Monday, December 22, 2008


This paper is intended to explain the existing extent and trend of local underutilization and mismanagement of Forest Resources (including Timber, Logging/Logs and Bee Products) resulting in low/insignificant collection of taxes/revenue/royalties for Poverty Reduction in Tanzania. The arguments made in this paper have relied on references from various studies, which were commissioned by the Government of Tanzania. The recent study is titled, ‘Lessons Learned from a Logging Boom in Southern Tanzania’, which was conducted in 2007 by the Research on Poverty Alleviation-REPOA. According to REPOA, forests and woodlands in Tanzania cover around 40% of the total land area, yet support the livelihoods of 87% of the poor population who live in rural areas. Some 16% (and up to 60% seasonally) of households from villages located near forests in southern Tanzania benefited from logging and timber trade during 2005. Over 90% of the energy used in the country is wood fuel derived from the forests. In economic terms, rural communities, traders and the government have lost massive potential revenues to wasteful harvesting and processing, non-collection of
royalties and under-valuation of forest products. At village level, through mid- 2004, local harvesters have chronically under-valued hardwood logs. Consequently, they have been receiving barely one hundredth of the export price despite the fact that no value-adding had taken place since the logs were obtained. Revenue lost by central and district governments due to the under-collection of royalties reached up to 96% of the total amount of potential revenue due. The study found that, at central government level, it was tentatively estimated that nationwide losses of revenue to the Forestry and Beekeeping Division amounted nationally up to USD 58 million anually due to the under-collection of natural forest product royalties in the districts. Also, it was found that, some District Council budgets would have increased by several times over if potential timber revenues were actually collected. Substantial revenue losses were also apparent prior to and during shipment. For example, the trade statistics show that China imported ten times more timber products from Tanzania than appear on Tanzania’s own export records. This suggests that Tanzania collected only 10% of the revenue due from these exports. Further, this important social and economic resource has continued to degrade at an alarming rate. Around ten million hectares of forest land were lost between 1970 and 1998. At the harvest rates experienced during 2003 and 2004, and based on official forest inventories, it is apparent that all harvestable Class I and II trees in Rufiji and Kilwa Districts will have been felled within 20 years. The deleterious effects of deforestation on water catchments, hydroelectricity, soil erosion, fire outbreaks and the status of biodiversity are now evident in many parts of the country.

Both MKUKUTA and MKUZA, do recognize the fact that, governance has a pivotal role in determining the development outcome of forest product trade. This is especially true in less developed countries with a large natural resource base and a policy environment heavily influenced by the forces of administrative decentralisation, market globalisation, political democratisation, rural empowerment and infrastructure development. The above refered government development strategies, concur that in an ideal scenario, good governance at all levels helps ensure forest product trade provides broad-based and equitable benefits in line with national and local development goals, without compromising forest integrity. Unfortunately, in Tanzania, a complex interplay of social, economic and political factors has tilted the ideal balance in an unfavourable direction in recent years. Despite a well-developed institutional framework for forest management and numerous remedial measures since 2003 (including, at the extreme, national indigenous hardwood harvest and export bans), the forestry sector has continued to be plagued by poorly controlled, irregular and unsustainable activities. Amongst the most serious concerns are massive revenue losses, negative social impacts, forest degradation and weakened governance structures. In all cases, poorer people living in rural areas are disproportionately affected, despite ongoing decentralisation and a legal framework that promotes broad-based empowerment. Governance shortfalls have been identified by many stakeholders as a key limiting factor to addressing these concerns. Timber trade volumes stayed high throughout 2003 and up until mid- 2004 when enactment of new forest legislation banned the export of round wood from natural forests. During 2003, a year when trade was only marginally interrupted by logging and trade restrictions, it was estimated that over 500 000 m3 of timber was harvested for commercial purposes from southern Tanzania (a figure which combined officially recorded harvests and estimates of unrecorded, illegal felling). This volume is equivalent to over 830 000 trees, with harvesting intensity reaching 91 m3 of timber per km2 of forest (mostly coastal forests and miombo woodland) in Rufiji and Kilwa Districts.


In Tanzania, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is responsible for forest resources. The Forest Ordinance is the major legal instrument of the Tanzania forest policy. It covers the creation and declaration of forest resources. The Forest Ordinance is an administrative instrument which enables the establishment of reserves. The Ordinance can be extended to cover the establishment of institutions other than state forest reserves, such as village forest reserves, controlled areas, silvi-pastoral areas for pastoralists, etc. Minimum management standards for village and private forest lands may be included in the forest ordinance, with a provision that the Forest and Beekeeping Division supervises their enforcement. Key areas are reserved for biological conservation as strict nature resources. Appropriate incentives in the form of subsidies, subsidized loans or tax reductions are considered desirable for fostering afforestation. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is obliged and may take the necessary action to implement these provisions. Royalties and penalties in the Forest Ordinance Rules are established by the Government in such a way that fees are payable on non-plantation and plantation forest produce by types. These royalties are periodically adjusted. The fees neither reflect the value of forest products to the society nor the resource replacement cost. This contributes to deforestation and forest degradation. At the same time artificially low wood prices are hampering farmers to make investment in tree growing, due to low expected earnings. The Government will in the future subsidize conservation and not consumption. Tanzania has initiated actions towards incorporating environmental concerns in forestry.

