LOCAL COMMUNITIES’ SOCIO-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AND THEIR IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES IN BADINGILO NATIONAL PARK AND ITS SURRROUNDINGS, SOUTH SUDAN
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University of Eldoret
This study was conducted in Badingilo National Park (BNP) and its environs in SouthSudan. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of selected socio-economicactivities on natural resources within and around the park. Specific research objectivesincluded: to determine the main community and household sources of livelihood andincome within and around the Park; to evaluate the impact of human activities onresources within and around the Park; to determine natural resource based conflictswithin and around the Park; and lastly to establish measures implemented to resolvethe resource-based conflicts experienced. The study used the survey research design.The target population consisted of local communities living within the 5 km distancefrom the Park boundary and staff working in the wildlife sector. Data was collectedusing questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and keyinformant interviews. Simple random sampling was used to select communitymembers, while purposive sampling was used to select key informants from thewildlife sector. In total, a sample of 287 respondents was chosen for the study. Withthe help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), data was analyzedusing both descriptive and inferential statistics. Selected variables were subjected tothe Chi-square test. Results are presented using tables, graphs, photographs and maps.Study findings established that the major source of community livelihood within andaround the Park is agropastoralism, while secondary economic activities includebrewing, agriculture, hunting, fishing and gathering. Results also showed that thehuman activities significantly impacted negatively on natural resources within andaround the park. The study also revealed that resource conflicts have accelerated dueto competition over declining and scarce resources like water and pasture particularlyon community farms. Measures of resolving conflicts include compensation for lossesincurred and fencing of farms and cattle camps. The study recommends the need tohave an understanding of how access, use and management of natural resources aredealt with at village level and the social structures in which they are embedded.