The Impact of Poverty on Environmental Degradation (A Case study of White Nile State)

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Elhadi, Wisal Ahmed Abd
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Environmental degradation is a serious problem, which continued to attract the attention of the international community. The magnitude of environmental degradation in Sudan, measured in terms of the loss of forest cover in addition to desert creeping and drought, which ultimately lead to desertification, is very serious. The study was conducted in the White Nile State (WNS). Its main objective is to assess the impact of rural poverty on environmental degradation. To attain this aim the study investigated the socio–economic characteristics of the respondents. For the collection of primary data multi- stage stratified random sampling was used. The sample size was determined (80 respondents were selected) using questionnaire in addition to secondary data obtained from the relevant sources. Lorenz curve was applied to estimate the income distribution. In addition to poverty line according to the World Bank definition (one dollar per day for person). The correlation and cross tabulation were used to measure the relationship between variables. Poverty analysis indicates that the State suffers from wide spread poverty. About 87.5% of the respondents live below poverty line, high income concentrated in the hands of a few number of the respondents, which indicated that inequity exists between the respondents. Most of the respondents use traditional methods for preparing their food. A strong relationship was found between poverty on one hand and environmental degradation on the other hand and this is demonstrated as follows: Using traditional methods for preparing food. Not using healthy water sources. Spread of the diseases (Malaria and Bilharziasis). For poverty alleviation and environment conservation the study recommends the following: Preservation, conservation and improving soil fertility. It is recommended that a green belt be established and make use of agro-forestry systems, techniques, beside the rehabilitation of irrigation systems such as cleaning canals and combating of desertification. To establish community forest, which necessities provision of irrigation water by foresting authorities. One of the feasible ways to alleviate poverty is to consider the introduction of income generating activities such as chase cottage industries, raising livestock (goats, sheep and cows) at good quality, and providing micro-financing for the farmers. In addition, improvement of the infrastructure (hospital services, education, road ….etc) is very important. Extension is necessary to increase awareness in conservation. Awareness raising about the disastrous results of the misuse of the natural resources, not only for the present but also for future generations, is important.
January 2005
Poverty,Environmental Degradation, White Nile State