Evaluation of watershed management in and around Echuya forest reserve, Western Uganda

The study was about watershed management for preservation, conservation and sustainable use of resources. The study was carried out in Kabale and Kisoro districts in Kigezi highlands where population pressure on land is high due to a high human population density in the area. This area is also prone to landslides; soil erosion, deforestation, overgrazing that contribute to exhaustion of of the resource productivity potential, thus requiring urgent interventions in their sustainable usage. Since the 1950s almost 70%of the forest cover in Kigezi highland has been cleared particularly for settlement and cultivation. Community watershed management practices in and around Echuya Forest Reserve in this highland was evaluated with a view to documenting the roles of different stakeholders, technologies used, community byelaws put in place and problems caused by diminishing natural resources in the watershed. Purposive sampling was used to collect data. Focus group discussions provided additional information. Questionnaires, interview guide, observational checklist and transect walks were also used to collect data. Questionnaires were tested for validity and reliability. Data were analysed using SPSS. The study findings indicate that most of the technologies used in watershed management have been embraced because they help in trapping runoff water and protect the fertile top soil from erosion. Agroforestry trees are also grown on the farm edges for livestock fodder, firewood and soil stabilization. The technology of construction of trenches alone cannot ensure sustainable watershed management. Farmers need to apply an integrated approach to conservation of watersheds including observation of laws governing resource management and exploitation, adopting other control measures and technologies such as stone lines, vegetative barriers, and construction of contour bunds "fanya juu" and fanya chini" for sustainable use of watershed resources.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
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Licence conditions: 
Open Access
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Prof. J. Obua & Prof. Mnason Tweheyo
Printed resource
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