CHAPTER TWELVE ERIN N. PERRY URBAN GROWTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN KENYA Introduction Humans are a plague upon the planet. This is the philosophy that many environmentalists and zero-growth advocates live by. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with this statement, it is clear that exponential growth of the human population will affect the natural environment. As our human numbers increase, the finite supply of natural resources needs to support more and more people. Further, as Third World countries develop and levels of affluence increase, the citizens there will demand more goods per person. Pollution is bound to increase, as it has been for decades, and resources are bound to become more scarce, but for how long? How much can the Earth supply before our rates of growth level off? These are questions that the establishment of a population-environment dynamic hopes to answer. Specifically, this paper will examine the urbanization transition (along with the demographic transition) and the corresponding effects on the environment. Kenya will serve as the study area, as a country in the midst of both of the above transitions. Continued high rates of population growth strain many sectors of Kenyan society, including agriculture, education, urban infrastructure, sanitation, water supply, energy, and employment. Growth of the urban environment appears to coincide with overall population growth. Urban growth has intense and often specific effects on the environment because of its high population densities. For example, the need for employment brings industry to cities, and along with it air and water pollution and increased need for energy. Citizens of large Third World Cities such as Nairobi demand improved roads and sewers; this requires more energy, construction materials, and a steady water supply (often entailing more hydroelectric projects in the country). Demand for food in the cities must also be supplied by rural areas, and with fewer people per hectare of arable land because of rural-urban migration. This necessitates more capital-intensive agricultural practices, such as herbicide and pesticide use (with obvious negative effects on soil and water supply). As more and more rural people migrate to cities in search of better employment and educational opportunities, poverty-stricken shantytowns flourish around the outskirts of major cities. The basic needs of residents of these areas, including health services, often remain unmet. In the wake of urbanization and the resulting inequities (or perceived inequities) between urban and rural residents the potential for social unrest increases. Despite all the problems that proliferate in cities such as Nairobi, I will assert that cities can exert positive forces on the population environment dynamic as well. In areas such as education and sanitation, urban areas can exert the power of economies of scale that rural areas cannot. Better education and better access to health services, as more often found in urban areas, can lead to reductions in fertility, which relieves pressure on the environment. This reduction in fertility is crucial to the survival of the Kenyan people, in that agricultural limits are approaching, environmental stresses are increasing, and food shortages may be in Kenyas future. Africa in general According to the United Nations Environment Programme, most of Africa is actually under-populated (UNEP 1). The problem, however, is whether or not the increasing numbers of people will "be gainfully employed or whether, on the contrary, they will swell the ranks of the under-employed and the jobless" (UNEP 1). Their fear is based on the prediction that the growth of urban areas will continue at a rapid rate without a complementary increase in activities or the creation of an adequate number of jobs (UNEP 4). Background Kenya is largely an agricultural nation, despite recent trends in rural-urban migration. In fact, the Kenya Highlands is one of the most productive agricultural regions in Africa (CIA 160). The labor force consists of 15% agriculture, 50% public sector, 20% services, and 14% industry and commerce. Climate in Kenya is quite variable, from tropical at the coast to arid in the interior. As of July 1989, the population of Kenya was 24,346,250 with an annual growth rate of 4.2% (CIA 160). As shown in Figure 1, Kenya has one of the highest growth rates in Africa. The United States Central Intelligence Agency estimated literacy at 47% of the total population in 1989 (CIA 160). The population of Kenya in the 1979 census was 15,327,061, and had risen to over 24 million by 1989 (CIA 160). Of the total figure, 827,775 live in the capital of Nairobi and 341, 148 in the coast city of Mombassa (Central Bureau of Statistics 13). From Figure 2 below, we can see the trends in birth and death rates in Kenya. In 1989, according to CIA figures, total fertility in Kenya was at 7.8 children born per woman (160). The 1989 birth rate was 51 births per 1000 population while the death rate was only 9 per 1000 population. The birth rate has been slow to "catch up" with the steady decline in the death rate, although it is declining and projections by the World Resources Institute indicate that it will continue to do so. This pattern is typical of countries such as Kenya in the early stages of economic development (Ominde 1984, 41). Despite movement towards the urban areas, Kenya remains a largely agricultural nation, with some 80 percent of the population working on 17 percent of the land. The vast majority of Kenyans are small scale farmers; however, large scale farms dominate coffee, tea, cereals, and livestock products-the export oriented sector of