Soil physical degradation is a negative environmental process that lowers the productive potential of land. Its effective control requires three major steps: assessment, monitoring, and mitigation. Dr. Christian Omuto has successfully studied the assessment step in the arid areas in eastern Kenya. He is currently designing a monitoring framework, which will help to evaluate the progression of soil physical degradation. This framework will be used to identify areas where the degradation is increasing or decreasing and its relationship with its potential drivers. The development of the framework will involve use of time-series physical observations of selected indicators, remote sensing, and development of a computer program to integrate drivers, indicators, and rates of soil physical degradation. It is anticipated that the framework will complement the efforts by the Kenya government in mitigating land degradation in the country. Besides the government of Kenya, the United Nations through the Land Degradation Assessment of Dryland (LADA) project is also trying various approaches for monitoring land degradation.  The outputs from this study will therefore be an important contribution to their efforts.

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