Traditional Utilization of National Resources and Sustainable Livelihoods Support in Northwest Area of White Nile State
This study was conducted in the north-western part of the White Nile state; mainly focused to examine the interaction between human and the natural environment, to investigate the support provided by the different activities that make up the livelihood system of the rural population considering the factors affecting them. The study also meant to find out the livelihood strategies adopted by the households living in the area to mitigate and/or adapt to crisis. The primary data were obtained through the use of questionnaire from nine villages, each three representing a specific locality and each village representing a specific stratum. Secondary data was obtained from focus group discussions with village leaders and elder groups, available references, previous studies, researcher observations and available reports. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and analysis of households’ income and consumption expenditure to determine dominant source of income and the most prominent items been purchased. Results obtained show that over 80% of respondents surveyed are dependent on agriculture and/or animal production. However, the results indicated that the agricultural production is very low where the majority of households (44.4%) produce only one sack of cereals per feddan from traditional rain fed cultivation, and have the lowest income from farming and animal production. The study revealed that the majority of households surveyed did not produce enough food to fulfill their household's food demand, and that their consumption expenditure is very high (SDG 6774.2) of which 58.4% spent on food. These are mainly due to a combination of environmental, ecological, technical and institutional problems as indicated by 70.6% of the respondents. This situation makes the people vulnerable to food shortage. As the study area, northwest White Nile state represents the dry lands of the country, the natural ecosystems are subjected to degradation, and the declining trends of the natural resources are eroding the life support systems in this area. Therefore, rural people have lower access to natural forests and trees which provided them with diversity of uses and benefits. The study revealed that most of the valuable tree species have disappeared and even those still existing, are subjected to grazing and cutting. The net result is the continuous degradation of forests and trees and more increase in vulnerability. The study also shows that, vulnerable households adopted different adaptive strategies to mitigate/cope with risks, based on the options available for them.
Traditional, Utilization, Natural Resources, Degradation, Livelihoods, Vulnerability, Support, Income, Consumption, Coping Strategies
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