African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of resettlement on vegetation status and rangeland condition in southwestern Ethiopia

Yonas Berhanu
  • Yonas Berhanu
  • School of Animal and Range Sciences, Hawassa University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Lisanework Negatu
  • Lisanework Negatu
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Fekadu Beyene
  • Fekadu Beyene
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Ayana Angassa
  • Ayana Angassa
  • School of Animal and Range Sciences, Hawassa University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 14 October 2015
  •  Accepted: 04 January 2016
  •  Published: 18 February 2016

Abstract

This study was conducted with the objectives of comparing range condition of an area under different land use practices (resettled and non-resettled) and assessing the possible effect of resettlement on range condition in Meinit-Shasha district of Bench-Maji zone, southwest Ethiopia. Two kebeles were selected purposively where vegetation and soil conditions were investigated in 40 quadrats across 20 sampling sites using 20 × 20 m (400 m2) quadrat, which was distributed along transects. The investigation included the assessment of grass composition, basal cover, litter cover; age distribution of dominant grasses, number of seedlings and soil conditions (erosion and compaction), which were investigated on 1 × 1 m (1 m2) area. Data from range vegetation survey was analyzed using SAS software. The study results showed significant differences (P < 0.05) between kebeles in terms of grass composition, basal cover, number of seedling and soil condition. The total score for range condition rating showed that the resettled kebele was in the category of poor range condition, whereas the non-resettled was in fair condition. Expansion of crop cultivation and the establishment of permanent settlements as a result of resettlement program were considered to be the main contributing factors to the reduction of grazing lands and poor range condition scores in the resettled kebele. The study showed a higher level of degradation in the resettled kebele than non-resettled kebele. Generally, the results of this study indicated that unplanned resettlement program had a negative influence on rangeland vegetation dynamics. Cautious planning and implementation of resettlement programs in recognition of differences in land use between the host communities and resettlers is suggested. Securing inhabitants’ land tenure would facilitate the recovery of rangeland vegetation and conservation of biodiversity.

 

Key words: Resettlement, rangeland condition, land use.