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Title: Post-Resettlement Status of Soil Degradation and Land Management Practices at Gubalafto Woreda, North Wollo, Ethiopia: The Case of Three Selected Kebeles
???metadata.dc.contributor.*???: Dr. Mekuria Argaw
Ali, Mohammed
Keywords: resettlement;soil quality;soil loss;land management;resettled and non-resettled farmlands
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Publisher: aau
Abstract: Although the causes, extent, effects and solutions vary from place to place, the impact of land degradation is more pronounced in the tropics. In the Ethiopian highlands overgrazing, over cultivation and deforestation have been identified as the predominant causes of environmental degradation. Earlier studies identified soil erosion to be the main determinant of land degradation in Ethiopia. Recent studies also noted removal of crop residues and protective covers of the soil to be the major causes of nutrient depletion. Government have chosen resettlement to reduce population pressure and address land degradation in the drought affected areas of the northern highlands and simultaneously exploit underdeveloped land in the South Western parts of the country, at different severe periods. Although many studies have been conducted concerning soil degradation, most of them were not from the point of view of resettlement, to see the impact. Moreover, those studies focused on the receiving regions (resettlement sites; others also focused only on the socio-economic aspect. The aim of the study was to assess soil degradation at the areas of origin of resettlers by analysing the changes in soil erosion, soil quality, and land management practices, as well as of farmers’ perceptions. The current status as well as the change in the rate of soil erosion after the resettlement program was assessed using Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) for two periods i.e., for 1986 (at the time of resettlement) and for 2005 (after the resettlement) with the help of Geographical Information System (GIS). The change in soil quality was studied through comparing the fertility level of resettled and non-resettled farmlands. For this purpose, three kebeles, from where more than half of their populations were left for resettlement, were identified. From three kebeles twenty eight (28) soil samples were collected from both resettled and non-resettled farmlands and subjected for physicochemical laboratory analysis. The change in land management practices and farmers’ perception on soil degradation were assessed through semi-structured questionnaire. The results of the analysis of USLE showed that the rate of soil erosion for the Woreda in 2005 has increased to 16.24 tons per hectare per year from 11.16 tons per hectare per year at the time of resettlement (1986). However, for the study Kebeles the severity of the problem is lower than the Woreda. Moreover, slight improvement was observed in one of the Kebeles. Results of soil data analysis revealed no significant difference in the fertility status of resettled and non-resettled farmlands. Besides, most of the farmlands had medium to low content of most soil nutrients. The results of the household survey revealed farmers’ perception of soil degradation as a problem. However, although they have the awareness, their response was found to be minimal, especially in soil fertility management. This might have been influenced by the socioeconomic and environmental (e.g. drought) factors. The results showed the continual degradation of the soil even after the 1984’s resettlement program. So, introduction of new management techniques as well as proper follow up of the existing conservation and management practices is mandatory.
Description: A Thesis Submitted To the School Of Graduate Studies of Addis Ababa University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science
Appears in Collections:Thesis - Environmental Science

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