University of Twente Student Theses


Assessing Agricultural Land Carrying Capacity for Sustainable Livelihoods and Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons in South Darfur

Eshitera, Alfred (2013) Assessing Agricultural Land Carrying Capacity for Sustainable Livelihoods and Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons in South Darfur.

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Abstract:Conflicts resulting from the resource use are becoming common in the current world. The conflicts have culminated into civil war especially where political, economic and tribal factors are allowed to play part. South Darfur has drawn the attention of the international community since the drought of 1983 which saw people lose their source of livelihoods mainly in the rain fed agriculture sector. The situation was worsened in 2003 when the conflicts turned in civil war as different tribes fought each other. Militia’s groups were formed to fight the Government which they felt had denied them development projects. The end result of this massive civil war was internal displacement and citizens being isolated from their sources of livelihoods and creating relief dependence syndrome. The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) moved in big number to urban areas. The influence has been pressure to the government to provide social services in camps where IDPs settle despite the fact that the existing urban population is being serviced. The IDPs have also settled on the urban periphery leading to the sprawl of urban towns and loss of agricultural land and environmental degradation as they clear forests to get fuel. Offering sustainable solutions to IDPs has been a dream of the International Community and the Government of Sudan. Some of the possible solutions include integrating the IDPs within their current areas of settlement. This will mean that the IDPs are given opportunity to settle within the urban centres where their camps are located. The option is not supported by majority of since the Darfur Towns are already under threat of poor service delivery. Some proponents have then supported a second option of allowing IDPs to return to their original homes. Returnee programme is being supported by the Government of South Sudan since the IDPs will be linked to their pervious source of livelihood which is agriculture the major source of income for the Government. Alternatively some policy markets have been proposing the resettlement of IDPs in other areas viewed suitable and safe by the IDPs. Whichever sustainable solution selected, there is a need to assess its potential to support more population. In this study Agricultural Land Carrying Capacity (ALCC) was assessed (ALCC) in order to determine whether the South Darfur Agricultural System is still able to support more population. The objective of assessing ALCC was considered because settling IDPs in agricultural areas which cannot support more population will be like transferring an urban problem into rural areas. The consequences will be more conflicts and the resettled population will go back to IDPs camps located in urban areas. To carry out the assessment ALCC, a model was developed. The model was to be used as collaborative tool for allocating available land resource to main crop grown in South Darfur. Knowledge tables were used to convert non spatial criteria (decision rules) formulated by local experts into suitable zones. The model was viewed to be suitable since was easily used to assess land suitability for each crop; the area allocated to each crop was multiplied by production per Ha to get total production. The estimated production and per capita consumption value were used to get potential population (carrying capacity) that can be supported in south Darfur. It has to be noted that Land Carrying capacity which is potential optimum population that can be supported by a system is not constant and can vary depending on level of technology used. The study results indicated that the livestock production subsystem is beyond the potential sustainable carrying capacity. Settlement options are available is sedentary farming subsystem where there is more potential for IDPs to practice agricultural production as a source of livelihood. Keywords: Land Carrying capacity, IDPs, Return, Resettlement, Knowledge Tables, Conflicts
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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