Assessment on the Factors for Environmental Degradation in Chitipa District, Songwe Drainage Basin

Malanga, Alec Phillip (2018) Assessment on the Factors for Environmental Degradation in Chitipa District, Songwe Drainage Basin. Masters thesis, The Open University of Tanzania.

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


This study examined the linkages between poverty and environmental degradation in Chitipa District. The study focused on cooking and heating energy, farming practices, sources of income, and cultural beliefs. The study showed that there is a strong linkage between poverty and environmental degradation. The study also revealed that cultural beliefs and traditional practices have a bearing both on conservation and destruction of the environment. The research was done in TA Mwabulambya and TA Mwenemisuku and around the Boma in Chitipa District. These sites were chosen as they seemed more affected by environmental degradation. It was therefore expected that research objectives and research questions could be answered by conducting the study in this area. Both secondary and primary data were collected using questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and observations. The findings revealed that there is a strong link between poverty and environmental degradation. Evidence has shown that low incomes among the communities, forces both rural and urban residents to use natural resources unsustainably. Unsustainable use of resources is compounded by lack of alternatives means of livelihoods. The findings also revealed that both rural and urban communities are aware of environmental degradation that is taking place in Songwe River Basin. They are also aware of changes in the climate and all the devastating effects. However, they have failed to comply with mitigation mechanisms due to poverty. They attribute their failure to lack of support from the Malawi Government and other stakeholders who they say, do not provide alternatives means of survival. For example they find it difficult to stop using fire wood and charcoal for their cooking and heating. Secondly, firewood and charcoal are sources of income that supplement the farm produce sales. Furthermore,the study has shown that some cultural practices are useful while others are harmful to the environment. The useful cultural practices included preserved woodlots around grave yards which help in the water cycle. While bad cultural practices included making mats from reeds which are used for burying the dead.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Sciences Technology and Environmental Studies > Department of Environmental Studies
Depositing User: Mr Habibu Kazimzuri
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 15:55
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2018 15:55

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item