant species could minimise competition for pollinators (i) by using different pollinators, (ii) through spatial separation, (iii) by flowering at different seasonal times, (iv) by placing pollen on different parts of the same pollinator and (v) by segregating shared pollinators in daily time. In this thesis I investigate pollination interactions between plant species in (i) a guild of ten acacia species and (ii) an entire flowering plant community in Laikipia, Kenya. I examined the acacia species? flowering phonologies to identify species that regularly co-flower. I compared daily patterns of dehiscence between co-flowering acacia species for evidence of character displacement on a daily timescale and assessed the extent to which (i) acacia species shared pollinators and (ii) shared pollinators are partitioned in daily time in response to patterns of pollen availability. A number of pollinator species were shared among acacia species making competition for pollination possible. Although up to five species of acacia regularly co-flowered, there was no consistent evidence to suggest that character displacement of dehiscence time had occurred among these species. Previous analyses have only considered the dynamics of co-flowering within guilds of related species. In this thesis I examined evidence for the daily partitioning of shared pollinators in a savannah plant community using a null model approach to analyse plant-pollinator interaction networks.