Journal of Geography and Regional Planning
Subscribe to JGRP
Full Name*
Email Address*

Article Number - E6E78DF47707

Vol.7(8), pp. 160-175 , October 2014
DOI: 10.5897/JGRP2013.0417
ISSN: 2070-1845

Full Length Research Paper

An assessment of the impact of the fast track land reform programme on the environment: The Case of Eastdale Farm in Gutu District, Masvingo

Nyashadzashe Zembe
  • Nyashadzashe Zembe
  • Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Google Scholar
Edmore Mbokochena
  • Edmore Mbokochena
  • Department of Psychology, Women?s University in Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Google Scholar
Fungai H. Mudzengerere
  • Fungai H. Mudzengerere
  • National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Google Scholar
Elizabeth Chikwiri
  • Elizabeth Chikwiri
  • Women?s University in Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Google Scholar

 Received: 26 September 2013  Accepted: 16 September 2014  Published: 31 October 2014

Copyright © 2014 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0

Through the indigenisation programme, the government of Zimbabwe embarked on fast track land reform which to some extent had both positive and negative impacts. The aim of the programme was to empower the local Zimbabweans economically and to improve on food security. On the other hand, this initiative had negative implications to the environment. The research explored how the new farming communities endeavoured to protect the environment through their agricultural, social and cultural practises in trying to improve their sustainable livelihoods. The survey research design was adopted with questionnaires and interviews being the main data gathering tools. Simple random sampling technique was used to select a sample of 120 respondents for answering the questionnaire and also for interviewing. Data was then analysed, tabulated and inferences made about it. The research found out that the fast track land reform programme has caused environmental degradation as shown by deforestation, gullies and siltation of rivers in Eastdale A1 model farm. Poverty was highlighted as the major cause of environmental degradation in farms.  In addition, bad farming practices and exploitation of natural resources as a way of surviving also impacted negatively on the environment. Although there are laws governing environmental protection, the implementation of such laws is not that effective as there is lack of consultation and participation of the local communities.  The study recommends effective implementation of environmental laws in the areas where new farmers were settled. Local communities need to take active roles in matters concerning environmental protection through the introduction of freehold land tenure system in fast tracked land reform areas.


Key words: Land, farmers, environment, degradation, tenure.

Barrow CJ (1991). Land Degradation: Development and Breakdown of Terrestrial Environments. Cambridge University Press.


Bradford MG, Kent WA (1977). Human Geography: Theories and their Application: The College Press.


Carr M (1997). New Patterns : Process and Change in Human Geography: Nelson and Sons Ltd.


Chapayema O (1987). Environmental Degradation in Manicaland: Geogr. Educ. Mag. 10(2):28-32.


Chenje M, Sola L, Paleczny D (1998). The State of Zimbabwe's Environment: Ministry of Mines, Environment and Tourism.


Chigwenya A (2000). An Assessment of the Environmental Impact of Resettlement Programmes in Zimbabwe: University of Zimbabwe Department of the Surveyor General (2005). Masvingo 1:1 000 000 Vegetation and farming areas map. Department of the Surveyor General, Harare.


Dregne HE (1992). Erosion and Soil Productivity in Asia. J. Soil Water Conserv. 47(1):1-8.


Elwell HA (1972). The Influence of Agricultural Systems on Rainfall Run – off. Rhodesia Agri. J. 70(4):3-95.


Gwimbi P, Dirwai C (2003). Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies: Module GED 302 Zimbabwe Open University


Harvey RK (1991). Environmental Considerations of Land Policy in Zimbabwe: The Farmer 16 (25):13-17.


IUCN (1998). State of Environment in Southern Africa: IUCN.


Katerere Y (1993). Poverty and Desertification: Can the Cycle be Broken: Geographical Education Magazine. 16(3):7-13.


Leedy PD (1989). Practical Research: Planning and Design. Fifth Edition, Macmillan Publishing Company.


Marongwe N (2002). Conflict Over Land and Other Natural Resources in Zimbabwe: ZERO.


Mukwada G (2000). Natural Resource Conservation and Management: Module GED 404 Zimbabwe Open University.


Muvadi RT(1987). The Environmental Implications of The Invasion of Communal Marginal Lands: University of Zimbabwe.


Nhapi I (2000). Environmental Pollution and Control: Module GED 410 Zimbabwe Open University.


Olsson K, Rapp A (1991). Dry Land Degradation in Central Sudan and Conservation for Survival 20(5):192-195.


Punch KF (1998). Introduction to Social Research: London, Sage Publications.


Rapetto K, Holmes T (1983). The Role of Population in Resource Depletion in Developing Countries, Population and Development Review 9(4):609.


SARDC (1998). State of The Environment in Southern Africa: The World Conservation Union SARDC


Stocking MA (1982). Aspects of The Role of Man in Rhodesia: Zambezia 2:1-10.


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), (2003). Human Development Report, 2003: Millennium Development Goals: A Compact Among Nations to end Human Poverty. New York: Oxford University Press for the United Nations Development Programme.


United Nations Environment Programme (1995). Poverty and The Environment: UNEP.


Whinston AB (1995). The Tragedy of The Commons: UNEP.


Whitlow JR (1988). Environmental Degradation in Zimbabwe, A Geographical Perspective: Natural Resources Board, Harare


APA Zembe, N., Mbokochena, E., Mudzengerere F. H., & Chikwiri, E. (2014). An assessment of the impact of the fast track land reform programme on the environment: The Case of Eastdale Farm in Gutu District, Masvingo. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning, 7(8), 160-175.
Chicago Nyashadzashe Zembe, Edmore Mbokochena, Fungai H. Mudzengerere and Elizabeth Chikwiri . "An assessment of the impact of the fast track land reform programme on the environment: The Case of Eastdale Farm in Gutu District, Masvingo." Journal of Geography and Regional Planning 7, no. 8 (2014): 160-175.
MLA Nyashadzashe Zembe, et al. "An assessment of the impact of the fast track land reform programme on the environment: The Case of Eastdale Farm in Gutu District, Masvingo." Journal of Geography and Regional Planning 7.8 (2014): 160-175.
DOI 10.5897/JGRP2013.0417

Subscription Form