Friday, January 19, 2018
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Obudhingiya Landscape

Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba (OBB) is a highly mountainous area. The soils in different parts are organic, ferrosol, podsols/eutrophic and hydromorphic. OBB mountainous terrain makes the area prone to immense soil erosion which results in destructive landslides, loss of soil fertility, pollution and increased silting of rivers. Other contributing factors to soil erosion in obudhingiya include poor agricultural practices like massive clearing of trees, bush burning, and absence of proper soil and water conservation structures like terraces and contour bands. The area has suffered disasters like cyclic occurrences of landslides every 30‐ 40 years and periodic flooding, but the trend of the recent years indicate increased indices. For example in 2000, a land slide claimed 19 lives in Kasitu sub county, in 2009 14 households were affected in Bubukwanga sub county, in Buhundu village 12 households were displaced, in 2010 Buleleya village in Kisubba sub county about 12 households were affected and same year more than 20 households were affected in Buleleya village Busaru sub county.

It is observed that every year, especially during long rains of November – December, landslides occur in various villages with varying magnitude. Landslides are reported to be associated with loss of crops and destruction of homes and conflicts among community members where gardens are washed into other people’s fields. The institution needs to address the soil runoff challenge as part of priorities.

The communities in OBB are already experiencing increasing temperatures and it is associated with increased incidences of malaria in the highland areas due to favourable breeding conditions of mosquitoes than before. However some reduction in malaria incidences has been registered over the last 2 years (2009-2011) due to interventions by agencies such as PACE and UNICEF which included distribution of mosquito nets, new anti-malarial drugs , training and equipping the Village Health Teams. But the level of reduction is not yet well established because of lack of sufficient data.

Increasing temperatures are also associated with more frequent outbreaks of crop pests and diseases (coffee wilt, cassava mosaic, banana bacterial wilt) and animal diseases. For example Coffee farmers lost their plantations due to coffee wilt outbreaks in 1994, 2000 and 2010 in the highland areas; they have switched to seasonal crops like cassava, beans. In the lowland, farmers have concentrated on cocoa growing after losing all their coffee. The incidences of cocoa wilt disease have also become more frequent than before. Banana farmers also lost all the banana gardens due to the banana bacterial wilt since 2000.

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