Lake Baringo is one of the important fresh water lakes in the Kenyan Rift Valley that is primarily arid in nature. It is an important world Ramsar site and also important in terms of socio-economic diversity and biodiversity. Despite this, the lake is threatened by siltation resulting from human activities in its catchment. A study was carried out to identify the factors contributing to siltation and to suggest strategies and opportunities to mitigate the problem. Quantitative methods were used to collect data. Results indicated that the livelihoods of communities around Lake Baringo depend on livestock rearing, charcoal burning and cultivation. Poor land-use systems together with resource user conflicts, political marginalization, poverty, weak institutions and policies are factors contributing to land and water degradation. Negative impacts of siltation identified include destruction, of fish breeding areas, flooding, poor water quality affecting human and animal use and increased resource user conflicts. Strategies that various institutions are undertaking such as replanting indigenous vegetation, are showing little progress due to lack of co-ordination, the nature of the landscape, the lack of funding and political will. This paper has identified opportunities for soil management systems such as use of indigenous trees and grasses to enhance livelihoods for local communities, while at the same time conserving the soils.

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