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Prosopis L. Invasion in the South-Western Region of Botswana: The Perceptions of Rural Communities and Management Options

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DOI: 10.4236/nr.2013.48061    2,823 Downloads   4,223 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This study was aimed to determine the extent to which Prosopis species had invaded four settlements (Bokspits, Rappelspan, Vaalhoek and Struizendam) located in the Kgalagadi Desert south west of Botswana, investigate the perceptions of the communities about the existence of the species in their environment and assess possible control options for the spread of Prosopis plants in the area. Prosopis plants were sampled in 42 quadrats of 625 m2 along a 70 km Prosopis invasion gradient from Struizendam to Rappelspan. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS), the locations of all quadrats were established. The distribution map of Prosopis plants was produced using ArcGIS 9.2 (ESRI Inc.). Questionnaire survey and focused group discussions were used to collect data on the perceptions of rural communities about the species. A total of 342 respondents comprising 139 males and 203 females were interviewed, and four focussed group discussions were conducted. The results indicated that the invasion of Prosopis species was prominent in and around settlements suggesting that anthropogenic activities had a significant role in the spread of Prosopis plants in the area. The perceptions of rural communities about Prosopis plants appeared to be moulded by the impacts of the plants on their livelihoods as well as their micro-economic status. The respondents (71.30%) expressed the view that the invasion of Prosopis species negatively affected the livelihoods of the communities in the study area. They identified eradication as the preferred method of controlling the spread of Prosopis plants. On the contrary, this study recommended the integrated environmental management paradigm as the best options for the control of the spread of Prosopis plants in the area.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. Mosweu, C. Munyati, T. Kabanda, M. Setshogo and M. Muzila, "Prosopis L. Invasion in the South-Western Region of Botswana: The Perceptions of Rural Communities and Management Options," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 496-505. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.48061.

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