Environment and Natural Resource Governance – Focus on Baringo
Baringo County is situated in the Rift Valley Region and shares borders with 8 counties namely, West Pokot to the North West, Turkana to the North, Samburu to the North East, Laikipia to the East, Nakuru to the South, Kericho and Uasin-Gishu Counties to the South West, and Elgeyo-Marakwet to the West. The County is divided into 6 Sub-Counties, namely Baringo South, Mogotio, Eldama Ravine, Baringo Central, Baringo North and Tiaty. It has 30 Wards and 116 Locations. The County occupies an area of 11,015 square kilometers and had a population of 555,561 people in 2009 and projected to be 723,411, 853, 515 in 2017 and 2022 respectively. The main ethnic communities inhabiting Baringo County are the Tugen, Pokot and Ilchamus with minority groups such as the Endorois, Nubians, Ogiek, Kikuyu and Turkana.
Baringo county government administrative units is comprised of six sub counties and 30 wards, with the largest sub county being Tiaty with an area of 4540 square kilometers and the smallest being Baringo Central with 588.52 square kilometres. The wards are also vast in sizes with the largest ward being Tirioko ward with 1102.68 square kilometers and the smallest being Ravine ward being 33.55 square kilometers.
Community land ownership is predominant in Tiaty, North and South Baringo sub-counties. There are no community land/ group ranches in Baringo Central, Eldama Ravine and Mogotio. Group ranches are mostly found in Marigat, Kimalel, Bartun, Salabani, Kokwa Island, Eldume, Sabor, and Ngaratuko. The community land in Baringo South has been a source of conflict. However, with the recent enactment of the Community Land Act 2015, the existence of large portions of community land in the County is a big opportunity for development. The Act will enable communities to register their rights and interests in communal land, and to prepare their own plans for development, management and use of that community land. There are various conservancies in the county.
The Baringo County Integrated Development Plan (2018-2022 identify the following environmental problems facing the county:
- Poor handling of garbage and waste disposal especially plastic bags
- Negative attitudes towards garbage collection
- High rate of destruction of forest cover
- Deforestation and encroachment.