It is estimated that the country's forest area has declined from 44,300,000 ha or 50% of total land area in 1938 to 33, 096,000 ha or 43% of total land area in 1987. Currently forests are estimated to cover 33.5 million ha.Causes of deforestation are mainly heavy pressure from agricultural expansion, livestock grazing, wildfire, over exploitation of wood resources for various purposes, and other human activities. There are no reliable figures on deforestation in Tanzania although according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, it ranges from 130,000 to 500,000 ha per annum. The major effect of deforestation is the deterioration of the ecological system with resulting negative impacts on soil fertility, water flows, and biological diversity. Domestic energy demand in Tanzania has been rising rapidly in recent years because of population growth. Tanzanian forests supply the bulk of the energy demand. Wood accounts for 90% of the total energy used in Tanzania. While the supply of fuel wood is dwindling, demand is rapidly increasing. More than 90% of the population depends on wood fuel energy. Charcoal is used widely in urban centres with an estimated consumption of 392,000 tonnes per annum and charcoal burners/producers are licensed to burn charcoal in both public woodlands and productive forest reserves. Firewood is mostly used in rural and peri-urban areas. In 1993, fuel wood consumption was estimated at 45 million cubic meters per annum, with a per capita wood consumption of 2.0 cubic meters of round wood per annum. The rural areas alone consumed about 43.8 million cubic meters of firewood. By the year 2000, fuel wood demand to surpassed 60 million cubic meters. It was also estimated that an average of 45,000 trees of 0.2 cubic meters size were cut daily for fuel wood in the 1980s. Other uses of fuel wood include: fish smoking; salt pans; tobacco curing; bricks and tile kilns; pottery, ceramics, and kaolin production. Over the past three decades, perspectives on the role of the forest have changed considerably. There is also pressure arising from the ever increasing demand for wood fuels, fodder, timber and forest land for other uses, especially agriculture. The challenge now is how to manage the forest resources as a national heritage on an integrated basis in order to optimise their environmental, economic, social, and cultural benefits.

4.1 The value of Forest Resources

The value of the Tanzanian forests is high due to the high potential for royalty collection, which increases revenues to the country, exports and tourism earnings as well as the recycling and fixing of carbon dioxide and conservation of globally important biodiversity. However, the present use of natural resources is unsustainable (e.g. wanton tree-felling for charcoal production, bad farming methods that precipitate soil erosion, bad fishing methods). This precipitates poverty by eroding sources of livelihoods and destroying environment. The challenge is to implement policy and enforce mechanism for sustainable exploitation of the resources. There has not been adequate encouragement of community participation in identifying, planning and implementing steps to protect natural resources and environment or effective enforcement of existing regulations and by-laws

4.2 Contribution of forest resources
Currently, the contribution of the Forestry sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is between 2.3% and 10% of the country’s registered exports. This contribution is also found to be lower compared to value the country’s forestry riches

4.3 Mismanagement of Forest Resources
  • Deforestation
  • Fire destruction
  • Poor governance:
    Ø Illegal hunting
    Ø Corruption
    Ø Poor policies
    Improper conservation of water sources

    4.4 Effects of Illegal Timber Trade
    o Massive revenue shortfalls
    o Unsustainable rate of harvesting
    o Irreplaceable losses of biodiversity
    o Deterioration of the national's water catchments

    4.5 Interventions
    • Community participation
    • Improve local benefit flows
    • Outreach and advocacy to combat forest crime
    • Enhance forest policies

    Experience in Tanzania over the past few years indicates how sustainable and equitable timber trade has yet to be realised in the country, despite a relatively welldeveloped policy and legal framework for forest management and the implementation of numerous remedial measures. The author, has an opinion that, if we were to realise reasonable profits from forests and other forest products including bee harvesting, higher priority should be put on forestry governance and the implementation of a holistic approach, since corruption – the primary factor affecting governance shortfalls – is occurring in many forms and at many levels. Quoting the study by REPOA, the paper would strong wish to adopt some of the recommendations as follows:
    • Implement standardised reporting and monitoring for timber harvest and trade information;
    • Apply greater emphasis on forestry during public income and expenditure reviews;
    • Ensure internal disclosure of forestry sector assets by public officials, and leadership messaging to denounce internal involvement and collusion in timber trade;
    • Use public notice boards at village and district levels, and publicise clear investment and business guidelines, including criteria, timeframes and roles;
    • Undertake targeted campaigns on anti-forest-corruption;
    • Consider the outsourcing of forestry revenue collection in a step-wise manner;
    • Introduce performance-based incentive schemes for forestry staff;
    • Develop, sign and publicise a MoU or circular between Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and Prime Minister’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government to clarify roles and responsibilities, including direct reporting of District Forest Officers to the Head of the Forestry and Beekeeping Division/Tanzania Forest Service;
    • Reassess appropriate forest inventory methodologies;
    • Initiate community awareness programmes covering options for community participation,
    timber values, potential benefits, responsibilities, and legal procedures;
    • Review the application of national harvest bans to ensure there is no breach of Participatory
    Forest Management agreements; and
  • Establish Tanzania Forest Service roles, responsibilities and lines of reporting in an expedient manner, incorporating inputs from different sectors.


