Development Corridors Partnership (DCP) Survey Provides Insight Into Infrastructure Impacts
Researchers interview a respondent using mobile-based data collection kits.
Kenya’s plant and animal species are threatened by mushrooming infrastructure projects. To better understand these threats and find solutions, ACC’s Development Corridors Partnership (DCP) project recently conducted a household survey on the impacts of development corridors on biodiversity, water resources and livelihoods. The researchers used mobile data collection methods from 22nd October to 23rd November 2019 in seven counties in Kenya – Kajiado, Machakos, Narok, Nakuru, Isiolo, Molo and Kiambu.
The survey looked into how infrastructure projects are affecting social interactions of people and animals. Results show that in the Konza technopolis, there is a drop in the wildebeest population because of construction in the area. Human and wildlife conflicts are rising as hyena are moving closer to human settlements and attacking livestock. In Isiolo County, the local communities complained of elephants invading their farms to feed on their crops.
One proposed development project that ACC assessed is the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET). This government project that will transverse 12 out of 47 counties in Kenya. It is expected to cost Ksh 2.5 trillion ($26 billion). LAPPSET is expected to improve access and connectivity between Kenya, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia as well as stimulate economic activity in 70 percent of the country that has not been invested in previously. The entire LAPPSET project involves the construction of a seaport, 1,730 km road network, 1,500 km of Standard Gauge Railway, and 2,240 km of oil pipeline.
Although the LAPPSET project is still in its initial stage, it is expected to transverse through community owned conservation areas in the northern frontier. These habitats are breeding areas for several threatened and endangered species including Grevy’s Zebra. The survey looked into LAPPSET’s impact on the natural environment. The outcome of the DCP research will advise policy makers to accommodate conservation needs and principles in infrastructure development.