Factors inhibiting Dambo utilization in Zambia: A case study of Gwembe District
Kamwanga, Carlos K.
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The study was undertaken to determine factors inhibiting dambo utilization in Zambia, taking the case of Gwembe District. The research involved the collection of data relating to management of dambos, accessibility to credit and agricultural information by the indigenous people of Munyumbwe area and their awareness of the law governing the use of dambos, specifically Chapter 198 of the Laws of Zambia.The study also involved the comparison of'undisturbed' dambo and a 'disturbed' dambo. The study found that Chapter 198 of the Laws of Zambia (Water Act) is not known by farmers in the study area and therefore does not in itself inhibit dambo utilization. It was also observed that farming practices being employed by farmers in the study area significantly contributed to the degradation of the dambo under study.The study recommends appropriate land-use techniques to reduce the degradation of dambos: the dambo should not be allowed to dry out permanently; cultivation should take place only on the upper dambo zone; grassed strip at least 60m wide running along the bottom of the dambo should be left uncultivated; application of cow manure or compost and the ploughing in of crop residues should be encouraged and heavy machinery for dambo cultivation should be discouraged. The study also recommends adjustments in Government policy over dambo use: review the present designation of dambos as non-arable; and modify the present legislation to incorporate safe levels of cultivation. The paper further recommends areas for future research.
- Natural Sciences