1.0 Introduction.
This paper is intended to provide a thorough and detailed analysis regarding the major causes and impacts of social, economic and political conflicts in Africa in general and Tanzania in particular. The discussion will be divided into two phases,that is; during colonial and post independence periods.

Africa has witnessed various kinds of conflicts.the causes of such conflicts may be classifiend into:


European colonialism had a devastating impact on Africa. The artificial boundaries created by colonial rulers as they ruled and finally left Africa had the effect of bringing together many different ethnic people within a nation that did not reflect, nor have (in such a short period of time) the ability to accommodate or provide for, the cultural and ethnic diversity. The freedom from imperial powers was, and is still, not a smooth transition. The natural struggle to rebuild is proving difficult (www.wikipedia- visited on 29th August 2008).

2.2 Artificial Borders Created by Imperial Europe
In the 1870s, European nations were bickering over themselves about the spoils of Africa. In order to prevent further conflict between them, they convened at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 to lay down the rules on how they would partition up Africa between themselves.
Between 1870 and World War I alone, the European scramble for Africa resulted in the adding of around one-fifth of the land area of the globe to its overseas colonial possessions.
Colonial administrations started to take hold. In some areas, Europeans were encouraged to settle, thus creating dominant minority societies. France even planned to incorporate Algeria into the French state; such was the power at the time. In other cases, the classic “divide and conquer” techniques had to be used to get local people to help administer colonial administrations. Some were only too willing to help for their own ends. In most areas colonial administrations did not have the manpower or resources to fully administer the territory and had to rely on local power structures to help them. Various factions and groups within the societies exploited this European requirement for their own purposes, attempting to gain a position of power within their own communities by cooperating with Europeans [(Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, (Allyn and Bacon, 2002), p. 302)]. One aspect of this struggle included what Terrence Ranger has termed the “invention of tradition.” In order to legitimize their own claims to power in the eyes of both the colonial administrators, and their own people, people would essentially manufacture “traditional” claims to power, or ceremonies. As a result many societies were thrown into disarray by the new order (www.histoty of Africa.wikipedia-visited on 29thAugust 2008). Also, if the second world war(1939 -1945) just of 6 years duration has pervaded the consciousness of our developed world for 2 generations and imagine how the African continent for 4 centuries of enslavement might have seized the entire social and cultural ethos of an undeveloped continent( Bob Geldof, Why Africa? Bob Geldof Speaks at St. Paul’s Cathedral,, April 21, 2004)

2.3 Unequal International Trade; Comparative Disadvantage
Colonialism had thus transformed an entire continent. Vast plantations and cash crop-based or other extractive economies were set up throughout. Even as colonial administrators parted, they left behind supportive elites that, in effect, continued the siphoning of Africa’s wealth. Thus has colonialism had a major impact on the economics of the region today. According to the Tanzanian Father of the nation, the late Mwalimu JK Nyerere, about 85 percent of Africans during colonial times and soon after their independences were illiterate. The British ruled Tanganyika for over 43 years. When they left in 1961, Tanganyika had only 2 trained engineers and 12 doctors. Such a situation forced African to rely on their colonial masters. Quoting the late Mwalimu, It seems that independence of the former colonies has suited the interests of the industrial world for bigger profits at less cost. Independence made it cheaper for them to exploit us. We became neo-colonies’. — Julius Nyerere interviewed by Ikaweba Bunting, The Heart of Africa, New Internationalist Magazine, Issue 309, January-February 1999 (Emphasis Added)
International trade and economic arrangements have done little to benefit the African people and has further exacerbated the problem. IMF/World Bank policies like Structural Adjustment have aggressively opened up African nations with disastrous effects, including the requirements to cut back on health, education (and AIDS is a huge problem), public services and so on, while growing food and extracting resources for export primarily, etc, thus continuing the colonial era arrangement.

