Land-Use in African Rangelands: A Study of Change in Bay Region, Somalia

Al-Najim, Mujeeb Nahi (1989) Land-Use in African Rangelands: A Study of Change in Bay Region, Somalia. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Rangelands In Bay region are used for three main economic activities: livestock grazing, dry-farming and wood collection. Livestock grazing is practised by about 99 per cent of households in the area, and this percentage not only shows that grazing practices are common among the local inhabitants, but that they are controlled by individual households. This implies that herd management techniques (for example, herd size and structure, and livestock movements and sales) are directly related to grazing methods, herd composition and the socio-economic obligations of the pastoral society, rather than to the environmental maintenance of pasturelands. The reason is that pasturelands are communally owned, whilst animals are individually owned. Thus, rangeland resources have come under increasing grazing pressure, owing to the increase in the numbers of livestock, as well as to the changes in herd structure from a reliance on camels and smallstock to a reliance on cattle. Dry-farming is another form of land-use in Bay region. This land-use activity is common too, as about 93 per cent of the pastoral households are agro-pastoralists. Nevertheless, dry-farming lands occupy only about 11% of the region's land. This is not only due to the amount of rainfall, and its distribution, but also to the distribution of Vertisols, the most fertile soils in the region. However, there has been an increase in the area of dry-farming lands in recent years, although this farming is still largely unaffected by modern farming techniques, and weeds infestation. insect and bird damage and other crop problems are common in the region. Wood collection is the third land-use type, being in those range areas covered with woody plants. There is no clear division between those rangelands used for grazing and those used for wood collection purposes. This is because range plants provide both a substantial supply of forage for livestock, as well as fuelwood and timber for people. Wood collection for household needs is carried out freely by pastoral groups, most of it being collected from the nearest woodlands, whilst timber for household building and fences is often gathered from woodlots further afield. Charcoal production is another form of wood collection in Bay region. In fact, the region is one of the major suppliers of charcoal to the consumer centre in Mogadishu. There has been an increase in recent years in the amount of charcoal produced and exported from Bay region and surrounding areas to Mogadishu. A total of 41 selected ecological and socio-economic factors, relating to land-use changes, have been perceived to have changed over the past 20 years in Bay region. It would seem that these land-use changes are more likely to be as a result of increasing human pressures on the rangeland resources in terms of overgrazing, overcultivation and overcutting of woody vegetation, rather than of changing environmental factors such as rainfall. Such pressures have resulted from various factors, such as the communal use of pasturelands and woodlands: the growth of commercial pastoralism; the scale of pastoral development; and the growth of unplanned pastoral settlements. As such. an optimal interplay, between the rangeland potentials and land-use activities. plays a prominent role in the sound management of unreliable range resources.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Land use planning, Range management, Environmental management
Date of Award: 1989
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1989-77955
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:46
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:46

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