Soil erosion frustrates Kilimanjaro ecosystem
Over 70 per cent of land in Mount Kilimanjaro ecosystem is experiencing serious form of soil erosion of up to 40 tonnes per hectare of soil loss annually, while the land is a direct source of livelihood to a population of over 1.6 million people.
“Mount Kilimanjaro ecosystem is of local, national and international importance,” noted a report circulated to participants who attended the launch of ‘Sustainable Land Use Management (SLM) Kilimanjaro Project’ in Moshi.
The report says land degradation in Mt Kilimanjaro highlands was exacerbated by climate change challenges, hence the need for immediate measures to reverse the trend.
Drivers of land degradation on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro include encroachment of forest areas for agricultural activities, poor agricultural practices, poor water management leading to gullies in home gardens and poor grazing land management in the lowlands.
The report further revealed that the goal of launching the SLM Project was to provide the basis for economic development, food security and sustainable livelihoods while restoring the ecological integrity of the Mt Kilimanjaro ecosystem.
The objective of the project was to provide land users and managers with an enabling environment, that include policy, financial, institutional and capacity, for land use adoption. The project is one of its kind in the country, investing over 3 million US dollars.
However, weak financial incentives for adopting SLM based alternative livelihood options, poor access to markets and limited access to credit facilities are barriers to land use management in Kilimanjaro region, says the report which was jointly compiled by Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner’s Office and UNDP.
By PETER TEMBA, Tanzania Daily News
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