Characterization of Rangeland Watershed of the Semi-arid Rangelands, Southeast Ethiopia

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Madda Walabu University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, School of Animal and Rangeland Science

2 Natural Resource Management, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Madda Walabu University, Ethiopia

Abstract

Characterization of watersheds was conducted in semiarid rangelands of Dalloma woreda, southeast Ethiopia during 2018-19 fiscal years. Data were collected using household surveys, field observations, focus group discussion and key informant interviews . Both crop and livestock production (71%) and only livestock production (17%) ware the main activities to earn a living. Respondents ranked sale of livestock and livestock products (61%), sale of honey (20%) and sale of crops (10%) as the main source of income. The pastoral and agro-pastoral in the watershed mainly depends on the production of livestock as their main livelihood because of the suitability of the area for the production of livestock. Drought, the existence of pests, diseases and weeds, land degradation, high price of input, shortage of improved seeds and shortage of land were a major constraint for crop production. Livestock feed shortage, disease, marketing, lack of improved genotype and low animal by product are the major constraint for livestock productions. Drought, bush encroachment, crop encroachment, overgrazing, over utilization, population increase, disease and inappropriate government policies were the main factors for degradation of rangelands. The result of this study showed that land degradation together with poverty is the most serious problem. Since the well-being of the local community is highly interrelated to the natural resources it has to be managed properly in a sustainable way. Majority of respondents showed the community in the watershed and natural resources management faces interlinked complex problems, implying the importance of integrating different approaches to address the problems in the watershed and improving the livelihood of the community. Thus, integrated watershed management program should be implemented to address different problems in the watershed so that both natural resources and livelihood of the local community can be optimized.

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