The livelihood effects of landless people through communal hillside conservation in Tigray Region, Ethiopia

  • Melaku B
  • Dana H
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Abstract

In the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, landless people contributed to the existing land degradation by exploiting the economic possibilities of natural resources from communal hillside areas. This has been practically observed in the area that the landless people have been depending on the available natural resources to supplement their means of living through sales of timber, fire-wood and charcoal. To address this problem, the Tigray Regional State has distributed denuded hillside areas to the landless people. It was believed that renovating bared mountain hillsides through conservation practices could serve as a means to create livelihood sources for the landless poor. This study has been inspired to investigate whether the introduction of communal hillside distribution to the landless people has resulted in livelihood and environmental improvements in the Tigray Regional State. Six districts were randomly selected namely; Kola-Tembien, Hintalo-Wejerat, Kilte-Awlalo, Degua-Tembien, Alaje and Ofla which all represented by 450 sampled respondents (418 males and 32 females). The respondents were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires including ideas from group discussants and key informants. Results revealed that landless in all the districts applied conservation methods mainly of stone bund, trench and tree plantation. Their main livelihood sources using the hillside areas were; production of honey, fruits, livestock products, timber, vegetables, fuel-wood and animal fodder. Estimated results further indicated that supporting services given by forest experts and local authorities, credit access, membership in the village development committee, respondents' perception to land degradation and their educational levels were the major inducing factors that affect landless people to participate in hillside conservation.

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Melaku, B., & Dana, H. (2014). The livelihood effects of landless people through communal hillside conservation in Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, 6(7), 309–317. https://doi.org/10.5897/jdae2014.0571

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