Factors leading to misuse of developed water resources in the cattle corridor, Uganda
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Water is a fundamental resource in the cattle corridors worldwide. In Uganda, a number of water facilities have been developed in the cattle corridor. Despite this, there is persistent water shortage limiting cattle production. This could be due to misuse regardless of the WUCs. The factors that lead to misuse are however not well known. A cross-sectional study was conducted to: assess factors that influence water development; determine performance of WUCs and identify constraints faced by the WUCs. Primary data was obtained from twelve Focus Group Discussions, twenty four Key Informant Interviews using interview schedules and 317 randomly selected livestock farmers. Results indicated existence of WUCs in all study districts although their composition, roles and performance varied. The major roles of WUCs were: protection of water facilities (44.8%), repair of water facilities (25.6%), collection of user fees (16.4%) and training of users (10.1%). The WUCs were more effective in Nakasongola with positive association between sensitization and performance of WUCs (χ2 = 10.875; p = 0.000). Results also revealed WUCs best practices as: making and enforcement of bye-laws (65.3%), tree planting around water facilities (14.8%) regulating watering time (9.1%), construction of watering troughs (5.7%) and de-silting the water facilities (5.0%). Use of exchange visits (55.8%), drama and folk songs (18.9%), public media (13.2%) and extension workers (12.0%) were consequently identified as means of transferring WUCs’ best practices. Results further indicated: valley tanks (39.4%), valley dams (37.2%), roof catchment (14.8%) and ponds (5.4%) as the common water harvesting technologies used in the cattle corridor and distance of water facility significantly (χ2 = 66.259; p = 0.000) influenced watering frequency. It was further established that livestock water development was influenced by: number of livestock (27.8%), distance to the nearest water point (24.0%), production goal (15.5%), presence of alternative water source (14.8%), livestock watering frequency (11.7%) and water harvesting technology (6.3%). The results however indicated the factors that influence livestock water development varied within and between the study districts (χ2 = 40.232; p= 0.000). The constraints faced by WUCs were identified as: lack of fences on the water facilities (43.5%), poor cooperation of users (27.8%), lack of facilitation (20.2%) and limited capacity building (8.5%).The study recommends fencing and provision of security at water facilities, supporting exchange visits, scaling up sensitization of WUCs and giving incentives to motivate WUCs enhance their performance and ensure sustainability of water facilities in the cattle corridor.