Disastrous forest fires in Kenya: national round table as a panacea to community-based fire management in the country?

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dc.contributor.author Mutiso, Festus M.
dc.contributor.author Mugo, Mware J.
dc.contributor.author Cheboiwo, Joshua
dc.contributor.author Sang, Francis
dc.contributor.author Tarus, George K.
dc.contributor.author Chemitei, Gideon K.
dc.contributor.author Simiyu, Wasike B.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-05-30T11:53:26Z
dc.date.available 2016-05-30T11:53:26Z
dc.date.issued 2016-05-30
dc.identifier.uri https://www.researchgate.net/profile/George_Tarus/publication/281741263_DISASTROUS_FOREST_FIRES_IN_KENYA_NATIONAL_ROUND_TABLE_AS_A_PANACEA_TO_COMMUNITY-BASED_FIRE_MANAGEMENT_IN_THE_COUNTRY/links/55f6820608ae6a34f6633fc2.pdf
dc.identifier.uri http://repository.seku.ac.ke/handle/123456789/2572
dc.description.abstract Though fires degrade forests quickly, the recovery process takes long. Rehabilitated forests will not have enough time to grow and become forests of economical and ecological value and all silvicultural treatments will be useless in absence of a fire management strategy. Most forest fires are started by humans. As such, it is worth to encourage communities to assume contro l and ‘ownership’ over fire management. Community Based Forest Fire Management (CBFFM) helps to integrate fire and people into land - use and vegetation management systems. We carried out a study between February - May 2009 on the escalating forest fires with the aim of evaluating whether National Round Table on fire management can be a forerunner to CBFFM in Kenya. We subjectively chose Kiptunga, Koibatek and Maji Mazuri forests to represent two high fire risk zones; Mau complex and Koibatek District. Ten sub - compartments were chosen in each forest and fire incidences in plantations recorded. Fire occurrence was assessed in categorized distances of <0.5, 0.5 - 1 and >1km from the settled reserves. We evaluated fire prevalence across three plantation species: pine s, cypress and eucalyptus and across three age cohorts: <5, 5 - 10 and >10years. Incidences of fires were high in plantations near settled reserves, <0.5 and 0.5 - 1km, compared to those far (>1km) and in cypress plantations compared to pines and eucalyptus in all studied sites. Significant differences in occurrences in respect to distances (P = 0.027) and across the species (P = 0.012) were observed. A strong negative correlation (Spearman, r s = - 0.97, P<0.05, n = 3) existed between frequency of fires and the distance from settled reserves in all studied sites though a weak positive relationship (r s = 0.32, P = 0.04, n = 3) was evident across age cohorts. All fire incidences in sampled sites were human - induced. Use of fire as a tool in land preparation under th e PELIS was largely blamed though we could not rule out arsonist. Community empowerment and participation in fire fighting was largely lacking. Study areas burn on yearly basis hence silvicultural treatments will be useless unless bold intervention measure s are put in place to fight the escalating fire menace. We propose an array of consultative bottom - up and top - down approaches in consensus building process. The process should entail National Round Table on fire management with full participation of stakeh olders in the forest sector. It is expedient for the KFS to capitalize on the already institutionalized and legislatively backed CFAs to build consensus for possible formation of a CBFFM. Piecemeal episodic interventions will not solve the current fire cri sis but we recommend a bold policy intervention coupled with resolute political commitment. Successful CBFFM will require legislative and policy reforms strongly backed by institutional and financial support as well as a thorough explanation of the plurifo rmity of the legal context to the locals. Sanctions for starting uncontrolled fires should be put in place. Sanctions and incentives should go together for effective fire management. Fire fighting crews from the KFS and the community, should have adequate logistical support. This was largely lacking in the 2009 fire season. Before National Round Table is convened, we strongly recommend an in - depth research on various policies governing community forest resource use and ownership rights. A cost - benefit analy sis should, also, precede National Round Table and subsequent formation of CBFFM. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Forest Fires en_US
dc.subject Community Based Forest Fire Management en_US
dc.subject Forest Fire Control en_US
dc.subject Fire Management en_US
dc.title Disastrous forest fires in Kenya: national round table as a panacea to community-based fire management in the country? en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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