Land resources assessment of a part of Serenje district
M'sango, Thomson Musonda
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This dissertation describes the natural resource of a part of Serenje district known as Kamena. It is based on a reconnaissance survey carried out between August and October 1979 and January I98O.The Method of study was the landscape approach to land classification. The basis of such a study is on the interpretation of aerial photographs to identify land facets followed by field work. Each individual facet was studied with its vegetation, soils and present land use. These were studied in an integrated Banner so that relationships and interactions between then could easily be seen. Altogether, eight land facets were identified and they were seen to recur within the Kamena area, which belongs to one land systems.Hence the basic feature of the landscape method was tested and found to be practicable. The land facets identified were plateau and valley interfluves, piedmonts, dambos, escarpments, river valleys, quartzite ridges and inselbergs.Kamena consists of igneous, meta- igneous and metasedimentary rocks of pre-Katangan age. Its topography is characterised by north-east trending ridges and is dissected by the main rivers the Lukusashi and Chlpendezi flowing in an east to south¬east and south to south-east direction respectively. The rainfall is high(ll6O mm per annum) though confined to one season.The soils are heavily leached, have a low Cation Exchange Capacity and variable base saturation percentage.The soils are known as sandveldt soils and associated with them are the Brachystegia, Isoberlinia andJulbernardia woodland, alternatively known as Miombo woodland.From the study correlations between land form (facet), soils, vegetation and land use were observed. For example, certain soils types like shallow or rocky soils were associated with a particular vegetation and land use. The main occupation is the chitemene or shifting cultivation. It is an erosional hazard but the study indicated that farmers take some measures of conservation. Rapid Mobility, the development of communications and the government’s discouragement of the chitemene system has led to a change in farming methods and crop types. Permanent fields are common and maize and tobacco have exceeded the production of finger millet. Nevertheless, numerous problems still exist in the development of agriculture. This dissertation begins by explaining the need for a land resources assessment using the landscape method in Kamena. This is followed by describing the background to the study, location of the area and the objectives of the study. It then describes the methods of land classification which can be used for such studies and explains why the landscape method is the best one for this area, taking into consideration its purpose - reconnaissance survey.The physical environment is described with seven Soil Series being identified based generally on the land facets. A land capability classification i.e. given for each facet as well as the soil suitability to grow certain crops. All this plus the necessary management are taken into consideration with the present socio-economic conditions. A summary of the typical characteristics of each facet and its present and potential land use attempted.
- Natural Sciences