Land use and cover change in pastoral systems of Uganda: implications on livestock management under drought induced pasture

Land use and cover change in pastoral systems of Uganda: implications on livestock management under drought induced pasture

This study assessed the extent of land use and cover change in Buliisa and Nakasongola Districts in the cattle corridor of Uganda over 27 years (1986 –2013), and their impacts on livestock management under drought induced pasture. The study found that area under open water and grassland declined by 3.5 and 48.3 per cent, while woodland, wetland, small scale farming and forest increased by 0.2, 62.2, 320.7 and 64.1 per cent, respectively, in Buliisa. In Nakasongola, grassland, bushland and forest decreased by 96.1, 25.6 and 17.2 per cent, respectively; while open water, bare ground, wetland, and small scale farming increased by 5.3, 210.9, 2.7 and 26.8 per cent, respectively, between 1986 and 2013. The paper argues that individualisation of land in Nakasongola led to settlement of cultivators and fencing of land leading to blockage of livestock migration routes. Reduced mobility of livestock during drought, increased stock densities resulting in land degradation exemplified by bare land in Nakasongola compared to Buliisa, where communal land ownership and limited cultivation enabled mobility.

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