A Review of the effects of population pressure on Watershed Management Practices in the Lake Victoria Basin

Magunda, M. K. ; Majaliwa, M. (1999)

Protecting the quality of soil and water while using these resources for the benefit of people is a major challenge in Uganda and indeed globally. Emphasis on agricultural sustainability arises out of increasing awareness about the finite nature of Uganda's arable land resources, the widespread problem of soil degradation, the rapidly deteriorating quality of the environment and the need to preserve soil and water resources for long-term use rather than for short term gain. The current population pressure on forests, swamps, rangelands and marginal agricultural lands leads to inappropriate farming practices, forest removal, and grazing intensities that, in extreme cases leave a barren environment that yields unwanted sediment and damaging stream flow to downstream communities. Watershed management is the process of guiding and organizing land and other resource use on a watershed to provide desired goods and services without affecting adversely the environment. The dilemma in watershed management in Uganda, and indeed globally, is that land use changes needed to promote the survival of society over long-term is at cross-purposes with what is essential to the survival of the population over a short-term. This paper reviews land management practices in the Lake Victoria basin and their impact on the environment. It addresses the current soil status; non-point pollution; timber harvesting/ deforestation; fire effects; grazing by livestock; and wetlands. Emphasis is laid on the effects of these practices on soil and water quality and the overall impact on the lake environment



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