Work Environment and the Performance of Forest Rangers in South West Mau Forest, Kenya
The objective of this research was to evaluate and understand how the working environment of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) forest rangers affects their performance. The rangers, under the Enforcement and Compliance Division (ENCOM) of KFS are mandated to implement the enforcement of laws and policies pertaining to forests and its allied resources as prescribed in the Kenya Forest Act of 2005. Qualitative research approach was employed in the data collection using structured questionnaires in four forest stations. From a population of 46 rangers, 32 rangers, 8 serving in each of the three forest stations (Londiani, Masaita, and Sorget) of Kericho Zone, Mau complex and the Kericho Ecosystem Conservetor’s Office were sampled randomly. A pre-tested questionnaire on demographic trends, duration of service, work environment variables constituting of remuneration, living conditions, motivation, appraisals, rewards, empowerment, communication, work tools, mobility, uniforms, challenges and personal life were administered in January 2016. The performance indicators gave dissatisfaction rates of 59% and 63% in most of the parameters tested. Comparison of the finding of this study with the findings of the surveys of 2010 and 2013 in different conservancies in Kenya gave an index of 51.4% and 56.74% satisfaction respectively. The results therefore denote a progressive correlation between the working conditions drivers and the performance of forest rangers. Kenya Forest Service under ENCOM Division has a responsibility and large task to improve the working conditions and environment of the rangers. No matter how efficient conservation and regeneration programs may be undertaken while enforcement lags the cumulative performance of the entire process shall ever record dismal performance. More radical measures must be undertaken to enhance the performance and productivity of rangers through motivation, improve both their intrinsic and extrinsic working environment. KFS must as well acknowledge that low employee satisfaction rates shall ever incapacitate the forest rangers’ performance.
Drizin, M. (2003, September 1). Worker loyalty is pretty low.
Eliason, Stephen L. (2006). Factors influencing job satisfaction among state
conservation officers. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 29(1), 6-18.
Envag Associates. (2013). Work Environment Survey.
Forest Act. (2007). Part V – Enforcement.
Gichora, M, & Bargerei, R. (2015). Forestry Society of Kenya Holds Forest Policy
Harter, JK, Asplund, JW, & Fleming, JH. (2004). HumanSigma: A meta-analysis of
the relationship between employee engagement, customer engagement and
financial performance. The Gallup Management Journal, 1-8.
Kenya Forest Service. (2012). Enforcement and Compliance.
Kimani, J. N. (2012). The Ranger I have become.
Koontz, Tomas M. (2007). Federal and state public forest administration in the new millennium: revisiting Herbert Kaufman’s The Forest Ranger. Public Administration Review, 67(1), 152-164.
Kozlowski, Steve WJ, & Bell, Bradford S. (2003). Work groups and teams in organizations. Handbook of psychology.
Krejcie, Robert V, & Morgan, Daryle W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and psychological measurement, 30(3),607-610.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. (2012). Division of Forest Protection 2012 Annual Report. Retrieved from New York:
Onyango, N. I. (2013). Factors Influencing Performance of Forest Rangers in Kenya Forest Service
Oswald, Asigele. (2012). The effect of working environment on workers performance: the case of reproductive and child health care providers in Tarime district. Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.
Van Herpen, Marco, Van Praag, Mirjam, & Cools, Kees. (2005). The effects of performance measurement and compensation on motivation: An empirical study. De Economist, 153(3), 303-329
Warchol, Greg, & Kapla, Dale. (2012). Policing the wilderness: a descriptive study of wildlife conservation officers in South Africa. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 36(2), 83-101.