The extent and drivers of deforestation: a case of Kagombe central forest reserve, Kibaale district
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The practice of deforestation is highly increasing in protected forests in Uganda. This is due to shortage of land for cultivation due to the ever-increasing population. This has resulted into the decline in the forest cover. A case study of Kagombe central forest reserve in Kibaale district western Uganda was carrieTd out with objectives of (1) To determine the magnitude of deforestation around Kagombe central forest reserve for a period of 32 years (1990 to 2022). (2) To assess the causes of deforestation around Kagombe central forest reserve. (3) To find out the effects of deforestation around Kagombe central forest reserve. Land sat images of 1990, 2001, 2013 and 2022 were downloaded from the United State Geological Survey (USGS). The images were then subjected to maximum likelihood classification of six classes (built up, farmlands, open water, rocky vegetation, sparsed and thick forest) using Arc map version 10.6.1 software package to produce maps of Kagombe central forest reserve showing the trend of change of forest cover for the study period. Information about the causes and effects of deforestation were collected using a questionnaire from 60 respondents selected using cluster sampling from Bujogoro parish and village surrounding the reserve. Key informant interviews were also conducted targeting NFA, district and enforcement officials as well as the local leaders of Nyamarunda sub-county. Questionnaire responses were edited, coded and entered in SPSS computer software to create data file and later generate a statistical summary of results that have been presented in chapter four. Findings revealed that majority of the immigrants especially the Bakiga and Banyarwanda were the most participants in the practice of deforestation in the reserve. This was due to shortage of land, poverty and livestock grazing. The study further showed that, the effects of deforestation were both positive (safe clean water, food, constructional materials fuel and herbal medicine) and negative (poor water quality, food insecurity, wildlife and habitat loss). On top of that, the study revealed various strategies (planting trees, chasing away the remaining encroachers with court orders, strengthening security around the reserve and sensitization of the local people through radios and meetings) which would be undertaken to curb down the effects encountered due to deforestation.