agriculture (Brass & Jolly 11). The potential impacts of urban-rural migration on agriculture and land-pressures will be discussed later. Figure 1. Thematic Map of Africa by Population Growth Rate. What stage of the demographic transition is Kenya in? The demographic transition involves moving from a state of high birth and death rates to one of low birth and death rates. According to William Drake, at the beginning of the transition when birth and death rates are high they are "in relative equilibrium with each other" (304). By some event the death rate then dramatically drops, starting the transition. The widespread availability of western style health care such as immunizations in the Third World has recently caused this drop in death rates. By definition of the transition, after a time lag, the birth rates slowly drop to catch up to the death rates until another equilibrium is reached (Drake 304). Because of this time lag, some growth in population is inherent in the transition. How drastic/sudden is the drop in the death rate determines largely the manageability of the population growth. If a very sudden drop in the death rate occurs, such as in many Third World countries including Kenya, a population explosion occurs "and society experiences all the stress and human misery created by this condition" (Drake 304). This combination of high fertility and low mortality is characteristic of the contemporary demographic situation in northern Africa. However, countries in eastern and western Africa have generally experienced both high mortality and high fertility (typical of a country that hasn't gone through the demographic transition). Kenya was one of these countries, until it experienced substantial mortality declines in the 1970's. This resulted in considerably increased growth rates for Kenya (Ominde 1984, 27). In the mid-'70s, Kenya's growth rate was estimated at 3.7 percent, the highest in Africa (Ominde 1984, 28). In 1989, the growth rate had risen to 4.2% (CIA 160). Kenya has long been considered one of Africa's success stories because of its relative political stability and social tranquillity. However, this success has been tempered in per capita terms by its rapid population growth (Brass & Jolly 8). Figure 2. Birth rates and death rates superimposed on total population. Date source: World Resources Data Base 1994-95.
As seen in Figure 3 below, population growth appears to have been the highest in semi-arid parts of Kenya, due in large part to reductions in infant mortality among pastoralists (Livingstone 6). In contrast, low rates of growth in areas such as the Victoria basin reflect reductions in the natural rate of growth by migration to other areas because this area has run out of capacity to absorb population (Livingstone 9). According to Brass and Jolly, "Kenya has undergone the first stage of a classic demographic transition, declining mortality coupled with relatively constant fertility. This phase would now appear to be complete, because future mortality declines will be more modest and therefore not affect the overall growth rate as much. Fertility is now the crucial process governing growth (21). According to Ominde, the demographic trend parallels that of many of the countries in similar stages of development. The difference, he asserts, is that in Kenya the combination of high fertility and rapidly declining mortality is "virtually unprecedented in demographic history" (Ominde 1984, 53). Fertility As shown in Figure 4 below, the risk of dying at a young age has dropped dramatically since 1940, life expectancy has risen, but total fertility has continued to rise. Figure 4. Fertility Rate, Probability of Dying and Life Expectancy. From: Brass and Jolly. Fertility is highly related to mortality, as Ominde discusses. "Expectations of life have a direct bearing on the extent to which population is just replacing itself or exceeding the replacement level" (Ominde 1984, 30). Mortality conditions were such in Africa that a woman needed 3.5 births to replace the parent generation, whereas in the United States only 2.1 births were needed (Ominde 1984, 30). Where female death rates are high, a higher level of fertility is required to maintain the population at the same level. By 1972 the total fertility rate was estimated at an astonishing 8.1 births per woman (Ominde 1984, 43). Some reasons for this rise in fertility include better health conditions in Kenya, which created a tendency for miscarriage rates to decline. As an indicator, the percentage of childless women declined noticeably between 1969 and 1977, from 7.9 percent of women 45-49 to only 4.5 percent in the same age group in 1977 (Ominde 1984, 43). Researchers have also found that fertility declines drastically with secondary-school education for women. This may be because increasing education is generally associated with a tendency for women to delay marriage and childbearing. As Micah Cheatham points out in the chapter on fertility reduction in India, education is negatively correlated with fertility when looking at data on primary school education and fertility rates of females aged twenty-five and over from countries in all stages of the demographic transition. Also, increased education for women leads to increased chance of modern sector employment, which can entail changing values about family size (Ominde 1984, 44). Urban women are much more likely to be of the group of women with higher levels of education, which tends to reduce fertility. However, they also have better access to health care and nutrition, which are factors which tend to reflect a more fertile (physically healthy) population. As can be seen in Figure 3, urban fertility is systematically lower than