Effects of Environmental Insecurity on Agro-Pastoralist Communities: A Case Study of the Agro-Pastoral Community in Ngariam Sub-County, Katakwi District.
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AMULO SARAH (2007-M093-10081) Effects of Environmental Insecurity on Agro-Pastoralist Communities: A Case Study of the Agro-Pastoral Community in Ngariam Sub-County, Katakwi District. This dissertation is based on a research carried out among agro-pastoralists in Ngariam sub-county in Katakwi district to establish the effects of the environmental insecurity on the lives of agro pastoralists. Basing on the resource scarcity theory by Homer-Dixon (1999), the researcher sampled 3 villages and interviewed 94 respondents with a time scope of 10 years. Overall, the research found out that there had been changes in all the environmental aspects that the research was focusing on. These included land tenure security, pastures/water, soil fertility and weather. Being largely under the traditional land tenure system, the research found that there had been a significant reduction in the amount of land owned by individuals with approximately 70% of the people reporting a reduction in land. This is attributed to the population increase. The annual growth rate of Katakwi district is 6.2% compared to the national average of 3.2 % (UBOS, 2002). Population pressure was also leading to encroachment on communal/grazing land as well as the wetlands. Perhaps the greatest change reported in the last 10 years was on the weather. The people of Ngariam have had extreme weather changes for the last 5 years resulting into an almost total dependence on relief food. According to the LC III chairman, they had not had a successful harvest for the last 4 years. As a result there has been food insecurity at the household level, increase in poverty with school drop-out rates being the third highest impact. The elderly survive on begging and food relief supplements the harvests. The most common coping method was elejaleja (sale of labour), followed by petty businesses, in particular, the sell of alcohol. Some coping methods like encroachment on communal land and grazing land further had the potential of worsening the livelihood situation of these people. Indeed the environmental insecurity had led to human insecurity among the agro pastoralists. It is interesting to note, however, that food crops have been more affected by the intermittent environmental changes than the livestock. It would appear that livestock is more resilient and therein might be the hope for this agro-pastoralist community and because of that, livestock vis-a-vis environmental changes has been recommended for further research as this was not fully exhausted. Kkey Words: Environmental Insecurity, Agro-Pastoralist Communities, Katakwi District.