Patterns of Passage into protected areas: drivers and outcomes of Fulani immigration, settlement and integration into the Kachia Grazing Reserve, Northwest Nigeria

Marie Julie Ducrotoy, Ayodele Majekodunmi, Alexandra P M Shaw, Husein Bagulo, Wilson J Bertu, Amahyel M Gusi, Reuben A Ocholi, Susan Welburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasing land use and associated competition for natural resources in the wake of high human and livestock population pressures have been major challenges confronting pastoralists of West Africa. This is especially true in Nigeria where Fulani make up 4% of the national population and prevailing national insecurity issues are impacting on pastoral livelihoods, including violent conflicts over land and ethnic, religious and political disparities.

This study examined the dynamics of immigration within the Kachia Grazing Reserve (KGR), an exclusively Fulani pastoralist community in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria, prompted by concerns from both the farming communities and the authorities about mounting pressure on existing limited resources, particularly in regard to availability of cattle grazing resources.

Drawing from a household census conducted in 2011 and employing a range of qualitative methods (focus group discussions and key informant interviews), this study explored the drivers and consequences of immigration and subsequent integration within the KGR community.

The study revealed two types of immigration: a steady trickle of pastoralists migrating to the reserve to settle and acquire land, secure from the stresses of competition from cultivators, and the sudden influx of internally displaced persons fleeing violent clashes in their areas of origin.

Population pressure within the reserve has risen steadily over the past three decades, such that it is severely overgrazed (as evidenced by reports from the KGR community that the animals run short of pasture even during the wet season due to desertification and the spread of non-edible weeds). The newer immigrants, fleeing conflict, tended to arrive in the reserve with significantly larger herds than those kept by established residents. Pastoralists in the reserve have been forced back into the practice of seasonal transhumance in both wet and dry seasons to support their herds, with all the attendant risks of theft, clashes with cultivators and increased disease transmission.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPastoralism
Early online date11 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2018

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