Traditional Rangeland Resource Utilization Practices and Pastoralists’ Perceptions on Land degradation in Madda Walabu district, South-east Ethiopia

Idris Ebrahim, Abdunasir Yunus, Dastu Abrahim


A study was conducted to examine rangeland resource utilization practices of pastoralists and rangeland degradation in Madda Walabu district, south- east Ethiopia. A single-visit survey method was used to gather data through a structured questioner (130 households), group discussions and direct observations. Free grazing of communal land (100%), use of enclosures (89%), division of herds based on species and class of animal (59%), migration (79%) and seasonal assessments of the condition of rangeland were the basic traditional rangeland management practices. About 91% of pastoralists indicated that the condition of their rangelands was poor. The most dominant use for woody plants was for construction (91%), followed by browse (68%) and medicinal purposes (25%). More than 86% of the respondents considered that their grazing lands now carried more bushes and shrubs than they did 30 years ago. Feed and water shortages and drought were identified as current challenges for pastoralists, with migration the main coping strategy, in spite of the hardships it entails. Rejuvenating the existing rangelands requires the development of a range- land management strategy involving pastoralists and other stakeholders, with all participants fully committed to a successful outcome. A reduction in livestock numbers must be an essential component of any future strategy.

Keywords: Pastoral perception, Rangeland degradation, Resource utilization, South-east Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-21-03

Publication date: November 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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