The resulting increased poverty of Sub-Saharan Africa and the immense burden of debt have further crippled Africa’s ability to develop. Referring to the theory of comparative advantage, the country produces that it can produce cheaper than any other can and sells it to others in exchange for that which they can produce cheaper. The invisible hand of the market will of itself sort out any inequities in this system allowing for the appropriately correct level of development to any particular producer. However, colonialists distorted this view by deciding that Africa’s comparative advantage was its poverty. As a result, in Africa, existing patterns of farming were wiped away and huge plantations of single non-native crops were developed, always with the need of European processing industry in mind. There was a global transfer of foreign plants to facilitate this — tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber etc., The result was the erosion of the soil, forerunner of the desertification evident today. Moreover, with the erosion came steadily decreasing quantities of already scarce local food grown on marginal lands by labourers working for pitiful wages. Bob Geldof

2.4 Cold War by Proxy; Supporting and Arming Dictatorships in Africa

Throughout the Cold War, major powers such as the U.S.A, the Soviet Union and others supported various regimes and dictatorships. Some possibly promising leaders in the early days of the independence movements throughout the Third World were overthrown. There was disregard from the major powers as to how this would affect the people of these countries. Quoting William D. Harting and Bridget Moix ‘Deadly Legacy: The US Arms to Africa and the Congo War’, indicates that $1.5 billion worth of weapons to Africa has come from the U.S. alone(World Policy Institute, January 2000), also Europe for example, was able to “exploit Africa’s resources” to help rebuild after World War II.. The proliferation of small arms in the region when the Cold War ended has helped fuel many conflicts. Corporate interests and activities in Africa have also contributed to exploitation, conflict and poverty for ordinary people while enriching African and foreign elites. The easy access to natural resources to maintain and fuel rebellions (combined with corporate interests) makes for a nasty combination.
A lack of support for basic rights in the region, plus a lack of supporting institutions, as well as the international community’s political will to do something about it and help towards building peace and stability has also been a factor. A World Bank report notes that “politics and poverty cause civil wars, not ethnic diversity.” It also points out that in Africa, failed institutions are also a cause. It adds that where there is ethnic diversity, there is actually less chance for civil wars, as long as there is not just a small number of very large ethnic groups, or ethnic polarization.

2.5 Other Causes Of Conflicts in Africa:

For the June 2002 G8 summit, a briefing was prepared by Action for Southern Africa and the World Development Movement. In that, they also pointed out similar causes to the above, when looking at the wider issue of economic problems as well as political:
Referring the G8 Summit that was held in June 2002, at the summit, it was ratified that, ‘It is undeniable that there has been poor governance, corruption and mismanagement in Africa. However, the briefing reveals the context — the legacy of colonialism, the support of the G8 for repressive regimes in the Cold War, the creation of the debt trap, the massive failure of Structural Adjustment Programmes imposed by the IMF and World Bank and the deeply unfair rules on international trade. The role of the G8 in creating the conditions for Africa’s crisis cannot be denied. Its overriding responsibility must be to put its own house in order, and to end the unjust policies that are inhibiting Africa’s development.


The costs of African conflicts during the Cold War can be estimated in a variety of ways. Loss of lives, including those by war-related famines, is the most obvious. Between 1945 and 1989, African wars related to the Cold War took the lives of about 5.5 million people, mostly civilians. More difficult to assess are economic, social, and cultural losses due to the overall devastation of the country. Civilian populations, especially farmers and other food producers, were often the primary victims. In many countries Cold War conflicts aggravated existing food shortages caused by drought and poverty. In the mid-1980s a massive drought struck much of Africa, and ongoing wars in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Sudan transformed the drought into a full-scale famine that took more than one million lives. Cold War-related fighting also caused massive population shifts in Africa, creating an estimated 10 million internally-displaced persons (refugees within a country) and about 4.3 million international refugees. In addition, Cold War conflicts also disrupted education and health care and inflicted serious physical and psychological wounds on many of the survivors. The wars also resulted in gross violations of human rights, including, rape, torture, and illegal imprisonment. In some countries the chaos of these wars also led to a breakdown in community ties, cultural integrity, and social cohesiveness.

The Cold War also took a toll on many African countries because they spent money on their militaries that might have been better spent on schools, roads, hospitals, clinics, and other badly needed services. Although Cold War secrecy still makes estimating the total cost of the Cold War in Africa almost impossible, at the peak of the superpower rivalry in the late 1970s annual military spending by African governments averaged about $23 per person. Between 1960 and 1986, military expenditures increased from more than $1 billion to nearly $13 billion. This represented an increase in military spending from 0.9 percent to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product. The dedication of resources to the military meant less money for health care, education, and other important priorities. In the late 1970s, for example, for every 100,000 African people there were 290 soldiers but only 46 doctors. Africa’s five largest wars during the 1980s cost around $100 billion. Annual expenditures on weapons rose from $1.2 billion in the period from 1950 to 1952 to about $15 billion by 1979. (Encarta Reference Library,2005)