rural fertility in every province in Kenya, the highest fertility rates being found in the Western Province and the lowest in the East. In urban environments, patterns of fertility differ from those in rural areas. In a rural setting, children are viewed as a form of consumer durable yielding a flow of services over time. The labor of children adds to family income and it provides economic and social security for the parents in the future. Of course, there are costs to having children as well, such as the opportunity cost of parents not working while raising children. Families tend to balance the utility of children against the costs of bearing them and raising them. In rural areas, the utility of the childrens labor and income generating potential clearly outweighs the costs, since few women have significant employment opportunities. However, as wage/income earning opportunities increase, alternative uses of time increase the price of children relative to other goods, mostly through increasing the opportunity cost of the mothers time. Also, increased income leads parents to spend more on better clothing, housing, nutritious food, and high quality education. Thus the cost of raising each child increases. These characteristics of increased income generating opportunities, better wages, and better opportunities for purchasing the above amenities are prevalent in urban areas. Thus, the logical conclusion is that family size and fertility will decrease in urban areas (Oberai 155). This set of circumstances may indicate that increased urbanization is a good way to reduce fertility and therefore reduce population pressures. However, many migrants to urban areas are not affluent enough to afford the amenities which increase the costs of having children. More common is that in-migrants live in slums on the outskirts of the city. Surveys indicate that in poor urban areas such as the slums outside of Nairobi, only 20.5% of households have flush toilets, 46.7% have regular garbage disposal services, and 55.45 have access to public water standpipes (Oberai 157). This lack of facilities in slum areas reflects the lower probability that these residents will spend more on relative luxury goods such as education and better clothing for their children. Women will also have fewer opportunities to earn higher wages while living in these shantytowns. Thus, slum dwellers have higher fertility levels than the general population in many Third World cities like Bombay (Oberai 159). According to Oberai, The results of studies reviewed...suggest that in general urban poor have larger families than the urban non-poor, both because of their desire to have more children for reasons of economic security and because of their limited access to education, health facilities, family planning and other social services (Oberai 160). Population momentum and the future The concept of momentum is an important one in analyzing population dynamics. The effects of reductions in fertility, say, as the result of family planning programs, will not be felt for many years due to the youthful character of the population. As shown in Figure 5 below, the age structure of Kenya is heavily weighted toward the bottom, younger, segment of the pyramid. Because the young people still have to grow up and reproduce, the "population momentum" will carry population levels up until the next generation is born and the effects of the family planning programs can be felt. So even if this generation of young people entering child bearing age has only 2 children per couple (replacement level fertility), the Figure 5. Age Structure.
population will still increase greatly before reaching a stable level. As Ominde explains this concept of population momentum: "The imbalances in the birth-rates and death-rates and the fact that more than half the people in these regions are under the age of 15 mean that the demographic upsurge will not relent until well into the twenty-first century" (1984, 32). Where this population pyramid is broad based, with high proportions of younger ages, dependency ratios are high; many young people are dependent on relatively few adults. This results in resources being diverted to more consumption and thus less savings and investment (Ominde 1984, 40). Urban poverty often exacerbates this dependency problem. A poor urban household is characterized by low, irregular earnings by one principal worker and a large number of people: hence the high ratio between household size and the number of earners (Oberai 145). History of Urbanization in Kenya The population in Kenya has been largely distributed around environmental factors and productive agricultural areas. Sparse populations in vast parts of the country is due to rainfall patterns; the Kenyans have tended to settle more densely around areas which receive high rainfall and therefore have a high potential for development (Alikhan 65). Figure 6. Monthly rainfall data by district. From Odingo. Another major factor contributing to the uneven distribution of population was the alienation of large amounts of productive areas for the occupation of white settlers during the period of colonial rule. Prior to colonial administration, land was largely owned on a tribal basis (Ominde 1984, 6). During colonial rule, the African population was confined to Native Reserves; the areas that once were these reserves continue to be the areas with the highest densities (Kisii, Kakamaga, and Kiambu for example). Lands occupied by pastoral tribes such as the Masaii tend to have the lowest densities, districts such as the Tana River, Lamu, Narok, and Samburu (see Figure 7 for locations). While urbanization has increased in most all of Kenya from 1969-1979, the Coast province has remained relatively unaltered; curiously, this is the only province with an indigenous urban tradition (Alikhan 66-67). Figure 7. Map of Kenya
