Effect of livestock production systems on physical and chemical properties of water: A case of Mpigi District
MetadataShow full item record
The livestock sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the country’s agricultural economy, driven by human population and income growth and supported by technological and structural change. The study assessed the effect of livestock production systems on physical and chemical properties of water in Mpigi district. It was carried out in four sub-counties of Muduuma, Mpigi town council, Kammengo and Buwama lying along the shores of Lake Victoria. The study was divided into two; study 1 was cross sectional in nature and used structured questionnaire interviews, focus group discussions, and personal observations during the interviews and secondary data from Government Veterinary offices in Mpigi District to analyse trends in livestock species and numbers. A total of 100 farmers were interviewed to generate data on demographic characteristics, livestock management systems and livestock related factors affecting physical and chemical properties of water. Study 2 was laboratory analysis of thirty six water samples that were collected from water sources accessed by livestock on communal grazing and tethering management systems, protected wells where water for livestock on zero grazing is collected and are located near to the zero grazing units, piped water was used as a control. The water samples were subjected to laboratory analysis for heavy metal contents as well as physical and chemical properties. Quantitative data on physical and chemical properties of water was analysed using General Linear Model procedure of SAS to determine effect of source and time of sampling on physical and chemical properties of water. While qualitative data was descriptively analysed through categorization of the common parameters in the findings. Eighty percent of the respondents depended entirely on farming for livelihood and income generation. Most agricultural activities were done by women (64%) on an average land holding of 0.8 hectares. Livestock species kept were cattle, sheep and goats, pigs, local chicken and the main food crops grown include beans, maize, potatoes and cassava. The major livestock rearing systems used were : tethering (52%),stall feeding(26%),communal grazing(17%),fenced grazing(4%),and semi-intensive (1%).Livestock contributed 43.4% of household income while crops contributed 56.6%.The major livestock related factors affecting water quality were increasing livestock numbers with monogastrics increasing at a higher rate than the polygastrics., direct access of livestock to water sources and poor waste management. Water pH (5.6), Temperature (24.2Oc), Electrical conductivity (148), Total Dissolved Solids (75.7), Total Suspended Solids (0.3), Turbidity (99.4) and Nitrates (0.08) were below the critical levels. However the contents (mg/l) of phosphorus (3.9), iron (2.47) and Copper (0.04) were above the critical levels of 0.1 mg/l, 0.3 mg/l and 0.03 mg/l, respectively for all the water sources. The increase in phosphorus, copper and iron has a direct effect on human and livestock health and therefore sensitisation needs to be done to create awareness and communal water troughs constructed at communal watering points where communal grazing is practiced to minimise contact of livestock and water.