Like other any African country, Tanzania experienced more or less the same situation. Regionally, Tanzania has good relation with its neighbouring countries. However, in early 1970s and 1980s, the country had a boarder conflict with Uganda and had to fight in 1979 due to invasion of Idd Amin Dadaa’s troops who invaded Kagera. This was one of the devastative wars ever fought by Tanzania. Since then, the economy suffered a lot and had failed to recover. On the other hand, the ongoing conflicts in the neighbouring countries like Burundi, Rwanda and Sometimes in Mozambique in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, had flooded Tanzania with a large number of refugees. The influx of refugees has destabilized peace, tranquillity and harmony in the respective Tanzanian regions, which has hosted the refugees. With them, refugees have brought guns and other arms, which in turn are used banditry and robbery. Some have even brought landmines that have caused social and economic unrest.
The International Rescue Committee is one of the first organizations to respond to a crisis, but we also stay throughout the recovery phase. We program along the continuum of relief through post-conflict recovery, supporting conflict-impacted communities and countries in their transition to sustainable peace and development. Building on 75 years of experience, we operate in more than 25 protracted and post-conflict countries in Africa, Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, conducting a range of developmental programs to assist communities attempting to find durable solutions to conflict.The nature of conflict in the world is changing, impacting communities in very different ways than past wars. Environmental change and urbanization are relatively modern forces of conflict and displacement that have entered the global stage joining the traditional causes: weak to poor governance, ethnicity, religion and nationalistic ideologies. Modern wars no longer take place on the battlefield. In the wars of the 1950’s, the death rate of soldiers to civilians was 9 to 1. Today, the reverse is true: for every soldier killed, nine civilians die.
Civilians are often targeted in internal civil conflicts and the broader forces of environmental change and urbanization do not discriminate between those dressed in uniforms and those who are not. The root causes of today’s conflicts will not be quickly extinguished; conflicts will be long-term, with lasting consequences. In modern warfare countries are not only physically destroyed, but the human capital and social fabric are torn asunder.As a result of these changing forces, assistance to war impacted communities cannot solely be provision of humanitarian assistance. Assistance must also attempt to restore and strengthen physical and social institutions, as well as (re) build and restore social cohesion, trust and confidence between people and between people and their institutions. It is through these combined efforts that we can perhaps best help

5.1 Social programs: International Redcross Committee places specific emphasis on rebuilding the health, public infrastructure and education sectors, linking grass-roots interventions with sustainable development. Additionally, we are committed as an organization to working with communities on programming surrounding gender based violence beyond emergencies. 5.2 Economic programs Extreme poverty, exacerbated by the socio-economic impact of war, can create precisely the framework conducive to renewed violence. If stability is ever to hold and reconstruction is to be sustainable, then effort must focus on rebuilding the livelihoods and economic development capacity of conflict-impacted communities. One of the key issues in post-conflict societies is that of youth unemployment. Commonly in these settings, youth comprise a large proportion of the population and often head households. IRC’s Economic Recovery & Development programs are implemented using field tested best practices for economic and livelihood recovery and development. 5.3 Governance programsEvidence shows that most of today's conflicts are the result of failed states and repressive or dysfunctional systems, and that when good governance principles are applied and supported by a functioning civil society and the rule of law, disputes can be resolved through peaceful means and socio-economic development can flourish. IRC seeks to assist communities not only after, but also during conflict to create basic institutions responsive to the populations' needs, to ensure communities have a voice within those institutions, and that they have the capacity to manage them for their own socio-economic development. This is expressed in programs aiming at supporting civil society, enhancing protection and the RoL, and rebuilding ties between local governments and their constituencies, especially in conjunction with decentralization policies.
Most of the conflicts that Africa and its countries like Tanzania are witnessing have their root causes from the legacy of colonial era.The devastation from such conflicts justifies for remedial and compensation from the former colonial powers just as they have done to some Asian countries.African countries should demand compensation from the damages from the conflicts caused by the European nations.

