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Sustainable use of forest resources in ward 17 of Gwanda in Zimbabwe

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Zimbabwe Open University, Matebeleland South Regional Campus, Box 346, Gwanda, Zimbabwe
  • 2Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Zimbabwe Open University, Matebeleland South Regional Campus, Box 346, Gwanda, Zimbabwe

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 11, Issue (1), Pages 18-25, January,22 (2022)


The main aim of the study was to investigate the sustainability of the use of forest resources in ward 17 of Gwanda district. A case study research design was adopted for this research because it is appropriate to the problem and the advantages it possess. The population of study comprised of 5971 villagers of ward 17, the ward councillor, the village heads, officials from the Forestry Commission and officials from the Environmental Management Agency. A random sample of 600 villagers was picked from the ward using numbered cards. Information gathered indicated that there is no sustainability in the use of forest resources. Forest management activities in the area identified by local community members included the clearing of a cactus plant which is listed as an invasive allien species, awareness campaigns run by the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Management Agency and the tree planting programme run by the same organisations. The major sources of livelihood were identified as rainfedfarming, brick moulding, caterpillar harvesting, vending, wood carving, doing menial jobs for other farmers, and formal employment. Trees are mainly cut down in order to fence arable lands and homesteads, build kraals, carve different artifacts and for firewood. Poverty is one of the factors which hinder the sustainable use of forest resources in the study area.


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