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Table 2 Environmental history of Badha and Gamoji landscapes of Marsabit central

From: Livestock-based knowledge of rangeland quality assessment and monitoring at landscape level among borana herders of northern Kenya

Gada period Conventional period Landscape environmental history
   Badha Gamoji
Guyo Goba Bulle 2010 to date (2011) Shifting to camel keeping and miraa (khat) farming continued Loss of livestock productivity, invasive plant species, charcoal burning and exploitation of woody species increased
Liban Jaldesa Liban 2002–2009 Some pastoralists start shifting to camel keeping as strategy to drought and also take up opportunity of increasing milk demand for settled population. Miraa (khat) farming further intensified and most farmers abandoned the traditional crops Productivity of the landscape for perennial grasses and other forage plants declined while invasive plants species such as D. eremophilum and A. mossambicensis were seen to be increasing while preferred grasses declined.
Commercial exploitation of woody plant species such as Terminalia sp. for construction started in addition to charcoal burning.
Livestock milk production was noted to be on decline even during wet season, the concept elders refers to as Horrin damma dabee
Boru Madha Galma 1994–2001 Droughts occurrence becomes frequent and crop failures were experienced quite often. Few farmers started shifting to miraa farming. Charcoal burning continued targeting ecologically important tree species such as Acacia species.
Overgrazing observed and livestock preferred grass species such as C. ciliaris and C. plumulosus declined
El nino rains eroded soil conservation structures on the farms and soil erosion contributed to a decline in crop production
Boru Guyo Boru 1986–1993 A major drought called the drought of yellow maize (Olla dima suggah) occurred. Pastoralists lost animals and settled to engage in farming and other livelihood strategies. The grazing areas continue to be reduced The settled destitute pastoralists in the Badha landscape started charcoal burning activities in Gamoji landscape
Jillo Aga Adi 1978–1985 A major drought traditionally called Oola Athu thoot e (the drought of solar eclipse) occurred and most pastoralists lost their animals and became destitute. Catholic mission initiated settlement schemes to settle pastoral drop outs. Several settlement schemes such as Manyatta Jillo settlement scheme, Gabra settlement scheme and Badassa refuge scheme were established. The settlement schemes took up large proportion of grazing lands A major drought of solar eclipse coupled with increasing number of livestock reduced the productivity of the Gamoji Landscapes and several nomadic families lost their animals and decided to settle in the Badha Landscape
Goba Bulle Dabasso 1970–1977 The farming and settlements slowly took up grazing areas in the Badha landscape Livestock number increased and continuously grazed the landscape as the Badha landscapes were increasingly put under farming and settlements
Jaldesa Liban Guyo 1962–1969 The farming and settlements slowly took up grazing areas in the Badha landscape Evidence of overgrazing in some areas
Madha Galma Tore 1954–1961 Colonial government issued directive to reduce livestock number on the Badha landscape as farming and settlements increase. Pastoralists were encouraged to keep few animals. Each pastoral household was allowed to keep 12 animals (8 cows, 2 oxen, 2 sheep or goats). The rest of the animals were taken to the Gamoji landscape. The measure was taken to control overgrazing and conserve the environment The grazing control instituted by colonial government on the Badha landscapes increased the number of livestock in the Gamoji Landscapes. This was the beginning of major land use change
Guyo Boru Galma 1946–1953 Plots and farms demarcation by colonial government began with increasing settlements and farming activities The landscapes had sufficient forages plants dominated by preferred grasses such as C. ciliaris and C. plumulosus
Aga Adi Doyo 1938–1945 Settlement and farming activities increased on small scale but large tract of land with sufficient forages remained for livestock grazing The landscapes were rich in forages plants dominated by preferred grasses such as C. ciliaris and C. plumulosus
Bulle Dabassa Bulle 1930–1937 Minimal farming activities started with influence of Burji farmers and encouragement by colonial government The landscape had adequate forages plants dominated by preferred grasses such C. ciliaris and C. plumulosus
Arero Gedho Liban 1922–1929 The landscape continued to be used for grazing The landscape had adequate forages plants dominated by preferred grasses such as C. ciliaris and C. plumulosus
Liban Kuse Liban 1914–1921 The land is largely used for grazing only. Few Burji farmers were later brought from Ethiopia by Colonial government to encourage farming The landscape had adequate forages plants dominated by preferred grasses such as C. ciliaris and C. plumulosus