wilfred ochieng omollo, George Mokua Ogendi


Context and background

Although a growing body of literature maintains that riparian reserves are infrequently conserved, a knowledge gap exists on how their status may be assessed through a triangulation of spatial and temporal approaches.

Goal and Objectives:

This study, therefore, sought to investigate through geospatial analysis the extent to which riparian reserves in Kenya were conserved as provided for under the legislation. The study area covered sections of Rivers Nyakomisaro and Nyanchwa which flows through Kisii town.


A case study research design was adopted to query the extent to which the standard that regulates riparian reserves was complied with along the two rivers. Geospatial data were collected using Google Earth images for the years 2005, 2011 and 2021 and analyzed using GIS.


Results showed that in 2005, 26% of the riparian reserves had been intruded by eucalyptus trees which are known to deplete water resources. This correspondingly increased to 28% and 29% in 2011 and 2021. Land under cultivation and short vegetation in 2005 covered 53%, 51% in 2011 and declined to 41% in 2021. Built-up land covered 21% in 2005 but increased to 22% in 2011 and 29% in 2021. Built-up land recorded the highest intrusion into the riparian reserves as evidenced by an increase of 8% between 2005 and 2021. The study concludes that intrusion into the riparian reserves in the study area continues unabated due to insufficient development control, the absence of a common legislative framework, and a lack of monitoring to determine the magnitude of land-use change that is shaping the riparian reserves.



Compliance; GIS; Kenya, Kisii town; riparian reserves

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