planning approaches that would help alleviate some of these problems.
Soil is another lynchpin resource showing negative trends. Rural migration from high to low potential areas, overgrazing, and lack of access to appropriate soil management techniques are contributing to soil productivity declines, erosion, and siltation in inland and coastal waters. Some areas where agroforestry methods are being adopted are showing gains in soil fertility.
Energy and Urban resources. Kenya’s cities and towns are growing; even desert areas are seeing slums go up in rings around city centers. As they do, existing water supply, energy, sewerage and sanitation, and transportation services are under increasing strain. For example, energy for domestic use is a critical factor in forest degradation in Kenya, and dams for hydroelectricity are negatively impacting aquatic ecosystems and downstream agricultural lowland areas. In many urban areas, city services are incomplete and poorly maintained. In the absence of waste removal systems, untreated pollutants, both municipal and industrial wastes, go directly into street gutters, urban waterways, and eventually natural freshwater and coastal ecosystems. Such linkages between urban and rural areas are not widely recognized despite the strong connections they support.
All sectors are estimated here to have potentially negative health, ecosystem, and economic/social impacts. For health – land, water, urban, and to some extent forests are likely to have the most severe consequences and/or to pose the gravest threat to the Kenyan people. For ecosystems – land, forests, and aquatic systems face potentially "catastrophic" threats if swift remedial action is not implemented; wildlife and biodiversity faces critical consequences if changes are not enacted. For economic/social issues – wildlife, land, and forests pose the most severe problems for Kenya and her people.
Despite this grim scenario, there is cause for optimism. The media is freer than in past years, and it regularly monitors environmental crises and scandals. Popular demand for better governance of natural resources is growing. At local levels, interest is increasing for participating in and benefiting from the wise use of resources. Thanks to the Kenya Wildlife Service community conservation program, local constituencies for wildlife have grown. There are signs that the tourism sector – particularly inland wildlife tourism – is slowly recovering. Key institutions are working to get internal management systems in order, and knowledgeable people in the environmental community in Kenya have high hopes of the new policies mentioned above.
Annex 6: FAA Section 117/118/119 Assessment. USAID/Kenya's strategic plan supports programs in health, democracy and governance, agriculture, and natural resources management. Through careful activity design, synergies between them will ensure environmental sustainability of the Mission's program as it is implemented over the next five years. Most important in this regard are the programs in agriculture and biodiversity conservation. The Mission’s draft agriculture program is being reworked to detail its underlying approach to environmental – and closely related social – sustainability issues. The biodiversity program takes a tested, community-based approach that encompasses some forest conservation as well. Lack of staffing and financial resources, however, restrain all Mission programs, limiting its ability to respond comprehensively to environmental protection.
This threats and opportunities assessment is a formal requirement1 of the USAID strategic planning process and is designed to support the priority-setting process of the USAID/Kenya Mission in developing its next five-year plan. The guidance notes that an assessment should consider the “full range” of threats and rank them using the Agency’s three environmental objectives for “sustainable development” countries:
1 Technical Annex B. Environment of ADS 201-51m2\DR-CD8
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