Assessing Returns to Land and Changing Livelihood Strategies in Kitengela

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4.1 Introduction

Kitengela comprises an area of ~390 km2 (GOK, 2001) within Kajiado District and is part of a larger rangeland ecosystem called the Athi-Kaputiei Plains (a 2,456 km2 ecosystem). The study area corresponds to Isinya Division (one of seven administrative units of Kajiado District). Neighbouring Nairobi, a city with a population estimated to be approaching 3 million, Kitengela is unique in that it supports a large- and long-distance wildlife migratory community (Fig. 4.1) that have lived alongside the resident Maasai for centuries. Fig. 4.1

Kitengela area of Kenya

Nairobi National Park sits at the northernmost tip of Kitengela. This park is only 114 km2 in size and is not large enough to support the 24 species of large mammals that exist in this ecosystem. Wildebeest, eland, giraffe and zebra migrate into and out of the park, accessing its water and abundant grass during the dry season and moving south into the open pastoral lands during the wet season when th