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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Royaume-Uni → 1991 → The impact of borehole-dependent cattle grazing on the environment and society of the eastern Kalahari sandveld, Central District, Botswana

University of Sheffield (1991)

The impact of borehole-dependent cattle grazing on the environment and society of the eastern Kalahari sandveld, Central District, Botswana

Perkins, J.S

Titre : The impact of borehole-dependent cattle grazing on the environment and society of the eastern Kalahari sandveld, Central District, Botswana

Auteur : Perkins, J.S

Université de soutenance : University of Sheffield

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1991

Résumé
The rapid extension of cattle grazing into the Kalahari sandveld of Botswana over the past 20-30 years has been made possible by deep borehole drilling and has led to fears that Kalahari pastures are experiencing severe range degradation. This and the widening socio-economic inequalities similarly associated with increases in the national herd, form the focus of this thesis, for an area defined here as the eastern Kalahari. This semi-arid region, with its low relief and deep cover of infertile Kalahari sand, is believed to be representative of the wider outlying sandveld area, for which environmental and social characteristics are briefly described. In both contexts the Kalahari sandveld appears to be unique and it is emphasised how Government Policy has been shaped by the belief that widespread range degradation is occurring, even though the issue has been clouded by poor definition. Ecological investigation in the Kalahari sandveld centres around 8 point-water sources and associated `piospheres’, with the variation in soils, grasses and shrubs described for both ungrazed control areas and boreholes of different ages. Degradation is shown to be confined to the area around the water-point (0-50m), with both piosphere structure and drought believed to be critical to an understanding of the dynamics of this and outlying zones. A social survey suggests that this issue is more urgent, with the majority of herders and hunter- gatherers existing at subsistence level. The rationale of the widely practised `cattlepost system’ is contrasted with that of the officially backed ranching programme, neither of which appears to offer any prospect of effective range management via controls on stocking rates, or any constructive socio-economic change for eastern Kalahari residents. The need to link ecological models to human socio-economic behaviour is emphasised and regarded as an essential prerequisite to effective range management and sustainable development in the Kalahari.

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