Areas with the highest levels of urbanization are located in the former White Highlands, where towns grew in response to economic development during colonial times, and in the Coast Province where the urban tradition dates back to a period of Arab influence (Alikhan 67). Urban agglomerations in the Arab Coast province arose in the form of trading centers from the ninth century onward (Ominde 1984, 59). The arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya are more urbanized than their more environmentally favorable counterparts in the southwestern part of the country (see Figure 8). Urban-Rural Migration. Environmental problems associated with population growth often manifest themselves in the urban areas. Thus, it is important to examine the phenomenon of urban-rural migration along with population growth to establish a population-environment dynamic. First, we must determine whether or not there is a link between population growth and urbanization. If we examine Figure 9 below, it appears that there is a positive correlation between population growth and growth in the urban population. Both are growing at an exponential rate, a characteristic that becomes unmanageable very quickly. According to Livingstone, rural-urban migration tends to have a bias toward young people with some education (10). Those with more education seem to be less content in rural areas and seek out the cities in search of employment. Whether or not cities can actually provide this employment and whether or not existing services can absorb these new immigrants is debatable. Overall, 37.8 percent of all male migrants in Kenya move from rural to urban areas, and 31.1 percent of all female migrants do the same (Ominde 1984, 76). This gap between male and female percentages can possible be explained by the above assertion that migration to urban areas has a bias toward those with some education, a group that is predominantly male. The next largest category of migration within Kenya is rural to rural, which accounts for 35 to 36 percent of all migration (Ominde 1984, 76). Some general characteristics of migrants to Nairobi will help in analyzing the reasons for this movement and may lead us to policies to make the flow more manageable. Over forty percent of migrants to Nairobi are Kikuyu, the major ethnic group in Kenya (composing 20.8 percent of the total population) and 35.9 percent come from the central district (Alikhan 168-169). A large majority of migrants come directly from their place of usual residence (76 percent). The vast majority of migrants to Nairobi are between 20 and 34 years of age and are Christian. Sixty-seven percent of migrants to the city have more than a primary education. Respondents of Alikhan's field study indicated that the major reasons for migrating to Nairobi were for job availability, better paid jobs, and better educational facilities (Alikhan 181). These statements are a testament to the inequalities between urban and rural areas in terms of services, and suggest that if job opportunities were increased, wage differentials between cities and rural areas were diminished, and educational facilities were improved in rural areas, the pulls of the city would be lessened, along with the pace of migration. Indeed, we must not forget the role of women in major cities of the Third World, as they often carry an exceptional burden, providing economic support and performing housekeeping and child-rearing as well. Migration occurs because of certain "pushes" urging people out of their area of residence and "pulls" toward the cities. Some of these pushes include relief of population pressure in the rural areas (especially when the move to the city is permanent), the need for a supplementary source of income (which can be accomplished through remittances to the family at home from the migrant), and the need for capital for the development of farms or other activities in the rural home areas (Livingstone 12). In rural areas, certain "pushes" operate to encourage people to move to the cities. Often, education is seen as giving access to employment outside the farming sector, which has great value to families during years of crop failure (offering a measure of security). "Households used income diversification both to secure themselves against risk and to build up savings for investment in the farm" (Mortimore, Tiffen and Gichuki 142). It is important to note that persistent rural-urban migration has increased the incidence of female-headed households in rural areas, especially in areas where male out-migration has been substantial. This has implications for income, welfare, and agricultural extension and production (Livingstone 15). Figure 9. Growth in Urban Population versus Total Population Growth. Data source: World Resources Data base 1994-95. Why is urbanization such a concern in the Third World while First World countries went through the transition without much discussion? Granted, there have been great problems with urbanization in industrialized countries, including pollution, traffic congestion, shortage of housing, insufficient sanitation, social friction, delinquency, and aesthetic environmental deterioration. However, in less developed countries, such as Kenya in the wake of the end of the colonial system, "cities now grow with even greater speed, despite the meager resources available for coping with the adverse consequences" (Ominde 1984, 30). This rapid growth magnifies the problems experienced by developed countries in lesser developed nations. In these developing countries, "the