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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Swampland Resources of Sierra Leone: Factors Affecting Their Development
Author:Hewapathirane, Daya U.
Periodical:Eastern and Southern Africa Geographical Journal
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
West Africa
soil management
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Environment, Ecology
Land development
Land reclamation
Abstract:Swamp land resources of Sierra Leone amount to about two million hectares or 25 percent of the total land area of the country. They are confined to the western half of the country, and coverage is dense along most of the coast. From the point of view of development, most of Sierra Leone's swamp land resources are highly suited for agricultural purposes, particularly for rice farming. Physical limitations to development and use are lacking or minimal in about 23 percent of the total swamp area. Yet, only c. 10 percent of this cultivable area has been utilized so far for rice farming on a continuous basis. A complex of factors is responsible for the limited development of swamp land. Social and economic factors loom large, but in some places water control is the major problem. Furthermore, attracting farmers to swamp lands from their traditional upland bush fallow agricultural system has been difficult. However, the use of a good part of the country's swamp land resources is possible, but this should be done after a thorough study of all possible consequences of swamp clearance and development, paying attention to both development and conservation needs, and possible ecological changes. Bibliogr.