Tropical Grasslands (2003) Volume 37, 53–59

Current range condition in southern Ethiopia in relation to traditional management strategies: The perceptions of Borana pastoralists

AYANA ANGASSA and FEKADU BEYENE

Department of Animal Production and Rangeland Management, Awassa College of Agriculture, Debub University, Awassa, Ethiopia

Abstract

A survey was conducted in Dubluk, Medecho, Did-Hara, Did-Yabello, Web and Melbana grazing areas of Borana to analyse the pastoralistsŐ traditional practices and strategies for sustainable resource use. A total of 36 sites were selected and data were collected by formal and informal interview using a questionnaire and group discussion, respectively. Among the 288 (17 female and 271 male) pastoralists interviewed, 144 (50%) reported that traditional grazing practices, although effective for sustainable resource use, are becoming highly marginalised due to ranching, allocation of communal grazing areas to private investors, cultivation and privately reserved pasture areas (Kalo). Recent increases in human and livestock populations, and decreases in grazing lands, have eroded the effectiveness of traditional management to mitigate risks of livestock losses during drought, and resilience of the rangelands, with a severe impact on the livelihood of the pastoralists. A decline in total biomass production and animal performance in the study areas was observed during recent years. Participatory planning and development intervention strategies based on traditional knowledge and values were suggested for sustainable resource use and development.

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