Food and environmental security in Bududa District: A case study of Bunamwamba Villages, Buwali Subcounty
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Food and Environment security are key sectors of human security. Food and clean environment are basic human rights. In sub Saharan Africa, increasing population not only increases pressure on the environment but also increases demand for food to combat hunger. Increased food production through agriculture coupled with human behavior for example deforestation undermine the environment onto which the population depends, as a result, environmental manifestations like landslides, soil erosion become a frequent occurrence. This study was designed to analyze the relationship between food and environmental security in Bunamwamba Villages, Bududa District. Bududa district in Eastern Uganda along Mount Elgon slopes is one of the areas experiencing serious environmental manifestations of landslides and soil erosion. The purpose of the study was to investigate how small holder households in Bunamwamba villages located in Buwali sub-county,Bududa district understood food and environmental security in face of rapidly changing ecological conditions. The sample of the study comprised of 30 small holder households having access to land in 3 villages of Buwali subcounty i.e. Bunamwamba North Village, Bunamwamba Central Village and Bunamwamba Main. Purposely, key informants included the district Agricultural officer, district environmental officer and village elders. Data was collected using interview schedules and questionnaires with both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The single-visit household survey was the main method of data collection. The data was analyzed using simple descriptive statistics, and the results presented in tables of frequency distribution. The study revealed tensions between food and environmental security in Bunamwamba villages. Increasing population in the study area resulted into increased demand for food through agriculture; however increased agriculture of these marginal lands has resulted into environmental manifestations like deepening soil erosion and landslides. Study findings indicated that there was food insecurity among households, caused by low productivity of the available land, long heavy rains that triggered landslides, soil erosion, pests and diseases. Households lacked extensive knowledge about various aspects of food and environmental situation and how to utilize the available land in order to improve their food security. Strategies used were lacking in effectiveness because of land terrain, bad weather conditions.