Central Province, Kenya
Central Province, Kenya
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Gatune C.,Karatina University | Vanreusel A.,Ghent University | De Troch M.,Ghent University
Aquaculture Environment Interactions | Year: 2017

In silvofishery, where shrimp culture is integrated with mangrove trees, the mangrove leaf litter may modify the environment in these culture systems. This study tested the potential of submerged leaf litter of Rhizophora mucronata and associated biofilm in providing a favorable environment for postlarval shrimp Penaeus monodon. Litter decomposition and assembly of microalgae and epifauna were assessed under exposure to sunlight or shade, and presence or absence of sediment. Litter incubated with sediment and exposed to sunlight was rapidly decomposed and supported the highest biomass and diversity of microalgae and epifauna. The litter also supported the highest abundance of diatoms, polychaetes and nematodes during the 4th week of decomposition. Cyanobacteria of the genus Microcystis dominated litter incubated without sediment, in sunlight, after decom position for 5 wk. Under shaded conditions, diatoms of the genus Navicula and the Cyanobacteria Anabaena spp. and Oscillatoria spp. continued to grow at high total ammonium nitrogen, low dissolved oxygen, low tem perature and low pH. Our study illustrates synergy between sediment and direct sunlight in promoting diversity of microalgae and polychaetes (of dietary benefit to shrimps), inhibiting growth of Cyanobacteria and maintaining water quality at levels favorable to culture of post-larval shrimp. Our findings support 4 practices for a healthy environment in fish ponds: (1) locating ecological shrimp culture in less forested areas, (2) promoting sediment conditions in artificial shrimp culture systems, (3) exposing litterderived bio film within ponds to sunlight and incubating with sediment to maintain favorable water quality and control Cyanobacteria blooms, and (4) minimizing the use of pond liners and related sludge removal. © The authors 2017.


Muriuki M.W.,Karatina University | Ipara H.,University of Eldoret | Kiringe J.W.,Kenyatta University
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2017

Though retaliatory lion (Panthera leo) killing as a result of livestock predation in the Maasai group ranches between the Tsavo NPs and Amboseli is remarkably high, other wildlife species are known to kill livestock. Surprisingly, lions suffer the most from retaliatory killing by the Maasai community for killing livestock. The extent of livestock predation by lions in comparison to other species is unknown. This study was carried out in the Olgulului group ranch (OGR) located adjacent to Amboseli National Park in June 2009. The cost of livestock killed by each of these species including lion, hyena (Crocuta crocuta), cheetah (Acynonyx jubatus), leopard (Panthera pardus), olive baboon (Papio cynocephalus), black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas), and African elephant (Loxodonta africana) was analyzed. Questionnaires, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews with officials from OGR, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and compensation scheme organizations were the methods used to collect information. Cluster and systematic sampling techniques were used to select a sample of 199 respondents from OGR. Lions were blamed for 40.5% (US$ 374,603) of the value of livestock lost to wildlife. The costs of livestock lost to hyenas and lions were not significantly different (q = 0.24, p = 0.968). Although hyenas killed more livestock compared to lions, the economic damage between the two was not significantly different because lions attacked cattle which had high economic value. Conservation of lions will be increasingly difficult if the current levels of predation are not reduced to economically and socially acceptable levels. © 2017, The Author(s).


Gathigia M.G.,Karatina University
Journal of Cognitive Science | Year: 2017

Using the dictum that metaphor is a conceptual mapping from a concrete source domain to an abstract target domain, this paper identifies and categorizes the metaphors of death in Gĩkũyũ using the Conceptual Metaphor Theory. To achieve this objective, a purposive sample of twenty speakers of Gĩkũyũ was interviewed. The study collected 47 metaphors of death as the target domain. Having employed the mnemonics "TARGET DOMAIN IS SOURCE DOMAIN" as posited by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), the study identified four conceptual metaphors of death in Gĩkũyũ as follows: DEATH IS A JOURNEY; DEATH IS THE END; DEATH IS A REST; and DEATH IS A SUMMON. The study concludes that the Cognitive linguistics model provides tools for understanding, interpreting and accounting for metaphors of death in Gĩkũyũ.


