Title: Gendered focus on land degradation in Botha-Bothe, Lesotho: perceptions, impacts and challenges with rehabilitation

Final project
Year of publication:
land degradation, land management, rehabilitation measures, perspectives


Land degradation is a serious environmental problem in most sub-Saharan countries including the Mountain Kingdom, Lesotho. Land rehabilitation measures have been intensively undertaken throughout the country to address this problem as well as enhancing livelihoods of the Basotho. The impact has been low, however, as restoration takes quite some time. This study aimed at exploring gendered farmers’ perceptions of the problem, its impacts and challenges in addressing it. The focus was on a rural community in Botha-Bothe district, Lesotho, where government land rehabilitation measures have been undertaken. Open-ended questions were used to obtain views from key informants, men and women farmers and herders. The findings showed that participants experienced land degradation in various ways, and many were more concerned about degradation of croplands than rangelands. Some male herders described rangeland condition as not deteriorating. Rangeland management is a male- oriented activity while women are more active in crop farming and expressed more worries about degradation impacts on food security and workload. Land management decisions are tied to household headship and men dominate decision making on land issues. Concerns were raised about youths’ and herders’ willingness to participate in rehabilitation measures.

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