rate of increase in absolute numbers of urban population and the associated growth in rural population has no parallel" (Ominde 1984, 30). Natural rates of population growth in developing countries like Kenya are much higher than any ever experienced in currently industrialized nations. In unplanned slums of major cities like Nairobi, population growth rates approach 7-8 percent while the general urban population is growing at approximately 5 percent per year (Ominde 1984, 30). In now-developed countries, urbanization occurred because of increases in agricultural productivity which provided capital accumulation and less need for labor; thus creating a rural labor surplus. Capital inputs were available as a result, and so industry could expand and offer more opportunities for labor. Thus, "Urbanization in the experience of now-developed countries was thus both a cause and a consequence of higher standards of living" (Oberai 24). In countries such as Kenya, the rapid increase of rural populations led to an increase in the rural labor force which could not be absorbed by the agricultural sector. Therefore, in Kenya and other Third World nations, urban growth has resulted from pressures of rural poverty, and so its consequences have been negative (unemployment, slums, and poverty-Oberai 25). Figure 10. Demographic trends worldwide. From Ominde 1984 (Population and Development in Kenya)
From Figure 10 above, urban population growth in Africa occurred at a rate of 4.8 percent per year, while rural areas grew less than half as fast (1.8 percent). This is partially due to the phenomenon of rural-urban migration, which now constitutes the largest volume of migration in the world (Ominde 1984, 31). Many problems are associated with this rapid urban growth. A few major concerns in Kenya include: the squalor of rapidly growing slums, deterioration in public services, shortage of housing, congestion in the streets, growth in unemployment, and worsening imbalance in income distribution (Ominde 1984, 32). In 1985, industrial workers earned three times as much as agricultural workers in developing countries (Oberai 31). All of these problems lead to less direct effects on the environment, which will be discussed in the next section. Urban Growth and the Environment Growth in urban areas has ramifications on the environment that stretch well beyond the boundaries of the city. Increased numbers of people must be supported by the same amount of land in rural areas and relatively fewer people to manage it (as greater proportions of people migrate to the cities). In 1969 approximately two-thirds of the total area of Kenya supported only 8 percent of the population: the urban population (Ominde 1984, 54). This spatial inequality in the distribution of population leads to many problems in resource development. Agriculture must be intensified or expanded to feed the urban dwellers. Hydroelectric projects must be used more frequently to supply water and energy to the cities. Industry blossoms in the city, increasing pollution and taking resources from rural areas. Industrial growth seems an inevitable consequence of urbanization, for industry exploits the economies of scale found in large cities such as Nairobi. Whether or not growth in industry can occur rapidly enough to accommodate immigrants from rural areas who seek formal sector employment is questionable, however some burgeoning of industry is almost certain. As we can see from the graphs below (Figures 12-15), increases in urban population in Kenya have produced corresponding increases in fuel and charcoal production and carbon dioxide emissions (although CO2 emissions are more erratic). Using best fit curves to project this data set into the future, we can see that if current trends continue pollution will increase and pressures for coal and fuel resources from rural areas will increase. From Figure 11 below, it appears that agricultural intensification is the wave of the future, because agricultural land has not expanded much in recent decades. All the land area suitable for rainfed agriculture is already being cultivated and there has been a shift in the agricultural boundary into some semi-arid areas in the east and north (Darkoh 1991, 61). This expansion of agriculture could mean increased desertification if current farming techniques are used (which tend to promote erosion). Erosion ravages prime agricultural areas and leaves little potential for production. Some 483,830 square kilometers of Kenyas total area of 569,137 square kilometers is already experiencing some form of desertification, or 85% of the total land area (Darkoh 1991, 61). This desertification, caused in large part by agricultural expansion, has repercussions on agriculture, creating a sort of negative feedback loop. About 30% of land in Kenya has been moderately to seriously affected by desertification with about 55% in imminent danger of declining in productivity, leaving only 15% of the land in good condition for farming (Darkoh 1991, 61). Estimates suggest that by the year 2000 Kenya will only be able to feed 17% of its population from its own land, using low inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides, and will not be able to produce adequate food for its entire population even at intermediate levels of inputs (Darkoh 1991, 66). Intensification of agriculture to produce needed food for urban areas could also have effects on the income distribution of Kenya. The demand for inputs, many of which are urban-based, will likely increase with agricultural intensification. Therefore rising rural incomes will also increase the demand for goods and services produced in the city, thus stimulating urban incomes and expenditures