, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 27-51
Date: 22 Apr 2006

Pastoralist Responses to Floodplain Rehabilitation in North Cameroon

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This paper examines the responses of mobile pastoralists to a floodplain rehabilitation program in north Cameroon. From 1993 to 1999, we measured changes in number of camps and herds, and the time they spent in the 600 km2 of the Logone floodplain that was reflooded in 1994. The first year, few pastoralists anticipated the reflooding or its impact, and the increase in grazing intensity was caused by a prolonged stay of pastoralists who already used the area for transit. The following three years showed a sharp increase in the number of camps and herds, which stabilized from 1997 onwards. Overall, grazing intensity increased threefold, following the gradually recovering perennial grasslands, with no signs of overexploitation of the area. These developments closely match the ideal preemptive distribution model. We also examined how reflooding affected pastoral incursions in the Waza National Park located in the floodplain.