The Impact of Community Participation Modes on Watershed Degradation in Upper Gucha, Kenya

Zablon Araka Kepha *

Department of Geography, Kisii University, Kisii, Kenya.

Wilfred Ochieng Omollo

Department of Geography, Kisii University, Kisii, Kenya.

Norah Moige Nyaiyo

Department of Geography, Kisii University, Kisii, Kenya.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Community participation as a strategy has been successful in controlling watershed degradation. Despite this, there remains a lack of understanding on the mode of participation that influences positive community participation and enhancing proper watershed management. The objectives of the study were: to assess the modes of community participation on watershed management in upper Gucha, to examine the extent of degradation and to determine the relationship between the modes of participation and the extent of watershed degradation in the study area. Descriptive survey design was used. The study area is in Upper Gucha watershed, Kisii County, Kenya. The study was conducted between, February 2023, to March 2024. The methodology used included: Mapping and delineating the watershed boundaries using Google Earth satellite images of 2023, determining the sampling frame using Google Earth map and ArcGIS version 10.5 software, selecting the sample size of 354 household heads using simple random sampling with replacement method, collecting data using questionnaires and photograph taking, analyzing data using descriptive statistical methods such as mean, frequency, standard deviation and spearman’s correlation analysis. Questionnaires return rate was 99.71%, representing an excellent response. 52.4% of the respondents were female while 47.6% were male. The results revealed that, the community rarely participated in the selected indicators of modes of community participation (M=2.0347, SD=0.89478). The extent of watershed degradation was moderate (M=3.056, SD=0.576). Further, a positive significant correlation was observed between the mode of community participation and the extent of watershed degradation (P =.00). In conclusion, the study results signifies lack of collaboration of all stakeholders and community engagement in watershed conservation efforts thus the cause of degradation in the study area.

Keywords: Household heads, collaboration, stakeholders, watershed, community, developments natural resources

How to Cite

Kepha, Zablon Araka, Wilfred Ochieng Omollo, and Norah Moige Nyaiyo. 2024. “The Impact of Community Participation Modes on Watershed Degradation in Upper Gucha, Kenya”. Asian Journal of Geographical Research 7 (2):74-87.


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