disproportionately (Anker and Knowles 45). Despite this inequality, the experience of the Machakos area in Kenya supports the hypothesis that increasing population density leads to intensification through changing labor-to-land ratios (Mortimore, Tiffen and Gichuki 141). Figure 11. Land use changes in the Kenya Highlands between 1920 and 1960. From Odingo. Figure 12. Curve fit and actual data for Charcoal and Fuel Production in Kenya. Data source: World Resources Data Base 1994-95. Figure 13. Commercial Fuel Production and Urban Population in Kenya. Data Source: World Resources Data Base. [A logistic curve might also be fit.] Figure 14. Traditional Fuel Consumption in Kenya. Data Source: World Resources Data Base 1994-95. [A logistic curve might also be fit.] Figure 15. Industrial CO2 Emissions and Urban Population in Kenya. Data source: World Resources Data Base 1994-95. [Compare this curve to the graphs of the rainfall data, Figure 6.] Water supply for the growing urban populations is also a major concern. In Nairobi, the mean annual water use per capita was 154 liters in 1968, compared with 556 liters in U.S. cities (White, Bradley and White 115). Water deficiencies are common from January to March and July through September in Nairobi. Per capita water use is dependent on many factors, including size of family, income level, education, cultural heritage, and the cost of obtaining water (White, Bradley and White 117). Low-density urban areas tend to use the most water per capita (252 liters) compared to medium high density areas using 167 liters per person (White, Bradley and White 118). Therefore, it seems that as urban densities increase, per capita water use decreases. This may be interpreted as a positive consequence of urbanization in Kenya. However, the increasing numbers of urban dwellers may dampen the positive effects of lower per capita use, resulting in still higher demands on water supplies that are currently in shortage many times during the year. In most of the highland area of Kenya, where Nairobi is located, rainfall is variable and uncertain (Odingo 150). Farmers in the area are facing increased pressures for livestock development because of the demands of a more modern urban population. This in turn requires more water, and so more boreholes and dams. Large scale dams and other water projects have been shown to have large negative effects on surrounding land and populations. Large areas of land are submerged by dam retention areas, including areas along the Tana River where past water projects were located. Disease also increases around water retention areas as water-borne viruses flourish. Therefore the demand for water and agricultural products in urban areas often degrades the environment in rural areas. Increased energy demand from urban areas is having a large negative effect on the environment of Kenya. Urban demand for charcoal, largely in Mombassa and Malindi, leads to the wholesale cutting of forests in the Kilifi district (Darkoh 1991, 69). Forests have been cut to the point of encroachment onto traditionally reserved areas such as the Kaya forests (Darkoh 1991, 69). Urbanization, the Environment, and the Future. Some have attributed environmental degradation in Africa to the absence of environmental awareness among the poor. It is, of course, unreasonable to expect people living on the edge of existence, worrying about their next meal, to be concerned with the larger environment. Darkoh contends that environmental degradation is largely caused by "human population pressure and outside influences (e.g..-modernization) leading to over-exploitation and poor management of resources (forests, soil, water, atmosphere, etc.) through over-cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, poor irrigation practices, pollution, etc." (Darkoh 1993 60). Disproportionate growth of urban areas plays a large role in this phenomenon as pressures for goods and services increase. As Darkoh points out, "demand for household fuel poses a clear threat to economic development in several countries. It has led to denuded forests near rural villages and round towns and cities. With the loss of tree cover comes increased erosion and lower crop yields. The resulting loss of soil fertility reduces harvests which in turn means poverty for the dependent population" (2, 60). This environmental degradation in rural areas, caused in large part by the demands of cities, can in fact cause even more people to go to cities in search of better conditions. The case of the Ethiopian Highlands illustrates this experience: starvation and death forced the exodus of millions of environmental refugees to urban areas or less degraded lands elsewhere (Darkoh 1993 61). Could this happen to the currently productive Kenyan Highlands? Those who are poor and hungry will often cut forests, overgraze grasslands, overuse marginal land, and crowd into already congested cities. This cycle must be interrupted for any policy to be effective. Predictions for the future are varied. Some, including Peter Kimm, assert that within 10 years most of the poor will live in urban areas (3). The predicament of cities such as Nairobi cannot be overlooked. An easy solution to the problem of population growth and environmental problems would be to heavily regulate industry in cities, and generally make living in cities more difficult so that people will remain in rural areas. However, cities currently contribute over half of the gross domestic product of developing countries and by the year 2000 it is predicted that they will contribute over two-thirds (Kimm 4). Without the economic development provided by cities, countries such as Kenya have little hope of developing, which is usually