The damage caused by landslides in socio-economic spheres within the Kigezi highlands of South Western Uganda

An assessment of the socio-economic implications of landslide occurrence in the Kigezi highlands of South Western Uganda was conducted. Landslide occurrence is on the increase and threatens community livelihoods in these highlands. Detailed field investigations were undertaken with the help of local communities between June 2018 and May 2020 to identify and map recent and visible landslide scars in Rukiga uplands of Kigezi highlands. In the course of field inventories, 85 visible landslide scars were identified and mapped using handheld GPS receivers to produce a landslide distribution map for the study area. A socio-economic analysis was conducted to establish the effects of landslide damage on people’s livelihoods as well as their existing coping and adaptation mechanisms. The assessment was administered through field observations and surveying, focus group discussions, key informants and household interviews as well as the use of Local Government Environmental Reports. The study established an increase in the spatial-temporal distribution of landslides over the Kigezi highlands in the past 40 years. The landslides have resulted in a reduction in the quality of land, loss of lives, destruction of transport infrastructures, settlements, farmlands, crops and other socio-economic infrastructures. Therefore, it is important to look for reliable and sustainable measures to prevent landslide hazards. Total landscape reforestation with deep-rooted trees can possibly reduce the landslide risk. It is also important to undertake policy implementation for preparedness and mitigation plans against landslides in this region and in the country at large. Proper soil and water conservation measures could help in enhancing soil strength against landslide hazards.
Landslide damage, Socio-economic spheres, Kigezi highlands, Uganda
Nseka, D., Mugagga, F., Opedes, H., Ayesiga, P., Wasswa, H., Mugume, I., ... & Nalwanga, F. (2021). The damage caused by landslides in socio-economic spheres within the Kigezi highlands of South Western Uganda. Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, 9(1), 23-34. DOI: 10.2478/environ-2021-0003