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Assessment of anthropogenic factors affecting protected area: the case of senkele swayne’s hartebeest sanctuary, south eastern Ethiopia

Author: 
Mustefa Sultan and Teyiba Amano
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The study on the anthropogenic factors affecting protected area was carried out in Senkele Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary (SSHS). Survey questionnaires, key informant interview (KII), Focus group discussion (FGD), direct observation and literature reviews were employed to collect primary and secondary data. Four kebeles were purposefully selected from 8 kebeles surrounding SSHS. Thereafter, about 151 households were selected for survey. The FGD involved 40 households at the rate of 10 households per kebele were purposefully selected whereas about 2 experts from each 5 relevant offices and 2 Aba Gada, which accounts a total of 12 key informants were purposefully selected for KII. The study revealed that the major human activities affecting SSHS were overgrazing, uncontrolled fire, illegal settlement, deforestation, agricultural expansion and poaching as replied by 66.3%, 8.6%, 7.3%, 13.2%, 2.6% and 2.0% respondents respectively. The causes for anthropogenic factors were mainly scarcity of land, enormous livestock and fast population growth as reported by 28.5%, 23.2% and 26.5% respondents respectively. About 37.7%, 27.2%, 15.2% and 19.9% of the respondents indicated that loss of biodiversity, wildlife depletion, increases in poverty and decline in agricultural productivity as the main effect of human induced factors to the sanctuary respectively. The survey result also indicated that 31.1%, 27.2%, 15.9%, 13.2% and 3.3% respondents suggested creating employment opportunity for local community, solving local community’s problem, benefit sharing and Ecotourism development as principal solution to anthropogenic factors to SSHS respectively. In conclusion, the survey results revealed that local communities were highly dependent on the sanctuary particularly for livestock grazing. Currently conservation measure being taken at the sanctuary is not hopeful. Therefore, developing alternative means of livelihood for local communities and enhancing livestock quality by reducing its quantity is vital to balance the interest of local community and sustainability of the sanctuary.

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