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Location Socio - Economic Roles and Impacts on Wetland Ecosystem in Eastern Lake Tana, Ethiopia

  • Student: Abebe Molla
  • Institution: Bahir Dar University
  • Degree: M.Sc.
  • Posted on: August 02, 2012

Thesis Abstract

The study was conducted in eastern Lake Tana wetlands from August 2010 to May 2011, with the objective to assess the overall socio-economic roles and impacts on wetland ecosystem. The 3 study kebeles (Nabega, Wagetera, and Agid Kiregna) were selected through purposive random sampling technique on the basis of their wetland areas and human activities (such as sand mining, agriculture and fishing). A sample of 132 households’ was taken. 44 for each kebele were targeted in the survey by using a simple random sampling technique with the help of a local kebele registrar. For the study direct market (market price and factor income), survey based (contingent and group valuation) and benefit transfer (secondary data and literature review) wetland valuation methods were employed. Additionally appropriate PRA techniques (focus group discussion, key informant interview, field observation and informal discussions) were used. The wetlands are source of crop production, fishing, sand mining, water supply and grazing for livestock. Rice is the dominant crop which covers 66.82% of area cropping. From the total study kebeles’ 5935.01qt of crop were produced from “Bahir Shesh” in last year production season. 55.5% and 43.75% of Nabega communities are benefited directly or indirectly from Shesher and Wolala respectively for their livelihood. The communities produced 120635 qt from Shesher and 4500 qt from Wolala in last year dry season production. In Nabega 50ha of Wolala pond is converted to grazing land in the dry season. There is also intensive open livestock grazing system on all shores of the lake of study kebeles Nabega, Wagetera and Agid Kiregna 26, 48 and 57 hectare of land from the total grazing land 1088.84, 861 and 931.5 hectare correspondingly. The majority respondents 41.67% (55) are par time fishers whose primary occupation is farming and livestock production. Although the main occupation takes up to 50% or more of their time, the fishery activities are an important part of their economy. The catches are used for food and for sale at local markets. 19.69% (26) are full time fishers whose income is derived totally from fishing activities. Whereas 25.76% (34) are occasional fishers. These spend only a limited time on the fishing activities, their main occupation is different from fishing. Occasional fishers are fishing mainly for food and home consumption. 12.88% (17) respondents were not involved in fishing business from total sample. In 2009/10 Fogera woreda exports to Sudan 2697.5qt of fish and gain 4046250 birr. As local communities have an intimate association with wetlands; the use of wetlands for agriculture and sand mining which highly disturb the fauna and flora of the ecosystem are the threats for survival of the wetlands and their socio economic importance. Furthermore, it was understood that there were no any local mechanisms in place to conserve and protect the natural resources in general and the wetlands in particular in the area. Therefore, the ‘wise use’ concept should be important to maximize efficient utilization of the resources by developing environmental sound strategic plans.