Land degradation in the Northern Province : physical manifestations and local perceptions

Dzivhani, Mashudu Almond (2001-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study traces some of the causes and effects of land degradation in Mutale since it is an environmentally challenging issue associated with depletion of resources. The degradation conditions identified by the Provincial Department of Agriculture in the Northern Province support the aims of this study. Based on information obtained from the physical survey of the area and through questionnaires and interviews with the local people, it is evident that the environmental conditions of Mutale district have worsened due to the influence of land usage. From the survey made, the physical conditions are shown to be in a state of decline and to impact negatively on the soil and vegetation. The perceptions of the local community regarding physical change revealed that a variety of activities such as gathering fuel wood, fencing, stocking, and cultivating fields, influence each other and exacerbate the encroachment of degradation conditions. Stock worsens the conditions through uncontrolled grazing associated with lack of grazing camps, trampling, and overgrazing. Extension of fields, residential areas, and inescapable massive harvesting of bush for different purposes are seen as further causes of the worsening state of the environment. In the past attempts were made to curb the environmental decline, but such conservation measures were not fruitful enough as they changed from time to time and land users were alienated from land on which they depended. The present study recommends the implementation of LandCare, a programme that the Department of Agriculture has adopted in other parts of the country, as a possible solution to some of the environmental problems, and as a conservation measure.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie ondersoek sommige van die oorsake en gevolge van omgewingsdegradasie by Mutale, omdat dit 'n omgewings-uitdagende kwessie is wat met die uitputting van hulpbronne in verband staan. Die degradasietoestande wat deur die Provinsiale Landboudepartmente in die Noordelike Provinsie geïdentifiseer is, bied ondersteuning aan die doelstellings van hierdie studie. Vanuit die inligting wat deur middel van 'n empiriese ondersoek in die gebied en deur vraelyste en onderhoude met die plaaslike mense verkry is, is dit duidelik dat omgewingstoestande in die Mutale distrik vanweë die manier van grondgebruik verswak het. Vanuit die ondersoek wat gedoen is, word aangetoon dat fisiese toestande agteruitgaan en 'n negatiewe impak op die grond en plantegroei het. Waarneming deur die plaaslike gemeenskap met betrekking tot fisiese verandering dui aan dat 'n verskeidenheid aktiwiteite, soos die versameling van brandhout, bou van heinings, aanhou van vee en bewerking van landerye mekaar affekteer en die toename van die degradasietoestande veroorsaak. Vee vererger verder die toestande deur onbeheerde weiding wat verband hou met die gebrek aan weidingskampe. Die onafwendbare en grootskaalse afkap van die bos vir 'n verskeidenheid doeleindes word beskou as verdere oorsake van die toestand waarin die omweging verkeer. Pogings is in die verlede aangewend om die agteruitgang van die omgewing te keer, maar die bewaringsmaatreëls het nie genoeg vrug afgewerp nie, daar hulle van tyd tot tyd gewysig IS en die grondeienaars vervreemd geraak het van die grond waarvan hulle afhanklik was. Hierdie ondersoek beveel aan dat "LandCare", 'n program wat deur die Departement van Landbou vir ander dele van die land goedgekeur is, as ' n moontlike oplossing vir sommige van die omgewingsprobleme en as bewaringsmaatreël toegepas word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52320
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