Friday, December 12, 2008



This paper discusses about participatory needs assessment which has been conducted at the shehia of Mtofaani. In this study, the author has provided the results of participatory needs assessment that contains information regarding the shehia of Mtofaani and Mtofaani Development Community (MDECO). The Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was applied to conduct the participatory assessment. PRA was chosen due to its richness in a number of techniques that can be used to collect the required data or information. In addition, it was carried out in order to identify key stakeholders and establish an appropriate framework for their participation in the project to be jointly formulated/designed and ensure smooth implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Further, PRA was used to serve as an effective means of facilitating shared decision-making and empowerment of communities, contributing to a shifting of power and control from outside interveners to the local people. The assessment was conducted through various techniques including;
i. community and social mapping,
ii. Pair wise and wealth ranking.
iii. Focused group discussions
iv. Interviews both structured, non and/ or semi structured
v. Transect walks
vi. Through the use of questionnaires
vii. Etc.
The study is intended to explore the suitable ways regarding community participation and involvement into various social and economic activities, which eventually will contribute in improving community’s socioeconomic and living standards. The area of focus is to increase community participation into socioeconomic programmes. The Vision of the Shehia is to ensure that, ‘The people are well served through provision of quality social and economic services’. To attain the Vision, the community requires to be mobilized so that they participate into various activities in the shehia. It is the purpose of the study to mobilize the community and play their active role in rehabilitating the feeder road. The proposal to rehabilitate the shehia’s main feeder road has emerged from a collaborative process and has been shaped by a broad range of informed perspectives. The CED participant apart from collaborating with the community and their local leaders, also, collaborated closely with the Commission for Roads Construction and Maintenances especially in designing the rehabilitation and the logical squence of works to be done


The main objectives of conducting participatory needs assessment include:
Identifying key characteristics of the community and their local leaders
Ø Assess the needs and demands of different groups within the community
Ø Learn about the community strength and weaknesses so as to be able to design an appropriate intervention for improving the situation.
Ø Identify current or on going initiatives implemented by the community within the shehia
Four types of assessments were conducted. Areas covered include:
Community, economic, environmental as well as health assessments.

During participatory assessment, amongst others, the researcher used both qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect the required information. A range of techniques were used to gather the information. Such techniques include; direct observation, interview, focus group discussions of 5 to 10 people per group were conducted and group members were given a specific issue in the are of community, health, environment or economy to brainstorm and come up with concrete argument on the matter. Qualitative method facilitated the extraction of valuable information regarding the core problem affecting Mtofaani residents. It helped to keep the researcher more focused on his research purpose. Also quantitative and library research(consulting available literatures) methods were applied in order to benefit from the strengths of the these methods. The decision to use both methods was due to lesson learnt from other researchers who combined both of them during their research works especially Davidson (1992) and Atlareb(1997)

As mentioned above, that the shehia of Mtofaani has five hamlets or sheha’s administrative zones. The five hamlets have a thousand households and having about five thousand four hundreds people. Because of resources constraints particularly time and funds, only fifteen (15)households that consisted almost about fifty respondents who were systematically selected as true representatives of the target population(Mtofaani community) under investigation. The sampling frame consisted of all Mtofaani residents. Because of time and other resource constraints or limitation, then the multi phase or multi stage-sampling method was employed. Each sample from the five hamlets was carefully studied. Two households (2) were selected from each hamlet and were carefully studied. These households consisted of five adults of both sexes

During the community assessment, focus was put on examining if there is volunteerism spirit, kinds of activities performed, sources of income, poverty level, causes of poverty, problems facing the community and which among them that requires urgent intervention and so forth. In addition, we tried to see how the decision making process is done, safety issues, comparison of living standards and costs with other areas. Also, we looked at the land use and housing status and assessed the level and availability of socio economic infrastructures that are needed to improve the welfare of the people.

The collected data/ information were processed and analyzed through SPSS, Ms.Project, and finally presented through tables, graphs, pie charts, etc

The local leadership should see the importance of wider involvement of community members in decision-making. Although agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in the shehia, the economy needs to be diversified and should encourage introduction of other sectors like trade.

Although, there is some sort of strong leadership, issues are not moving, as the majority would expect. There is lack of regular meetings between the leaders and the members of the community such that the community members have missed the opportunity where they could share their views. Decisions on matters affecting the entire community are not done in a participatory manner; it is the leader who decides on behalf of the majority.

Lack of regular feedback and wider involvement of the members of the community were reported as the sources of the stresses. Some of the members are nostalgic on the situation.

It was established that there is little involvement of the community on issues regarding their development issues. As you can see community, involvement is only fourteen(14) percent. On the other hand eighty six (86 percent) have complained that they were not fully involved. Lack of involvement of the community denies them on the opportunity to contribute their ideas and views on how community problems can be addressed. The communities are the masters of their own destine so no one can speak on their behalf(Iyeteku, Emmanuel(2005):Human Development Programs in Niger Delta. Also, poor community involvement may suggest that decision making process is top down. Meaning that, the community members are order takers.

During the economic assessment, examination or concentration was on the economic base of the shehia. We looked at the kinds of activities performed by the people throughout of the year. In addition, we focused on availability of enabling environment that can assist the people to engage on productive or business opportunities. The feeder roads within the shehia are on terrible conditions. The community cannot engage itself to rehabilitation activities due to chronic poverty where fifty percent of the residents are below poverty line(HBS 2004/05, MKUZA 2006). Hence required introduction of income generating activities which will help them to improve their economic status and be able to participate fully in their shehia development activities.
To understand the employment level, we were interested to know the employment level among the community members, as you can recall from the previous report that most of the people are peasants and the remaining are either self-employed or working in the private sector. In addition, we were eager to know the sources of income and how such income is spent and for what purposes. During our discussion and other conversations we had with the community, we wanted to know if members were able to operate any income-generating activities. In addition, we wanted to know if the community was able to access whatever kinds of loans whether soft or otherwise, so that they can utilize in establishment of economic ventures.

