Pastoralist eviction, migration & livelihoods in Southern Tanzania

Scientists at the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) studied the dynamics of forced livestock movements and pastoralist livelihoods in Lindi and Ruvuma Regions by interviewing 60 households of (agro)pastoralists and crop farmers. Results were published in 2014 in the article “Assessing dynamics of forced livestock movements, livelihoods and future development options for pastoralists/agro-pastoralists in Ruvuma and Lindi Regions, in Southern Tanzania”. After the Tanzanian Government evicted livestock-keepers from the Ihefu wetlands in 2006/07, they were supposed to move to Lindi Region but only a fraction of the total cattle that were expected actually arrived. Many animals died en route, some had to be sold to cover transportation and other costs, and many pastoralists moved to other regions instead. To mitigate anticipated conflicts between crop farmers and pastoralists, participatory land use management plans were developed to allocate village land area for different uses (grazing, cropping, settlement, forest). Land units for grazing were supposed to be provided with infrastructure such as dips, markets and stock routes. However, most of the infrastructure was lacking, land-use boundaries were not clearly demarcated and village bylaws were not well enforced. Although conflict could not be completely prevented, the arrival of pastoralists in the study areas reportedly had some positive effects on food security for pastoralists and farmers, and the influx of animals did not appear to lead to environmental degradation.

Another study of the effects of forced resettlement of livestock-keepers from the Ihefu wetland was carried out by researchers from Sokoine and Iringa Universities. Their article “Changes in livelihoods of evicted agropastoralists from Ihefu Basin in Tanzania” (2014) was based on data from household questionnaires, life stories and focus-group discussions with 110 agropastoralists who moved to Chunya and Kilwa Districts. The researchers found impoverishment and livelihood change most evident among the pastoralists who had lost many of their animals during resettlement and needed to find other sources of income, such as petty business, growing tobacco, gardening and pig rearing. Other resettled pastoralists managed, however, to rebuild their herds and engage in livestock trading. The need for better livestock and social services is highlighted. 

Both articles appeared in the open-access journal Livestock Research for Rural Development.

Posted on 12 July 2015 in Pastoralism & Mobility, Pastoralism & Peacebuilding, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition