Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report
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Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report

Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report   In a recent workshop held in Dar es Salaam ( Tanzania), experts discussed the recent publication  of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance Tenure. Feature.   By Deodatus Mfugale in Dar Es Salaam “Inadequate and insecure tenure rights increase vulnerability, hunger and poverty and can lead to conflict and environmental degradation when competing users fight for the control of the resources,”  an  UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), published recently.   The eradication of hunger and poverty, and the sustainable use of the environment, depend to a great extent on how communities gain access to land, fisheries and forests which in turn is regulated by the exiting tenure systems. Tenure systems define and regulate how communities gain access to natural resources, whether through formal law or informal arrangements.   However tenure systems increasingly face stress as the world’s growing population requires food security, and as environmental degradation and climate change reduces the availability of land, fisheries and forests. This has sparked stiff competition for resources among the various users with marginalized communities getting a raw deal. Many developing countries are endowed with abundant natural resources that could be used to improve the lives of their people and boost the economy of the respective countries. Countries with natural resources like forests, land, fisheries and wildlife could be treading with firm steps on the path to sustainable development but are struggling to feed their people most of whom live in abject poverty. Governance failure in ensuring secure tenure and access to natural resources has denied Tanzanian rural communities from benefitting from existing sources of livelihoods. They have thus failed to attain food security and reduce poverty at family level. How to understand the management of natural resources?  In a recent workshop held in Dar es Salaam to discuss the report, Dr Zacharia Ngeleja of Ardhi University said that the Guidelines contribute to achieving sustainable livelihoods, social stability, housing security, rural development, environmental protection and sustainable social and economic development. While the Voluntary Guidelines merely present principles and internationally accepted standards for practices for the responsible governance of tenure, countries can develop their own strategies and other conditions that may ease the application of the Guidelines. During the workshop participants underscored the need to educate communities on laws, policies, rules and procedures governing tenure of land, forests and fisheries so that they understand their rights and obligations. “If they understand the issues then they can demand for tangible benefits from their responsibility to conserve natural resources and only then can Responsible Governance of Tenure come into play. It...

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Climate Change in Tanzania: Farmers are Waiting for solutions
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Climate Change in Tanzania: Farmers are Waiting for solutions

Climate Change in Tanzania:  Farmers are waiting for solutions By Deodatus Mfugale* The farmers in Nyamwage village in Tanzania are facing two challenges:  changing climate and a new disease is affecting the rice crops. The rainfall patten is a real problem in this village. Sometimes it rains unexpectedly: in June, while the rainy season had lond ended in the area and farmers had just harvested their crops , part of the crops was destroyed by “out-of -season rainfall”. These farmers do not know where to find alternatives and they feel left behind.         Deodatus Mfugale is an experienced freelance environmental journalist based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. He is a media consultant/trainer specializing in environment, climate change, extractives industry and investigative journalism. He works on voluntary basis with the Journalists Environmental Association Of Tanzania (JET) in the areas of writing features, editing and conducting short term training sessions. Currently, he writes as a correspondent for Daily News and The Guardian newspapers, two Tanzanian newspapers. But he was formerly employed by The Guardian Ltd where he served as a news editor, and a features editor before he resigned in 2009. He is now a Board Memberof Shahidi wa Maji (Water Witness). Between 2012 and 2014. He served as a Member to the Advisory Committee of the Climate Change Research, Education and Outreach Programme of the University of Dar es Salaam. He has attended many climate change meetings and other international...

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Small Grants to empower rural communities
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Small Grants to empower rural communities

Small Grants to empower rural communities By DeodatusMfugale Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. August, 30 2017 Recently the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) disclosed  5.2  billion shillings to 60 rural communities in Tanzania ( mainland  and Zanzibar), through the  the Global Environmental Facility Grants Programme(GEF). With these small grants, millions of rural Tanzanians will implement projects ranging from provision of sustainable energy to water supply and sanitation. Projects on climate change adaptation such as fish farming, beekeeping and horticulture will be implemented. These community-based activities in agriculture, fisheries, livestock management, agroforestry and solar energy are meant to address the direct needs of the rural poor. Additionally, other areas will be covered include conservation of water sources, ecotourism, promotion of land use planning and small and artisanal mining. Women empowerment These small grants will not only be able to positively impact the lives of millions of Tanzanians but these financial supports will  also gain valuable skills and experience to the communities on sustainable basis, according to the UNDP. In Western Kilimanjaro, for instance, part of the Lake Natron Ecosystem will focus on building the resilience of local communities to climate change impacts through their participation in development projects. Climate Action Network Tanzania is the lead partner in implementing this project that will promote appropriate ecosystem management through landscape planning. It will also promote gender mainstreaming in climate smart agriculture and other activities.This project aims also to provide space for women, men and youth. It will help them to participate fully in all activities. “It is important to fund activities among rural communities because they are part of the critical dimensions of development,” said the UNDP Officer In Charge, David Omozuafoh. To his view, this project will also protect indigenous knowledge on environment and natural resources and will establish community based ecosystem management committees, through education ( training, learning best practices. “Development activities at community level provide policy feedback on poverty eradication strategies whereas community-based experiences and ideas constitute building blocks for people-centred policies and strategies,” explained the UNDP officer.                      ...

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COP 23: Addressing  Loss and Damage in Tanzania
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COP 23: Addressing  Loss and Damage in Tanzania

COP 23: Addressing  Loss and Damage in Tanzania Many people remember the last rainy season in May. It has started unusually late. But it has affected people.There are views that the erratic rainy seasons and the high intensity of rainfall are caused by climate change and some negative impacts are now unavoidable. These consequences of human-induced climate change often result in loss and damage.  Analysis by DeodatusMfugale*.     Dar es Salaam July 14, 2017 Many people lost their property Many people remember the last rainy season in May. It has started unusually late. But it has affected people. Residents of Tanga city, located on the Tanzanian northern coast close to the Kenyan border, were pounded by  heavy downpour recently. It was not happened in this town  and around for over four decades. As a result, some sections of roads were washed away by floods while several houses were pulled down. Many people lost their property as some houses were submerged under floodwater. In other places, in one village in Kilimanjaro region, a pastoralist could do nothing but watch helplessly as some of his livestock disappeared during a night. A farmer in Mvomero district of Morogoro region also lost several hectares of maize crop after his farm became waterlogged following heavy rains. Experts said that maize plants cannot survive in pools of water. Several people also lost their lives due to severe flash floods. Agricultural productivity is hardly affected by climate change in Tanzania: soils can no longer support growth of traditional crops. It is forcing people to leave their villages . According to the Ministry for Environment, 61 percent of Tanzania suffer from desertification. “Desertification makes land unsuitable for agriculture and livestock keeping, and Rising sea levels threaten to sink island and saline water has infiltrated freshwater sources, said Sabine Minninger, Climate Change Policy Advisor, Bread for the World. She emphasized: “These have forced members of vulnerable communities to migrate to other areas where they have lost their identity.” Understanding Loss and Damage There are views that the erratic rainy seasons and the high intensity of rainfall are caused by climate change and some negative impacts are now unavoidable. These consequences of human-induced climate change often result in loss and damage.“Loss refers to things that are lost forever and cannot be brought back, such as human lives or species , while damages refer to things that are damaged, but can be repaired or restored, such as roads or embankments, ” explained Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Strengthening flood barriers, planting trees, using new crop varieties and other forms of adaptation...

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Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights
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Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights

Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights   By Deodatus Mfugale April 8 2017 Issues surrounding disputes over land ownership  are many in Tanzania and in Africa generally. From 2000 to 2010, several violent conflicts in various parts of Tanzania occurred between agribusiness investors and communities. The conflict thus involved three parties, the government, the investor and the local community. The villagers found that the government had colluded with the investor to deny them the right to own land. “The government had given us a raw deal. It was bad enough to sell the farm to the investor when people in the village needed that land. Giving the investor additional land made our situation worse,” said Alex Kyando, a resident of Kapunga village. In 2006 when the Tanzania government decided to privatize the Kapunga Rice Farm located in Mbeya Region ( Southern Highlands) to Export Trading Company, local communities were very disappointed and responded in a violent manner. In Babati District of Manyara Region, communities set on fire Tanzanian investor of Asian origin’s houses, stores, machinery, tractors. His relatives were also killed. The bloody incident was a climax of a long-standing conflict between the two parties: local communities alleging that the investor had unlawfully taken their land and they wanted it back. But the land was sold to the investor for a 100 years lease agreement. The local community originally offered the land to the government to create a state farm. But   the government had failed to manage it. Government Now things are changing and the demand by communities to uphold the right to own land is paying off.  In 2015,  the government declared that it would give back to the community the 1, 875 hectares of land that were sold to the investor of Kapunga Rice Farm which were over and above the original size of the farm. The government declaration became effective last year when the Minister responsible for lands announced that the parcel of land in question had been handed over to Mbarali District Council. “We have revoked the title deed for the land that was not originally part of Kapunga Rice Farm when it was sold to Export Trading Company. The Mbarali District Council will survey the land and give it back to the villagers,” said William Lukuvi, Minister for Lands. Arguments Until January this year, the survey had been completed and the land handed over to Kapunga Village Government for allocation to community members. Although there are complaints from some individuals that the allocation was not done fairly, most of the community members are happy with the government’s decision and the subsequent actions by...

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