5.1 Methods Used
Survey method: This was employed to facilitate the understanding of the economic situation and related problems affecting the community. This included the field survey of important areas used by community to conduct business activities. The areas visited include the bricks making sites which are many as compared to other shehias in the Magharibi(West) district. Other places include petty trade areas and so forth.
Secondary data analysis: Particularly from MKUZA Coordination Office which has done several findings in collaboration with the Office of Chief Government Statistician and PAC Foundation which have conducted the participatory poverty assessment survey in 2003/04
Field Study and Transect walk: These methods were employed in order to have greater knowledge on the situation of poverty and unemployment status in the community and offered the on-the-spot learning and familiarization of the various issues affecting the economic status of the people.

5.2 Research Tools:
Various tools were used for data collection. Survey questionnaires were developed and distributed to the selected respondents. We used a sample of fifty (50) respondents due to time limitation but with true representation of the community under study. The copy of the questionnaire is appended herewith.
Semi – structured dialogue: This was used as one of the tool in participatory method. The intention was to allow deeper analysis of the underlying issues that were intended to be investigated.


It indicates that half of the active labour force are engaged on informal sector. Given the nature of the informal sector in most of the developing countries being poorly developed, it can be strongly concluded that most of the residents are poor and cannot afford make substantial contribution towards their development.

Ø Almost half of the members are under poverty line (spending less or an American dollar for a day!
Ø The community experiencing poor purchasing power due to poverty and most of their children attends government schools, which are poorly performing in the national examinations.
Ø Community members do not access attractive loans to assist them in their initiatives to fight poverty. Loans from credit financial institutions such as Self Revolving Fund, Changamoto, PRIDE or Poverty Africa are so small to have an impact to the community.
Ø Reasonable loans are not available due to unavailability or lack of collatoral.
Ø Rapid expansion has affected availability of open space where school or health and/ or solid waste disposal facilities can be constructed. Almost ninety (90) percent of the residents are self-employed into small petty businesses.

Ø Being closer to Zanzibar Town, community members can access unskilled employment and sustain their families, also have a great chance of recovring their initial start up capital.
Ø The activeness of Mtofaani Development Community (MDECO) inspires the community with new hope of success
Ø MDECO is in a right position to bring changes in the community due to the fact that, it is used as a think tank to the community.

Transect walk: To assess the environmental situation, the CED participant took a purposely walk across the shehia where he obtained the clear picture of the area.
Observation Method: This method was used based on the arguments propounded forward by Goode J.W and Paul K.(1989) that, science begins with observation and must ultimately return to observation for its final validation. So observation, contributed to clearly understanding of the environmental situation in the shehia. The research took note on the prevailing environmental conditions and had formal discussions with the community and local leaders to have their views regarding pertinent environmental issues. Through observation, the researcher investigated on how the environmental associated threats are happening and through joint discussion scrutinize on possible factors that can help to redress the trend.

Due to rapid expansion in settlement, there has been faster depletion of permanent trees especially coconut and clove trees that have been cut to pave areas for constructions of housing. Fertile land suitable for farming also has been occupied for construction of residential houses. On water, the community is very much been blessed as have five reliable sources of water where the government has constructed five water pumps which are supplying water to Urban district Unguja. On the other hand, ecosystem might be at risk due to faster depletion of permanent and artificial trees. In addition, lack of disposable facility for solid waste poses another danger as it can lead to air pollution and other unpredictable associated health diseases. The community calls upon their leaders to designate an official solid waste disposal facility to rescue health of the people and avoid air pollution.
In addition to these, other factors include:
Ø Poor construction of settlements has contributed to soil erosion across the shehia
Ø Shehia rural/ feeder roads have been seriously damaged by soil erosion due to lack of construction plan and permit
Ø Lack of official designated solid waste discharge facility
Human settlement has contributed to depletion of permanent trees

6.2.1 Environmental stress.
Ø Poverty is the main sources of environmental problems. The available statistics from MKUZA and OCGS revealed that 49 percent of the Zanzibaris live below the poverty line [MKUZA(2004) Annual Implementation Report, HBS 2004/05].
Ø Sand digging and rapid expansion on construction of settlements exacerbates environmental degradation
Ø Poor housing and land use planning has facilitated to unnecessary settlement expansion into agricultural fertile lands within the shehia
Ø The community needs environmental education in order to get rid of the negative consequences that are expected because of unsustainable use of natural resources. In this regard, arrangement for business settlement is very pre-requisite as an alternative source of income.

