East and South Africa
The Study on Improvement of Rural Environment in Degraded Land, Kingdom of Swaziland
Small-scale farmers have been engaged in farming and cattle grazing on communal grassland under the traditional chieftain regime in the target area occupying 618 km2 located in the western part of Swaziland. However, recent development of population pressure and/or improper grazing management has progressively accelerated land degradation in the form of cleavage widening. The study aimed at elucidating the mechanism of how the land erosion proceeds on and is escalated, and the role of cattle on the causative factor of land erosion and relationship between inhabitants and cattle herd that is socially valuable for playing role of dowry on one hand, while it also studied the role of chiefs on their community management and social functions who have authority of land allocation, on the other. Upon recognizing these social characteristics and land degradation mechanism, the lessons learnt during the study was used as the base of the proposed methods of forecasting and preventing soil degradation and finally a master plan was formulated envisaging the realization of sustainable land use avoiding land deterioration.