Camel forage variety in the Karamoja sub-region, Uganda
Drylands cover 44% of Uganda and hold up to 90% of the country's livestock herd. The drylands of Uganda interface with climatic variability; in particular drought and flood events often produce debilitating effects. Karamoja sub-region is an important livestock dependent community that accounts for 20% of the national livestock herd. The Karamojong like other pastoral and agro-pastoral communities are dependent on natural ecosystem services for the sustenance of their livestock populations.
... ck populations. Several water sources and systems have been developed in Karamoja in order to curb frequent water challenges. This paper provides key findings on the status of water sources for livestock watering in Karamoja, particularly in the districts of Napak, Moroto and Kotido. The study provides the spatial distribution of water sources and the potential movements of pastoralists during periods of water availability and in periods of water stress. It further presents the management challenges and the key lessons learned. The study was executed through a rapid mapping exercise using hand held global positioning systems, interviews and focus group discussions. Dam periphery health assessment was conducted using cross based transect walks. The study established a disproportionate location of the water dams for livestock watering with a high concentration of dams in particular areas such as Rupa sub-county in Moroto District, leading to high grazing intensity and eventually rangeland degradation. Meanwhile, Nakapiripirit district is the most water stressed district in regard to water for livestock with only four dams in the district. Of the four dams, two are located in Namalu sub-county making the larger part of the district unserved. Kobebe and Nakicumet dams in Moroto and Napak districts respectively are the most important watering sources in the event of an extended dry period. These two dams similarly have high potentials of providing multiple benefits to the communities by providing water for irrigation and fisheries. Water quality in dams is generally poor due to high sediment loading and siltation orchestrated by direct watering, high grazing intensity around the dam periphery, cutting of trees and soil erosion. At the same time, management practices are poor and if available are inadequate. All dams are highly exposed to strong prevailing winds thus high evapotranspiration leading to reduced residence time of water in the dam. We therefore find the need for: improved management of water dams, re-align dam development with pasture location sites and grazing sites, build capacity of the community in dam management, sensitize the community on proper watering and strengthen traditional institutions as centers for water management. There is need to develop a monitoring system for water sources in the sub-region so as to facilitate timely response as well as offer perspective into range condition management.Further we recommend for a catchment analysis of Karamoja for the total potential discharge so as to increase the development of small, medium to large multiple purpose dams in the sub-region.