Effects of Socio-cultural Attributes on Dominant Tree Species Diversity in Ugenya Sub-County Siaya County, Kenya

  • David Ochieng Oduor Maseno University
  • Irene Nzisa Mutavi, PhD Maseno University
  • Albert Elim Long’ora, PhD Maseno University
Keywords: Land Use Change, Biodiversity Loss, Weather, Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Problems, Ecological Studies
Share Article:


The households’ socio-cultural characteristics are vital indicators of land use practices and human development. Attributes, for example, culture, education, and gender affect the tree species’ cover distribution. However, it is little known if they influence the dominant tree species diversity. The effort to alleviate low-level education, gender inequality accelerated by the local cultural beliefs and traditions has proved ineffective. This survey assessed the effect of culture, analysed the effect of education level, and evaluated the effect of gender on tree species diversity. A sample of 384 household heads was interviewed. A descriptive cross-section survey design and systematic random sampling were applied. Data sources were; Focus Group Discussions, key informants, observation, measurement, enumeration, and photography. Shannon Wiener’s diversity index was applied. Data was analysed using R statistics. Culturally non-adhering households t (363) = 2.62, p = .011, registered significant higher mean score (M = 1.49, SD = 0.82) compared to culturally conservative (M = 1.77, SD = 0.87). Households with higher education level registered (M = 2.02, SD = 0.12) which demonstrated lower score, compared to the households characterized by basic level of education (M = 2.43, SD = 0.26) with a significance of t (382) = 1.74, p =.036, There was insignificant mean score in species diversity contrast in the gender categories, t (382) = 0.639 p = .051, despite males (M = 2.40, SD = 0.26) attaining a lower diversity mean score (M = 2.43, SD = 0.12). The local dominant tree species’ diversity is affected by socio-cultural characteristics. Therefore, for the restoration and conservation of the tree species diversity, the socio-cultural functions should be addressed in the Ugenya Sub-County to attain net carbon sink prospects.


Download data is not yet available.


Abura, B. A., Hayombe, P. O., & Tonui, W. K. (2017). Rainfall and temperature variations overtime (1986-2015) in Siaya County, Kenya.

Deisser, A.-M., & Njuguna, M. (2016). Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Kenya: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach. Chicago: UCL Press.

Dittoh, S., Snyder, K. A., & Lefore, N. (2015). Gender policies and implementation in agriculture, natural resources and poverty reduction: Case study of Ghana’s Upper East Region (Vol. 3). International Water Management Institute (IWMI). CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

GoK. (2019). State of Environment and Natural Resource Governance in Kenya. Nairobi: National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kenya.

Kanianska, R. (2016). Agriculture and its impact on Land Use, Environment, and Ecosystem Services. open access peer-reviewed chapter.

Ikeke, M. (2013). The Forest in African Traditional Thought and Practice: an Eco Philosophical Discourse. Philosophy, 345-350..

Kokwaro, J. (1994). Medicinal Plants of East Africa. Nairobi. Nairobi: University of Nairobi Press.

Lizuka, K. Y. (2018). Estimating Tree Height and Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) from Digital Surface Models and Orthophotos Obtained With an Unmanned Aerial System for a Japanese Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa) Forest. Remote sensing, 10(1), 13.

Mackenzie, F. A. (2003). Land Tenure and Biodiversity: An Exploration in the Political Ecology of Murang’a District, Kenya. Society for Applied Anthropology, 254-265.

Marcon, G. M., & Zhang, L. G. (2017, February 17). The generalised simpson’s entropy is a measure of biodiversity. PloS one, 12(3), e0173305.

Mauro, B., & Aquino, G. (2020). Deforestation and world population sustainability: a quantitative analysis. Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-9.

Meske, C. m., Maredith, W. H., & Abbott, D. A. (1994). Perceptions of Rituals and Traditions Among Elderly Persons, Activities Adaptation & Aging. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 18(2), 13-26.

Mukundente, L., Ndunda, E., & Gathuru, G. (2019). Agroforestry Technologies Adopted by Smallholder Farmers in Southern Province of Rwanda. East African Journal of Forestry and Agroforestry, 1(1), 24-31.

Ochola, G. O. (2018). Natural Resource Use Dilemma: A review of Effects of Population Growth on Natural Resources in Kenya. International Jounal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources.

Oloo, J. O. (2013). Influence of traditions/customs and beliefs/norms on women in tree growing in Siaya County, Kenya. Global Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 1050-1058.

Pak, I. K. (2021). Proposal of the energy consumption analysis. Journal of Computational Design and Engineering, 1591–1604.

Saka, O. J., Ikyaagba, E. T., Alarape, A. A., Obioha, E. E., & Adeyemi, A. A. (2012). The role of Traditional Laws and Taboos in Wildlife Conservation in the Oban Hill Sector of River National Park (CRNP), Nigeria. Human Ecology, 211-218.

SCADP. (2017). county annual development plan: siaya county. siaya: Council of Governors (CoG).

Sottile, F., Signore, D., Milano, S., Cristiana, P., & Girgenti, V. (2014). Cultural Identity and Conservation of Indigenous and Native Diversity. Imagining cultures of cooperation:. Turin: CUCS Congress.

Tanui J. (2015). The physical state of forest cover and land use in Kenya- a case of nandi hills forests in Nandi county, Kenya. European - American Journals.

Tarasuk, V., Fafard, A.-A. S.-G., & Mitchell, A. (2019). Geographic and socio-demographic predictors in household food insecurity in Canada, 2011-12. BMC Public Health.

The World Bank. (2019). Land Research, Data and Policy insights. Research & Outlook, 71-90.

Vernick, D. (2020, November 17). Sustainable Pepper farming supports people and nature in Malaysian Borneo. Empowering farmers with green Practices builds livelihoods while strengthening biodiversity.

Vliet, J. V., de Groot, H. L., Rietveld, P., & Verburg, P. H. (2015). Manifestations and underlying drivers of agricultural land use change in Europe. Landscape and Urban Planning, 25-35.

Wanjira, E. O. (2019). Smallholder farmers’ perception and practice of on-farm. Tree species diversification in Siaya county, Kenya. (Doctoral dissertation, Kenyatta University, Kenya).Yeboah T., C. E. (2020). Hard work and hazard: Young people and agricultural commercialisation in Africa. ScienceDirect Journal of Rural Studies, 142-151.

Zhangª, Y. A. (2017). China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program as a. Beijing: International Forestry Review.

Yeboah T., C. E. (2020). Hard work and hazard: Young people and agricultural commercialisation in Africa. ScienceDirect Journal of Rural Studies, 142-151.

Yeboah T., C. E. (2020). Hard work and hazard: Young people and agricultural commercialisation in Africa. ScienceDirect Journal of Rural Studies, 142-151.

Zhang, K., Artati, Y., Putzel, L., Xie, C., Hogarth, N. J., Wang, J. N., & Wang, J. (2017). China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program as a national PES scheme: Institutional structure, voluntarism, and conditionality of PES. International Forestry Review, 19(4), 24-36.

8 September, 2022
How to Cite
Oduor, D., Mutavi, I., & Long’ora, A. (2022). Effects of Socio-cultural Attributes on Dominant Tree Species Diversity in Ugenya Sub-County Siaya County, Kenya. African Journal of History and Geography, 1(1), 39-48. https://doi.org/10.37284/ajhg.1.1.831