Lokuruka M.N.I.,Karatina University | Lokuruka M.N.I.,Public Service Commission
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development | Year: 2016

Kenya is composed of over 40 ethnic communities who practice varied methods of animal handling and slaughter. Socio-cultural and religious traditions have the potential to influence animal handling and slaughter practices. These influences have, however, not been documented in the literature as far as the author is aware. Also, the literature has documented the connection between the manner of animal treatment and meat quality, but this is rarely discussed in the literature in Kenya; this connection is important as it informs modern meat trade practices by Kenyans as they trade in the global arena. This survey aimed to mainly establish and document the animal slaughter practices among Kenyan communities, and, to also highlight any current provisions related to meeting modern animal welfare requirements, animal handling procedures in the meat trade and discuss their potential influence on meat quality available in commerce in Kenya. This preliminary study surveyed the slaughter practices among 10 different Kenyan communities through a semi-structured questionnaire, focus group discussions and individual interviews. The survey demonstrated that different Kenyan communities practice varied methods of animal slaughter depending on whether the animal being slaughtered is for public feasting, domestic consumption or commercial merchandizing. The Kenyan communities surveyed in this study depend mainly on males to slaughter livestock for females preparing it for domestic use using a number of instruments and methods. For small stock for domestic consumption, females may slaughter the animal except for Muslims whose males have to slaughter the animal with a special knife (a Khalef) according to Muslim rites to render it Halal. Large stock is invariably slaughtered by males irrespective of the community, and the manner of use of the carcass. Gender, age, religion, community and the size of the animal were the major determinants of the method of animal slaughter. The animal welfare issues highlighted in the survey and related to the handling and slaughter of livestock have important implications for meat quality during commercial merchandizing. There is an apparent need to provide education to herders, livestock handlers, employees and management in the livestock industry in Kenya on the relationship between animal welfare requirements, animal handling procedures and meat quality. Such awareness can potentially improve the quality and economic value of the meat available in commerce.


Mbiri J.W.,South Eastern Kenya University | Kasili S.,South Eastern Kenya University | Patrick K.,South Eastern Kenya University | Mbinda W.,Karatina University | Piero N.M.,Kenyatta University
International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Review and Research | Year: 2016

Objective: This study investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of methanolic bark extract of Terminalia brownii in Wistar albino rats (Rattus novegicus). Methods: The experimental animals were divided into six groups of five rats each; normal control, negative control, positive control and three experimental groups. Carrageenan was used to induce inflammation. Diclofenac was used as the reference drug, and the three experimental groups were treated with the extract at the dose levels of 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg bw. The extract was screened for the presence or absence of selected phytochemical secondary metabolites using standard procedures. Results: The methanolic bark extracts of T. brownii significantly [p < 0.05] reduced the carrageenan-induced paw edema by between 1.57%-20.41% while diclofenac reduced it by between 11.12%-25.33%. Phytochemical screening of the extract indicated the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, saponins, steroids and terpenoids. Conclusion: The present study revealed that T. brownii bark extract is a potential candidate for the development of a novel anti-inflammatory formulation. © 2016 The Authors.


Oyugi D.O.,Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology | Mavuti K.M.,University of Nairobi | Aloo P.A.,Karatina University | Ojuok J.E.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Britton J.R.,Bournemouth University
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2014

Habitat suitability indices indicate how fish species respond to different habitat types. We assessed effects of habitat characteristics on fish distribution in an equatorial lake, Lake Naivasha, Kenya, where habitats vary according to substrate, depth and turbidity. Using monthly data between 2008 and 2010 using multi-mesh gill nets, catch per unit effort was used as a relative abundance measure to identify how habitat variables drive fish distribution. The focus was on commercial fishes: two introduced species (Cyprinus carpio and Micropterus salmoides) and two naturalised species (Oreochromis leucostictus and Tilapia zillii). Analyses revealed distinct preferences for different habitat variables by all commercial species except for C. carpio. For example, O. leucostictus preferred shallow waters with silt-clay substrates whilst M. salmoides preferred deeper waters with sandy/rocky substrates. Conversely, C. carpio showed no specialised habitat requirements. Niche overlaps were significantly lower between O. leucostictus and its respective sympatric species than between other species, a likely result of its territorial behaviour. The continued environmental degradation of Lake Naivasha may imperil the preferred habitats of the niche restricted M. salmoides, O. leucostictus and T. zillii. By contrast, the ubiquity of C. carpio may facilitate their invasion, and consequently sustain their dominance in the lake's commercial fishery. © 2014 The Author(s).


