24 February 2017
New publication: Into the urban wild: collection of wild urban plants for food and medicine in Kampala, Uganda
This news is redirected by The Secretariat for Development Cooperation at SCIENCE from Department of Food and Resource Economics.
Authors: Eefke Maria Mollee (a,b), Mariéve Pouliot (c) & Morag A. McDonald (a)
(a) School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENRGy), Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom
(b) Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
(c) Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
In sub-Saharan Africa, many people depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. While urbanisation causes landscape changes, little is known of how this process affects the use of wild plant resources by urban populations. This study contributes to addressing this knowledge gap by exploring the prevalence and determinants of urban collectors of wild plants in Kampala, Uganda. During February to August 2015, 93 structured interviews were conducted in inner, outer, and peri-urban areas of the city. The findings in this study show that urban wild plants are used by almost half (47%) of the respondents, mainly for medicinal purposes but also as a complement to diets. The findings further indicate that residents with lower income, of younger age (<51 years old), and predominantly living in peri-urban areas are more likely to be urban collectors. Seasonality appears to be of greater importance in collection of food plants than of medicinal plants. Overall, these findings indicate that wild plants occupy an important role in the livelihoods and traditions of Kampala’s residents, and we argue that this should be taken into account in urban planning projects.