Utilization of scarce water resources for livestock productivity in the Dry Belt (Alwi Corridor) of Nebbi District.
The utilization of scarce water resources in the dry belt, “Alwi corridor” of Nebbi district for livestock productivity was studied through a combined cross – sectional approach with a short (6 months) longitudinal study. The study investigated four areas: factors contributing to water stress, practices for watering livestock in the dry periods, changes in quantity and quality of valley tank water and the alternative uses of the valley tank water to the local community in relation to milk production in the East African Zebu cattle. The samples used in the study were households and stratified sampling technique was used to select the participating subcounties. It was found that boreholes, rivers and valley tanks were the main water sources for livestock in the dry area contributing 80.56% of water usage. However, all these water sources were found to dry out in the dry period. Global warming, deforestation, poor farming practices, poor management of water resources, lack of respect for traditional institutions and the lack of prioritization of natural resources in the district development plan were factors indentified to be the causes of water stress and scarcity in the study area. The study also found out that when these water sources dry out the community resorts to migration, digging up and utilising hand dug water holes, watering animals on alternate days, fetching water for animals, utilizing excess water that spills out when boreholes is pumped, maintaining local breeds of animals and releasing livestock early for grazing to alleviate the water stress and scarcity. A statistical analysis of water quality parameters of the sampled valley tanks using ANOVA revealed that the chemical properties of water were significantly (P < 0.05) different across all the indicators investigated in the study. Further analysis using multiple comparison at 5 % level revealed that the chemical composition of water, i.e. pH, nitrite mg/l, nitrate mg/l andsulphates mg/l were significantly (P < 0.05) different at all sites. On the other hand, all the other chemical properties remained statistically the same across all the sites visited. The three sites under study significantly (P< 0.05) affected the quality of water differently. The season at which these sites were observed did not have any significant (P > 0.05) effect on the quality of water. Last but not least, I shall be most grateful if the key stakeholders, in particular the Nebbi district local government, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries and Development partners take seriously the recommendations herein contained in order to improve the management of the scarce water resources for livestock productivity in Alwi corridor Nebbi district, hence contributing to poverty reduction in the area.