Ecosystem Services to the Community: A Situation Analysis of Mt. Kenya Conservation Area Using GIS and Remote Sensing


  • Margaret Wachu Gihuhi
  • J. M. Keriko
  • J. B. N. Mukundi


Conservancy, Conservation, Ecosystem Services, GIS


The purpose of this research was to look into how communities living in the Mt. Kenya conservation area benefit from the ecosystem services such as food, water, biodiversity, tourism and recreation, fuel and energy, timber and housing materials. The analysis gave an insight into the state of the natural resources and the sustainability of diminishing resources. The objectives of the research were; to analyze the socioeconomic benefits that may result from sustainable management of resources; to assess the state of the environment for the past twenty years. Geographical Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing (RS) was used to assess the state of the environment. Mt.Kenya National Park owned by the government, Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy were used as sample study sites for the eco-region. Satellite Images used were from 1990 to 2010. Landsat images were used to assess land use and land cover changes for the past twenty years (1988 to 2010) for a 5 Km
buffer zone using ArcGIS, Idrisi and Erdas Imagine software. GIS and satellite images indicated land cover reduction of the feature classes such as forests, grasslands, and scrubland and shrub land. The glaciers on Mt. Kenya have reduced and this has affected the river regimes in the catchment area. This has led to an increased demand for the scarce resources leading to overexploitation and to human-human and human-wildlife conflict over water, grass and other resources.

Author Biographies

Margaret Wachu Gihuhi

Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology, JKUAT

J. B. N. Mukundi

Department of Horticulture, JKUAT