Visit this link to read the full article on the studies done.
Bush Encroachment, together with drought and overgrazing, has severe implications for the survival of the Borana pastoral system from Southern Ethiopia.
A survey was conducted in Dubluk, Medecho, Did-Hara, Did-Yabello, Web and Melbana grazing areas of Borana to analyse the pastoralists’ traditional practices and strategies for sustainable resource use.
The Borana pastoral system of southern Ethiopia, traditionally based on cattle husbandry for survival and income generation, has been effective over generations in producing animal products while maintaining rangeland resources. Borana pastoralists maintained genetically diverse stock and varied the composition of their herds to match local environmental characteristics. Herders moved livestock between the wara and fora herdmanagement systems depending upon the condition of the grazing lands and family milk needs. Large numbers of animals were sent to the fora herd during the dry season when forage resources became scarce in the wara herd’s grazing lands. Recent increases in human and livestock populations and decreases in the availability of grazing lands are putting the rangeland resource under increased pressure. In the last few decades, the development of water ponds has added further to grazing pressure on the rangelands. In the mid-1980s, about 19% of the area was affected by erosion, and about 40% of the grazing lands were covered by bush encroachment. Significant areas of the communal grazing lands have been converted to cultivation with even larger areas allocated to ranching. This has both restricted area available for communal grazing and increased grazing pressure on these areas.
Pastoralists indicated that bush encroachment became rampant more than 40 years ago, with most of the herbaceous vegetation composed of unpalatable species and valuable grasses are in a downward trend. The Borana pastoralists believed that, if this change continued unabated, the impact on sustainable resource use would be critical.
Currently, range condition has deteriorated with increasing bush encroachment by species such as Acacia drepanolobium and A. brevispica associated with unpalatable grass, mostly Pennisetum mezianum and P. stramineum.
The current situation has severe implications for the survival of the Borana pastoral system. In 1990, the total numbers of cattle and camels per household were 43 and 2, respectively, and in 1994, after the 1991–92 drought, corresponding numbers were 14 and 2 (Alemayehu 1998). The Borana pastoral system has been subsistenceoriented, based on milk production, not only to form the main stay of human nutrition, but also to rear the calves, which would ensure the long-term continuity of the system. With the current deteriorated condition of the rangeland, this system is under serious threat.
Read the full article.