the precursor to lower population growth rates. Growth of economically productive employment must be stimulated so that cities may absorb an expanding labor force. The agricultural sector does not provide a solution to the employment problem, as the agricultural land in Kenya is already being subdivided into plots too small to support a family adequately (Lewis 142). Employment must be increased, however, such that industry does not over-exploit natural resources and create intolerable amounts of pollution. A process called "technological leap-frogging" may be a means to accomplish this. Leap-frogging involves transfers of cleaner, more efficient technology from developed nations to countries like Kenya trying to grow economically. Some suggest, however, that it is prohibitively expensive to create a significant number of new jobs in the capital intensive industrial sector (Lewis 142). They assert that the basic need is to encourage growth of smaller secondary urban areas. Smaller urban areas may address the need to foster backwards and forwards linkages with agriculture, and would provide readily accessible marketplaces for farmers (Lewis 143). If this strategy is pursued, the need for sanitary water supplies, sanitation systems, control of rain-water run-off, streets, and other infrastructure issues become critical (Lewis 146). However, the major difficulty with this strategy is that to decentralize, the central government must be willing to decentralize, and hence give up some of their power, which may be unlikely. Kenya's government is moving in the right direction in terms of its philosophy for development. Its policies with respect to the preservation of the environment are based on the premise that prevention of harmful effects is less costly than their subsequent correction. The policies emphasize that environmental considerations must be incorporated at the planning stage of development projects. However, either through lack of political clout or necessary machinery for monitoring and surveillance, there is often no follow-up observation of the impact of rural development schemes (Darkoh 1993, 71). Improving monitoring and enforcement of existing policies can not only improve environmental conditions, but also provide formal sector employment for so many urban dwellers that are in need of income. It seems that, from examining all the evidence presented here, that there are two ways of looking at urban growth and the environment in Kenya. One school of thought asserts that increased urbanization is a good thing for environmental quality in Kenya. In this scenario, urban-rural migration has a dampening effect on total population growth, therefore reducing pressures on the environment. As population grows, rural poverty pushes people to urban areas. During this migration, people tend to acquire more education (either before migrating or after they reach the city). This higher education level leads to a desire for smaller families, thus reducing the rate of population growth. The other theory is that urban migration is a positive feedback to population growth, and therefore increases pressure on the environment. Once again, as population increases people migrate to urban areas, Because of the increased proportion of people in urban areas, greater pressure is placed on the rural environment to provide goods and services for these new urban dwellers. The new demand for production in rural areas will thus reinforce the need for large families there. The cycle of unmanageable population growth is thus perpetuated. This author tends to agree with the former theory of urban growth, in that the rate of growth of cities is occurring too quickly, without the jobs for migrants and the agricultural surplus to support it. Of course, some policies are in order to improve conditions in urban areas, but not to the point of increasing the pushes to these areas from the rural lands. For example, efforts to reduce urban poverty, including increasing formal sector and industrial employment, will increase incomes for urban families and encourage the view of children as an economic liability. Technological leap-frogging is a viable option for Kenya, soliciting help from nations such as the U.S. in adopting more advanced technologies for production that are less polluting than those that would normally be adopted in the course of development. These policies will not reduce environmental degradation alone. Rural areas must also be targeted for increased income generating opportunities and improved services so that people won't have such a strong incentive to flee to the cities. Better education and access to health care are essential in rural areas. Opportunities for women to earn income are also crucial to not only improving conditions in rural areas but to reducing the desire for large families (i.e.-increasing the opportunity cost of women's time). These activities could include working in health care, teaching, and selling hand-made goods. The establishment of smaller urban centers will help in this endeavor, allowing more agricultural distribution areas (also a place where women could work) and places to sell wares. By keeping activities decentralized, pushes from rural areas can be decreased, influx to large urban centers like Nairobi can be slowed, and population pressures can be reduced. As we can see, population growth, urban growth and the condition of the natural environment are intricately entwined. As countries such as Kenya develop, urban populations are bound to increase. Our job as policy makers is to see that the pace of this urban growth is manageable, that migrants can earn a living and that both urban and rural environments can be sustained.