Ø Poverty is a hindering factor for the community to participate into environmental conservation and economic generating programmes.
Ø Lack of NGOs focusing on environmental issues
Ø Poor awareness on environmental conservation windows
Ø Ineffective campaign on community mobilization for environmental issue Depletion of permanent trees due to rapid expansion of unplanned settlement
Ø Lack of official designated solid waste disposal facility
Ø Rapid population increase is a cause of rapid expansion

7.2.3 Environmental Assets:
Ø The shehia is a rural based, afforestation is quite possible in this locality
Ø Presence of East African tall coconut tree
Ø Community leadership have to re-emphasize on replanting of the East African tall coconut trees
Ø Availability of open space for allocation of solid waste discharge facility

Health assessment was undertaken to identify the types and sources of health stresses in the shehia. In addition, the researcher was much interested to understand on the types of health facilities and their levels of competency in terms of services they offer if exists. To obtain the required information, the researcher opted into focus group discussion as an effective qualitative method for data collection. Group members were given specific topic to guide the discussion. Through such discussions, in-depth information on the topic was extracted. Groups of up to five to six participants were formed. They composed of both sexes, ordinary and elites so as to share their knowledge and facts. Other methods used include; the use of unstructured interviews. The issues investigated focused on the availability of health facilities, kinds of health services, distance travelled to the nearest facilities, any difficulties associated to health facilities and examining the qualities of services

Resource mapping exercise was done jointly between the community and the CED course participant. The main purpose was to demonstrate the various resource which are available in the shehia. Issues that were intended are socioeconomic infrastructures including roads, health( clinics, dispensaries, hospitals) facilities, and so forth. Through discussion, members were able to identify the classification of the facilities, I mean the nature of the facilities whether they are government or privately owned. Members, also, discussed the levels that is been first line, second or otherwise. Resource maps were used as baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of health facilities in the shehia.

8.2.2 Social mapping: Social maps in this particular exercise were used to find out the level of vulnerability among members due to either difficulties in accessing health services. The maps that were drawn contributed in provision of opportunities among the involved parties in understanding the readiness and willingness of the community members to ensuring the availability of health facilities within their locality.

8.2.3 Transect walk: This was applied to enable the researcher to walk around the area under investigation. The researcher had also an opportunity to meet various people and had conversation with them regarding his mission to the shehia. This tool facilitated to understanding clearly the area whether it has health facilities or not.

The shehia does not have any government owned health facility.
There two dispensaries which hardly can handle minor cases
The majority of the people are poor and are likely not able to afford the costs of health services.
The poor conditions of the feeder roads causes serious problems to move faster to competent health facilities in case of complications

Weak community leadership

Poverty hinders community contribution to development activities in the shehia.
Lack of solid waste disposal facility is also a menace to shehia residents, especially during rain seasons where eruptions of cholera and other water borne diseases are frequently reported.
There is rapid influx of rural people. This trend puts it in a high risk of spread of STIs/STDs due to increasing number of prostitutes ( Mtofaani shehia local leaders,2007).

· There are two privately owned health facilities (dispensaries).
· In case of health related problems, patients gets medical consultations at the Welezo military based health facility.
· Mnazi Mmoja General hospital, can be accessed easily if you compare with other shehias which are located far from Zanzibar Town.

Pair wise problem ranking was applied to identify the critical problem that needed urgent intervention.

Out of the above problem, rehabilitation of the main feeder road the one, which bisects the shehia, requires urgent attention to rehabilitate it. Second into profile that required attention, include provision of social facilities such as health and education, and income generating programs .After conducting the participatory assessments as discussed above, it was noted that, members of the community and the entire residents were willing to participate into their shehia development activities. However, poverty was a hindering factor. So, the community proposed to have an income generating kind of a project through rehabilitation of the shehia main feeder road.

The above-mentioned problems were reported to occur due to a number of factors, poverty being one of the main causes. Poverty has frustrated all community initiatives that is why the community does not have the required infrastructures especially social and economic infrastructures. Other factors reported include; weak leadership, poor advocacy and mobilization strategy. The communities were available to participate into development issues but were not well mobilized

Generally, the assessment has illustrated the multifaceted socio-economic problem facing the shehia of Mtofaani community members The above discussion reveals the fact that, the area of intervention is economically handcaped due to poor transportation infrastructure. Fully implementation of the proposed project shall contribute in improving the economic situation and welfare of the community.Currently, most of the community members are not completely satisfied with their local economy. Some want more job opportunities or income growth for that will sustain them and mitigate the scornge of poverty. The project will have positive impact as it will benefit half of the entire residents especially women, children/ youth. On the other hand, it will help them to plan carefullly concerning their environment and quality of life and the economic growth has to reflect those concerns.

The problems identified need joint efforts by different stakeholders, to organize the existing resources and see how best the resources can be utilized to solve the problems.