Brian Owoyesigire, affiliated to the People Livestock and Environment theme, PLE, has graduated with an MSc. Animal Science from Makerere University, Uganda. He has immediately embarked on his PhD.
Born a pastoralist and a herdsman, he felt inclined to work with settled, semi-settled, non-settled pastoral communities of Kiruhura and Nakasongola in districts in Uganda. The main objective of the study entitled Assessment of factors affecting Livestock water productivity of rainfed pastoral production systems in the Nile River basin of Uganda, was to document the socio- economic factors affecting livestock water productivity (LWP), and generate indices to estimate LWP of rain fed pastoral production systems in the Nile River basin of Uganda.
The study revealed that LWP in the pastoral communities is affected by access and ownership of production resources such as land, water and livestock. Increased land degradation coupled with an increase in encroachment of thickets affected pasture availability for livestock hence reducing LWP. It recommended that well-managed settlement of pastoralists may foster higher livestock water productivity and by implication help reduce poverty in the Nile basin.
“The journey to achieve this was never easy; reading for course works, searching for literature and conducting field work were very challenging”, recalls Brian who said there were moments when he felt like giving it up. However, he continued pressing on.
“What kept me going was believing in God and knowing that it’s the victors who conquer. The motivation of seeing and having results from the study also kept me going”, he adds as he expresses great appreciation for good supervision from Dr Denis Mpairwe (Makerere) and support from Don Peden of ILRI.
My advice to those on the verge of giving up is simple; they will not get the degree to take home and will not contribute anything to bank of new knowledge and science. They should also know that no one can ever win without completing the race or the assignment. Please let them keep moving forward and focused no matter what.