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Sacramento, CA, United States

Makhado R.A.,Research and Evaluation Section | Makhado R.A.,University of the Free State | Saidi A.T.,South African Environmental Observation Network
Jamba: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies

This study reports about disaster risk assessment undertaken at Roburnia Plantation, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were followed to collect data. A total of eight experienced foresters and fire fighters were purposively sampled for interview at Roburnia Plantation. A questionnaire survey was also used to collect the data. Risk levels were quantified using the risks equations of Wisner et al. (2004) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR 2002). Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Analysis of variance (ANOVA, single factor) was also applied. This study found that Roburnia Plantation is highly exposed to fire risks. The mean (± s.d.) output from the Wisner risk equation shows that fire is the highest risk at 7.7 ± 0.3, followed by harsh weather conditions at 5.6 ± 0.4 and least by tree diseases, pests and pathogens at 2.3 ± 0.2. Similarly, the mean (± s.d.) output from the UNISDR risk equation also shows that fire is the highest risk at 2.9 ± 0.2, followed by harsh weather conditions at 2.2 ± 0.3 and least by tree diseases, pests and pathogens at 1.3 ± 0.2. There was no significant deference in the risk analysis outputs (p = 0.13). This study also found that the number of fire incidents were low during summer, but increased during winter and spring. This variation is mainly due to a converse relationship with rainfall, because the availability of rain moistens the area as well as the fuel. When the area and fuel is moist, fire incidents are reduced, but they increase with a decrease in fuel moisture. © 2013. The Authors. Source

Makhado R.A.,Research and Evaluation Section | Potgieter M.J.,University of Limpopo | Wessels D.C.J.,University of Limpopo | Saidi A.T.,South African Environmental Observation Network | Masehela K.K.,Research and Evaluation Section
Ethnobotany Research and Applications

Mopane woodland resources in South Africa are essential to the wellbeing of rural communities living near them. They provide the primary source of poles used for construction of traditional structures as well as fuel wood. In mopane woodland areas, 80% of rural people use fuel wood as the primary source of energy for cooking and heating. Villagers prefer to use mopane (Colophospermum mopane (J. Kirk ex Benth.) J. Léonard) tree for fuel wood and construction of traditional structures; because it has high energy content, emits less smoke when it is dry, and it is durable. A family of about 7 people uses a mean of 7.8 kilograms for cooking per day per meal, resulting in about 2.8 metric tons consumed per year per household. A mean volume of 1.4 m3 is used when constructing a traditional hut, which means that a family with three or four houses would use 4.1 m3 - 5.4 m3 in constructing them. Mopane worms harvested from mopane woodland are consumed for their nutritional value and also traded to generate income. Despite the value of mopane woodland resources to rural livelihoods, unsustainable resource use and irresponsible management resulted in dwindling woodland resources. Source

Molitor F.,Research and Evaluation Section | Sugerman S.,Research and Evaluation Section | Yu H.,University of California at Los Angeles | Biehl M.,Research and Evaluation Section | And 3 more authors.
Preventing Chronic Disease

Introduction: This study combined information on the interventions of the US Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education with 5,927 interview responses from the California Health Interview Survey to investigate associations between levels of intervention reach in low-income census tracts in California and self-reported physical activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables, fast food, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Methods: We determined 4 levels of intervention reach (low reach, moderate reach, high reach, and no intervention) across 1,273 program-eligible census tracts from data on actual and eligible number of intervention participants. The locations of California Health Interview Survey respondents were geocoded and linked with program data. Regression analyses included measures for sex, age, race/ethnicity, and education. Results: Adults and children from high-reach census tracts reported eating more fruits and vegetables than adults and children from no-intervention census tracts. Adults from census tracts with low, moderate, or high levels of reach reported eating fast food less often than adults from no-intervention census tracts. Teenagers from low-reach census tracts reported more physical activity than teenagers in no-intervention census tracts. Conclusion: The greatest concentration of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education interventions was associated with adults and children eating more fruits and vegetables and adults eating fast food less frequently. These findings demonstrate the potential impact of such interventions as implemented by numerous organizations with diverse populations; these interventions can play an important role in addressing the obesity epidemic in the United States. Limitations of this study include the absence of measures of exposure to the intervention at the individual level and low statistical power for the teenager sample. Source

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