COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN SUSTAINABLE SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION: THE CASE OF GORO GUTUU WOREDA OROMIA, ETHIOPIA
Keywords:community participation, sustainable soil and water conservation, Ethiopia, environmental problems
Monitoring the importance of civic participation in the process of sustainable soil and water conservation measures in cases where irregular and unstable participation of civic/community in the process of sustainable soil and water conservation measures has been observed is taken as central problem of the study area. The sequential exploratory mixed type of research was used to answer the stated research questions; moreover, to make sure of getting reliable and valued data both primary and secondary data was collected through FGD, KII, Questionnaires and field observation. As a result, from 203 persons, 24, 12 and 167 informants participated in FGD, KII and survey respectively. The collected data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively through narration and statistical description respectively. The statistical significance of perception of the difference between informants gathered from three agro ecological zones of study sites was tested by Kruskal Wallist Test. This study significantly identifies the importance of community participation as it is important to develop awareness, sense of ownership, transparency and self–trust among communities in sustainable soil and water conservation activities. Also, the small size of farm leads to low level of annual agricultural income and wealth, low educational status leads to low level of awareness and health status of farming communities, reactive culture of farming communities toward conservation activities and low commitment and weak capacity of front line leaders was identified as economic, social, cultural and political factors that affect dependable participation communities in sustainable soil and water conservation activities. Accordingly, the researcher recommended that, Bureau of agriculture and natural resource office should look again and set clear strategies towards the right of ownership / the right of use of resources produced on rehabilitated closed farm land. Also, the district and zone agriculture and natural resource office should capacitate and empower the front line mobilization agent through training and motivational activities. The future researcher should give emphasis and come up with most possible alternatives which will help to minimize the effect of the small size farm land leading to low level of annual agricultural income and wealth resulted from uneven participation of community in sustainable soil and water conservation activities.
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