Migration of Agro-Pastoralists and wetland degradation in Mbalika. Southern Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Physical and Social Sciences
Title Migration of Agro-Pastoralists and wetland degradation in Mbalika. Southern Lake Victoria, Tanzania.
Volume 3
Issue 9
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 150-171
URL http://search.proquest.com/openview/968e9d76a9f78fa20143d3521136231f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1626​340
This study assesses the effects of the continued expansion of human and livestock populations in
the Mbalika wetland corridor of Lake Victoria in Misungwi district, Mwanza. A sample of 200
respondents comprising agro-pastoralists and indigenous small-holder farmers as a control group
was used to gather data from a field survey. Further, the study used GIS and Remote Sensing in
quantifying and mapping land use land cover in the study area between 1984/85 and 2012 in
order to detect the changes that have taken place between these periods. Subsequently, an
attempt was made to project the observed land use land cover in the next 15 years with the help
of a transition probability matrix. The study found out that the rapid and excessive in-migration
of agro-pastoralists from the drought hit neighboring areas had a more adverse effect on the
carrying capacity and sustainability of the wetland as compared to the indigenous small-scale
farmers. Consequences determined include a dramatic rate of deforestation and environmental
degradation resulting from anthropogenic activities [2,816 (0.77%) hectares of forest and 470
(15.3%) hectares of wetland vegetation were lost over the time period] thus making
environmental conservation a daunting task. Projections indicate that the wetland will have been
turned into an agricultural land by a probability of 0.5553 by 2027. This study suggests the need
for appropriate land rights policies and education to address the existing problems. Among the
viable and imperative options include streamlining overstocking, agricultural malpractices,
indiscriminate tree felling, extraction of fuel wood and charcoal production, boosting agroforestry
practices and monitoring the threatened wetland areas periodically.

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