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2010 (Vol. 2, Issue: 4)
Article Information:

Utilisation of Wetland Plant Resources for Livelihood in Swaziland: The Case of Lobamba Lomdzala Area

A.M. Manyatsi, N. Mhazo, S. Msibi and M.T. Masarirambi
Corresponding Author:  Absalom Manyatsi 

Key words:  Indigenous knowledge, handicraft, livelihood, medicinal plants, wetland resources, ,
Vol. 2 , (4): Page No: 262-268
Submitted Accepted Published
2010 August, 10 2010 August, 30 2010 September, 06
Abstract:

The objective of the study was to determine the utilisation of wetland plant resources for livelihood and income generation in Swaziland. The study was carried out at Lobamba Lomdzala area located in the middleveld of Swaziland. The area has about 13500 inhabitants with 2000 homesteads. A questionnaire was administered to 92 randomly selected homesteads within the area. Information collected included type of wetland plant resources harvested and income generated from wetland plant resources. About 85% of the respondents collected wild fruits for domestic use and for sale. The dominant wild fruits collected were Syzygium cordatum, Vangueria spp and Ficus spp. The monthly income from sale of the fruits varied, with the highest being R900 (US$120) per homestead. Forty respondents (43%) collected indigenous medicinal plants for income generation and another 40% collected them for own use. The dominant indigenous medicinal plants collected were Helichrysum rugulosum and Hypoxis hemerocallidea. The monthly income from harvested medicinal plants ranged from R100 to R600 per homestead. All the homesteads interviewed collected plant material for craftw ork, with the dominant plant species collected being Cyperus latifolius, Cyperus articulatus, Festuca costata and Coleochloa setifera. The material was either sold or used to make handicraft or shared with neighbours. The annual income from selling handicraft material and finished products ranged from R200 to R4000 per homestead. Phragmites spp was collected and used as building material by three homesteads. Thirty homesteads harvested it and delivered it to the Queen Motherís (Indlovukati) home for traditional and cultural use. The results demonstrated that wetland resources were a source of income for rural homesteads in Swaziland. Their cultural and/or religious significance is well appreciated in the Swazi tradition. It is concluded that wetlands need to be protected from threats of degradation due to overgrazing of livestock, overexploitation and drainage to pave way for agricultural and other uses.
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  Cite this Reference:
A.M. Manyatsi, N. Mhazo, S. Msibi and M.T. Masarirambi, 2010. Utilisation of Wetland Plant Resources for Livelihood in Swaziland: The Case of Lobamba Lomdzala Area.  Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 2(4): Page No: 262-268.
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