Survey Paper | Arts and Humanities | Rwanda | Volume 6 Issue 11, November 2017
Impact of Integrated Watershed Management Practices on Sustainable Rural Livelihoods of the People of Rwanda: A Case Study of Mwange Watershed in Gicumbi District
Lutagira Jackson, Dr. Patrick Mulyunyi
In the year 2000, the government of Rwanda adopted a primary objective of becoming a middle income country by the year 2020, and in line with this, rural districts have recognized Integrated Watershed Management Practices such as terraces, Tree planting as well as infiltration trenches as means for improving rural livelihoods by improving land productivity on which the majority of the population depends on for a living. Even though Gicumbi district adopted integrated watershed management practices eight years back, poverty levels have remained high and there is no any study conducted to assess the impact of integrated watershed management practices on rural livelihoods and filling this knowledge gap could help to provide a proper assessment for the contribution of integrated watershed management practices on sustainable rural livelihoods of the local people, and hence being the reason for the governments continued investment in integrated watershed management practices elsewhere in the country. It is for this reason that the current study sought to assess the impact of integrated watershed management practices on sustainable rural livelihoods in Rwanda taking Mwange watershed in Gicumbi district as the case study. The study adopted quantitative and qualitative analysis and the targeted people was that living in Mwange watershed in Gicumbi which is 51 Km to North of Kigali City Gicumbi mainly in the sectors of Byumba, Kageyo and Mutete, precisely those from the cells of Muhondo, Horezo, Gihembe, Nyamiyaga, Mutandi, Gacurabwege and Nyarutarama. The total population of the area was 78623 inhabitants organized in 17670 households and only 7552 households with 34229 inhabitants was located in Mwange watershed, and it is only this population that a study sample was chosen from using Slovins formula, and hence 100 questionnaires have been used to collect data which later have been analyzed using descriptive statistics with the help of frequency and percentage tables and summary of community thoughts. The key findings indicate that before the introduction integrated watershed management practices, n=98 of respondents acknowledged a problem of livelihood decline and only 2 % (n=2) respondents never perceived a decline in their livelihoods. Before the introduction of radical terraces, tree planting and infiltration trenches there area faced a problem of land degradation which resulted into food shortage, poor nutrition and famine thus affecting economic growth of the area. However, after the introduction of intergrated watershed management practices, conditions of living improved. According to a sample survey conducted, 85 % of all the households located in Mwange area have noticed an increase in their household incomes which is being used to fulfill other family needs like medical care, house construction, clothes, cater for school expenses as well as rent farm land. The positive and significant impacts of integrated watershed management practices on the sustainable rural livelihoods of the people of Mwange watershed are evident and essential to the sustainable rural development of the watershed. The enhanced income, improved environmental indices, and reduced vulnerabilities of farmers are recognized as new livelihood assets that will influence the future livelihood strategies in the holistic framework. It is concluded that increased land productivity, increased environmental indices and subsidies income as well as diversified livelihood strategies are essential to the sustainable rural development of the rural people. The impact of integrated watershed management practices success in Mwange watershed strongly supports the future promotion of similar policies elsewhere in the region, as Rwanda continues to experience large-scale transformation within its vast rural areas.
Keywords: Integrated watershed management, Sustainable rural livelihoods and Rwanda
Edition: Volume 6 Issue 11, November 2017
Pages: 598 - 604
How to Cite this Article?
Lutagira Jackson, Dr. Patrick Mulyunyi, "Impact of Integrated Watershed Management Practices on Sustainable Rural Livelihoods of the People of Rwanda: A Case Study of Mwange Watershed in Gicumbi District", International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), https://www.ijsr.net/search_index_results_paperid.php?id=ART20177657, Volume 6 Issue 11, November 2017, 598 - 604
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