Kebwaro J.M.,Karatina University | He C.H.,Xi'an University of Science and Technology | Zhao Y.L.,Xi'an University of Science and Technology
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms | Year: 2016

Radiative capture reactions are of interest in shielding design and other fundamental research. In this study the reproducibility of (n,γ) reactions in Pb when cross-section data from different ENDF/B releases are used in the Monte-Carlo code, MCNP, was investigated. Pb was selected for this study because it is widely used in shielding applications where capture reactions are likely to occur. Four different neutron spectra were declared as source in the MCNP model which consisted of a simple spherical geometry. The gamma ray spectra due to the capture reactions were recorded at 10 cm from the center of the sphere. The results reveal that the gamma ray spectrum produced by ENDF/B-V is in reasonable agreement with that produced when ENDF/B-VI.6 is used. However the spectrum produced by ENDF/B-VII does not reveal any primary gamma rays in the higher energy region (E > 3 MeV). It is further observed that the intensities of the capture gamma rays produced when various releases are used differ by a some margin showing that the results are not reproducible. The generated spectra also vary with the spectrum of the source neutrons. The discrepancies observed among various ENDF/B releases could raise concerns to end users and need to be addressed properly during benchmarking calculations before the next release. The evaluation from ENDF to ACE format that is supplied with MCNP should also be examined because errors might have arisen during the evaluation. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kimanzi J.K.,University of Eldoret | Sanderson R.A.,Northumbria University | Rushton S.P.,Northumbria University | Mugo M.J.,Karatina University
ORYX | Year: 2015

Poaching with snares has been identified as the main cause of decline of the endemic roan antelope Hippotragus equinus langheldi in Ruma National Park, Kenya, from > 200 in 1979 to 37 in 2009. However, the spatial snaring patterns in the Park are not clearly understood. The focus of our study was to map the spatial distribution of snares in the Park and to identify the factors influencing this distribution, to develop effective methods of wildlife protection. Using data collected from 56 sample plots during 2006-2008, coupled with geographical information system techniques, we investigated the association between the occurrence of snares and the distribution of geographical features (slope, elevation), infrastructure (roads, fences), essential resources for wildlife (water, salt licks, forage), roan locations and wildlife density. Ripley's L function for assessing complete spatial randomness indicated that snares occurred in clumps (hotspots) up to 4 km apart. Negative binomial regression indicated that these hotspots occurred (1) near water resources, salt licks and the Park boundary, (2) far from roan locations and Park roads, (3) in areas with low gradients and low wildlife density, and (4) in areas with burned vegetation. We recommend concentrating routine security patrol efforts and resources on snare hotspots to reduce snaring and to protect the roan antelope and other threatened wildlife. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2014.


Essential oils (EOs) are used in the food industry because of their biological activity. We evaluated the effects of administration of essential oil (EO) extracted from bitter lemon (Citrus limon) fruit peels on the growth performance, biochemical, haemato-immunological parameters and possible disease resistance in fingerlings (4 weeks old) Labeo victorianus challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila. Fish were divided into five groups and fed diets supplemented with C. limon fruit peels EO extract at 1%, 2%, 5% and 8% [as fed basis] and treatment compared with control group fed diet without C. limon fruit peels EO extract. The experiment was executed in triplicate. Concentration of plasma cortisol, glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol decreased while that of total protein and albumin increased as dietary inclusion of the EO extract of C. limon fruit peels was increased from 2% to 5%. Meanwhile haemato-immunological parameters including red blood cell (RBC), white blood cell (WBC) counts, haematocrit (Htc), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and neutrophiles increased with increasing dietary inclusion from 1% to 5% inclusion of C. limon fruit peels EO extract. Serum immunoglobulins, lysozyme activity and respiratory burst increased with increasing dietary levels up to 5% inclusion of EO extract of C. limon fruit peels. We demonstrate that formulation of feeds by incorporating upto 5% the EO extract from C. limon fruit peels significantly improved biochemical, haematological and immunological response in juvenile fish resulting to lower mortality than the untreated groups and appear to be effective antibacterial against A. hydrophila. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Kamiri H.,Karatina University | Kreye C.,University of Bonn | Becker M.,University of Bonn
Wetlands Ecology and Management | Year: 2013

Agricultural land use changes differentially affect soil fertility and crop production potential of wetlands. We studied East African wetlands with contrasting hydro-geological characteristics (high- and lowland floodplains and valley swamps). Land uses ranged from no use and grazing over crop production in flooded and drained fields to abandonment. We classified the dynamics of wetlands' conversion into agricultural sites and assessed selected soil fertility attributes associated with land use changes, and their effect on the crop production potential in aerobic and anaerobic soils. A conversion of pristine wetlands, differing in soil physical and chemical attributes, into sites of production tended to negatively affect soil total C and N. Effects were stronger with soil drainage and in the coarse-textured soils of the lowland floodplain and the mid-hill valleys. Mineral P application in drained valleys significantly increased available soil P. Crop response followed these patterns with usually higher biomass accumulation and nutrient uptake in flooded than aerobic soils. Wetlands of fine soil texture in the highlands appeared more resilient than coarse-textured soils, particularly when drained. Enhanced crop performance in flooded soils indicates the possibility for partial recovery of the production potential and the rehabilitation of some wetlands. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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