Destocking Question and the Environmental Degradation in Machakos County in Kenya: Myths and Facts.

  • Lydia K. Muendo; Dr Pius K. Wanyonyi (1)(2)Department of History, Archaeology and Political Studies, Kenyatta University, Kenya.
Keywords: Machakos, Environment, livestock, destocking, reconditioning.


This article analyses environmental degradation and the destocking question in Machakos County. The establishment of colonial rule led to a considerable transformation in the environmental conditions of Machakos County. Human activities have always changed the physical environment, but the scale and impact grew enormously during the colonial period. In order to survive, the Akamba responded to the altered environmental conditions under the demands and restraints of colonial policies. Forceful destocking in the context of land alienation is discussed in this article from the political ecology theoretical framework. Akamba response to these changes is demonstrated as well as the consequent reaction of the colonial administration. Data for the article was drawn from both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources included archival records at the Kenya National Archives (Nairobi and Machakos). Both published and unpublished works were used to collect secondary data. Descriptive data analysis using qualitative methods of content analysis was applied. This article concluded that political considerations were made in regard environmental conservation. The intersection between colonialism, resource utilisation, and local and international politics fall in the context of environmental history. The area recommended for further research is the Second World War, the Mau Mau war and the clamour for independence as relates to land and its resources in terms of environmental conservation in Machakos County.