oa East African Geographical Review - Landscape change in Kiambu

Volume 1965, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1937-6812



The written history of much of inland Kenya dates only from the end of the last century and for economic geographers at least is dominated by the interaction of British policy and indigenous practices. Much of the present economic geography of the country was determined not by the interplay of economic and other forces with which we are familiar but by the stroke of an often remote pen reacting more often than not to political pressures. Thus in the neighourhood of Muguga. fourteen miles west of Nairobi. in Kenya's Central Region (Fig. 1). there developed two distinct landscapes. One was at least African. if not indigenous to the local area. The other was alien. Both developed in the half-century following British penetration. The unity of the former Wandorobo habitat was destroyed as two immigrant cultures stamped their allotted areas with what must at the time have seemed their indelible mark. In Europe and elsewhere. cultures have come and gone over the centuries and rarely have their traces been completely obliterated so that we have come to think of landscape change as an evolutionary process. The landscape changes considered here have more in common with revolution than with evolution. as will be shown following a resume of the changes that have taken place near Muguga.

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