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Colpaert, A., Matengu, K. and Polojärvi, K. 2013. Land use practices in Caprivi's changing political environment. Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 2(2): 141-162


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Land use practices in Caprivi's changing political environment.

Summary / Notes:

This paper presents an account of developments that led to present land use practices in the eastern parts of Caprivi and the eff ects these practices have on the ecosystem. In the pre-colonial period (–1890), the early inhabitants of east of the Kwando River were hunters and gatherers. Climatic and hydrological conditions enabled the fi rst Bantu communities to practice settled subsistence agriculture in the 18th and 19th centuries, a time when the Lozi and the Kololo kings ruled this area. Its location between perennial rivers made eastern parts of Caprivi good and easily defensible grazing area. Peripheral location and prevalence of malaria and cattle diseases made the area less tempting for European and South African farmers, but also made the colonial administration of east of the KwandornRiver diffi cult for Germany 1890–1915 and South Africa 1915–1990. The paper reviews published works and government documents, which is combined with fi eld observations and aerial photos of the area. In particular, our analysis focuses on Salambala conservancy because of its successes and many controversies. The analysis shows that indeed, enactments of law did not address land use in the manner that would have led to fulfi lment of the needs of subsistence farmers until Namibia's independence in 1990. Nowadays, almost the whole area is still intensively used for small-scale subsistence farming and agricultural practices have remained traditional. The article describes the eff orts of previous administrations and outlines several factors that accounts for present-day land use practices.

Year: 2013

Type: Journal Article

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