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The main natural resources in Tanzania are land, rivers, lakes, ocean, and forests/woodlands; the use ranges from crop cultivation, grazing (for livestock), wild life, wood (as energy source and building materials), fishing and minerals mining.
The main forms of land tenure in Tanzania today are: Right of Occupancy - a title to the use and occupation of land; Customary or Traditional Land Tenure; and Communal Land Tenure. In practice, most agricultural land is held under either customary or communal systems and most agricultural land is not surveyed. Few users have any documents showing their legal rights and duties or even boundaries.
Discovery of other natural resources
Apart from wealth in agriculture, forestry and wildlife land, Tanzania is also very rich in minerals such as gold, diamond, iron, coal, nickel, uranium and natural gas. Recently natural offshore gas deposits have been discovered.
The population of Tanzania as per national census is 34,569,232. The majority of citizens live in villages in rural areas, but with time the pace of migration to urban areas (especially youths) is increasing. In the rural areas unsustainable natural resources uses push the population away, while social services and employment pull people toward the urban areas.
Sustainable natural resources use backed by formation/implementation and supervision of relevant laws & by-laws, relevant government policies by different levels of authority, civil society interventions, and community commitments will contribute to the reduction of related conflicts and migration of people to urban areas and eventually improve national economy.
Kasulu demography and natural resource use
The population of Kasulu district as per national census is 85,810 households with 626,742 people (328,448 females and 298,294 males); and the main natural resources in Kasulu district are land, water (rivers), and forests; land is mainly used for peasantry farming, and there is small scale irrigation in the river valleys i.e. vegetable cultivation. The native ethnic group is “Waha” which is dominant, whereas the “Wasukuma” ethnic group from Mwanza and Shinyanga regions is the minority. Generally, in Kasulu district, land is not limited – there is big uncultivated land and adequate water sources; districts at nearby regions land is not limited as well, but it is comparatively less fertile; it receives inadequate and unreliable rainfall, and there are limited water sources.
Those nearby districts are from Shinyanga and Mwanza regions where there are many pastoralists – “Wasukuma” ethnic group. Pastoralists (“Wasukuma” in particular) normally migrate from their original locations to other places within and without Tanzania in search of pastures for their cattle as pastures and water from their original localities are continuing to decrease time after time due to overuse of natural vegetation and corresponding climate change. Natural resources use is now causing turbulence between the local community “Waha” and some Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo refugees from Mtabila and Nyarugusu camps respectively and “Wasukuma” (pastoralists) from Shinyanga and Mwanza regions. Refugees are cutting trees and hunting some of wild animals in community forests while “Wasukuma” are accompanied with big flocks of cattle which cause environmental degradation and sometimes feed on/destroy crops in the farms.
Conflicts regarding natural resources use in Kasulu district have been resolved amicably through the systems in place, such as police and game reserve guards that cooperate with community; leadership chain i.e. from Ten Cell Leader to the District Commissioner; Experts – there are Village Extension Agents, teachers, famous people, and others at village level who also contribute to the protection of natural resources and conflict resolution and; there are also scheduled conflict resolution meetings and ward tribunal councils aiming at discussing and resolving issues related to the natural resources use since they are not violent. Hence, further and sustainable measures should be done to stop those conflicts from growing from non violent to violent stage.
- Maganga F. P, Butterworth J. and Moriarty (2001): Domestic Water Supply, Competition for Water Resources and IWRM in Tanzania: A Review and discussion Paper, Proceedings of the Second WARFSA/Waternet Symponsium, Cape town, pp. 169 – 78.
- Kauzeni A.S, Kikula I. S, Mohamed S.A & Lyimo J. G (December 1993), IIED Environmental Planning Issues No. 3 IRA Research Paper No. 35: Land Use Planning and Resource Assessment in Tanzania: A Case Study.
- Tenga, R. (1992): Pastoral Land Rights in Tanzania: A Review. Drylands Programme: Pastoral Land Tenure Series. IIED, London. 24 pp.
- James, R.W. and Fimbo, G.M. (1973): Customary Land Law of Tanzania: A Sourcebook, Nairobi, EALB.
- Madulu, N.F. (2003) Population Distribution and Density in Tanzania: Experiences from 2002 Population and Housing Census in Tanzania.
- World Bank (1992): Empowering Villages to Manage their Natural Resources: Rural Land Policy in Tanzania; A World Bank White Cover Paper; 33 pp.
- TanzanaInvest website (2 March 2012)
- ↑ Land tenure in Tanzania) is well narrated in the studies done by Tenga R, (1992), World Bank, (1992), and James, R.W. and Fimbo, G.M. (1973)
- ↑ Mineral Resources Endowments-Tanzania
- ↑ 2nd tanzaniainvest, March 2012
- ↑ Tanzania demographics profile
- ↑ 2002 national census
- ↑ Madulu, N.F. rural population decrease: 1967 – 94.3%; 1978 – 86.7% and 1988 – 82.0% and 2002 – 76.9%
- ↑ Tanzania national census
- ↑ Mtabila refugee camps
- ↑ The Interplay Between Formal and Informal Systems of Managing Resource Conflicts: Some Evidence from South-Western Tanzania, Faustin P. Maganga
- ↑ Document: Domestic water supply, competition for water resources and IWRM in Tanzania, Faustin P. Maganga, John A. Butterworth, and Patrick Moriarty Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA), University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Natural Resources Institute (NRI), Kent, UK, IRC International Water and Sanitation Center, Delft, Netherlands
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