Kondoa district imageBolisa village is in Kolo Ward in Kolo Division. The feeder road runs from Kondoa town, through the village and on to the Great North Road that runs between Dodoma and Arusha. It is in a very bad condition and is impassable by vehicles during the rainy season.
Bolisa village is only 7km from Kondoa town, and is located within the Kondoa Eroded Area (KEA) at S 04º 49′ 40.7″ E 035º 48′ 32.1″. The area was highly eroded until de-stocking occurred as part of the HADO project. Since the de-stocking program there has been improvement in the vegetation cover although the area is still characterised by deep gulley erosion. The predominant activity in the village is agriculture although there are some small herds.
The area is characterised by hills and valleys and it is this landform that is thought to have contributed to the high level of erosion that occurred in the area. There are no areas of closed canopy forest although the hill to the north is lightly wooded. There is one main road that leads to the village and through to the main Kondoa-Arusha road to the north-east. The village does receive power although only houses along the road are connected. The power lines come from Kondoa. The village has a piped water supply but temporary wells are also dug in the river bed in order to access water for washing.
All agriculture is rain-fed and so dependent on the vagaries of the weather. Poor soil quality and erosion means that vast areas are unsuitable for grazing and only small herds are held by villagers. Erosion has also led to a lack of resources such as wood for fuel or building. Wood is collected from all over the surrounding area and the lack of wood means that it is not possible to turn one area over to this activity. The hill to the north has been used for wood collection but the low biomass is not sufficient to support all the villager’s requirements. There is evidence of tree planting in the village but again this would not be sufficient to support the villager’s needs.
There is supposed to be no grazing in the village because of de-stocking but the area to the west beyond the river-bed was being used to graze cattle. East of the river bed the land is used predominantly for agriculture with housing centred along the road. Beyond the road to the east all activities are agricultural stretching up to the hills in the distance. Smaller livestock are kept within the village and fed on grass cut from the surrounding area. The by-product of sunflower oil production is also used as livestock feed for these animals.
The village is a traditional one. It is a registered village under villagization Act of 1975. The name of the village is derived from a vegetable that was plentiful in the area and collected by the Chasi tribe. Although traditionally land was considered the property of the chief, in reality it was individually owned and inherited from parents. However certain identified areas were under direct control of the chief. Such areas included reserve forests along and around water sources, hills and mountains and areas selected for traditional rituals and for sacrifices. In reserved forests only the collection of dry firewood was permitted.
Human population, ethnicity and settlement pattern
The village has 253 households and a population of 2500 people (according to the 2000 count). The village has 3 sub-villages, namely Itongwi, Matitimu and Mlanga. All the villagers belong to the Rangi tribe. Farming and livestock keeping are the only occupations. Crops produced include sorghum, millet, maize, beans, sunflower, simsim seeds, cassava and groundnuts. Livestock kept includes cows, goats, sheep, donkeys and chickens.
Land is obtained through inheritance, therefore there is no public land set aside for distribution for those without land or to newcomers into the village. There is also no partitioning of areas in the village for agriculture, grazing or residential purposes since the individual who inherits the land will determine its use.
Land is already under pressure from an increasing population within the village and from livestock already present, so it is unable to accommodate immigrants. Villagers with large herds had to de-stock as part of the HADO initiatives or move to other villages or districts where they could acquire enough land. Therefore there is emigration from this village to other areas but no immigrants from other villages.
Present village administration
The village government has three major committees, which administer village affairs. These are Finance and Planning, Defence and Security, and Social Services. In each main committee there are sub-committees. The social services committee has the biggest responsibility when compared to the other two and therefore has five sub-committees. These committees have the role of resolving the conflict related to their areas of their responsibility.
Ownership, use and management of common pool resources
Common pool resources
The villagers and key informants interviewed consider the following as CPR.
Land is managed by the village government. However this village has no land for public purposes except for burial and for cultural rites and rituals. When the village government wants land for village projects, such as the construction of a school or dispensary, the village government calls a village general meeting to discuss the acquisition of land. The villagers then contribute to a fund which is used to reimburse the villager who has volunteered their land.
There are natural forests, which have been left to regenerate. These include the allocated lands for burial purposes, hills and mountains, the land set aside for traditional rites, rituals and sacrifice offerings, and land along water sources. Formerly, such areas were under the control of the chief reigning at that particular time. Such areas are now under the authority of the village government and the villagers have the overall responsibility for the care of these areas. Nobody is allowed to go into these reserved areas other than to collect firewood from fallen trees.
Before the beginning of the HADO Project, over 80% of villagers had livestock. After the start of the project the villagers were ordered to de-stock and zero grazing was introduced so the number of livestock per household was reduced to a maximum of five. Even so, the distribution of milk goats by the HADO Project has actually helped to improve milk supply in the village when compared to the situation before de-stocking.
Water supply is a major issue in this village and people rely on water from hand dug-wells in riverbeds to provide water for domestic use and to water livestock.
Past, present and future influences on resource use and management systems that impact on poverty alleviation
Various factors were identified that influence resource use and management and impact negatively on food security and income earning for poverty alleviation.
Different leadership and differing interests among village government leaders
All the villagers depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. In the past there was free access to the resources for all villagers without consideration of status. This system continued for some time even after independence. It is still common in villages with large areas of land for farming and for livestock grazing. However, this practice is dying out because the increasing population is creating a resource shortage. Resources are now owned by individuals, which makes the leadership concentrate more on individual conflict resolution rather than the distribution of resources.
Drought caused by climatic changes
Rainfall shortage has affected crop production as well as income generation since there is a lack of alternative sources for income generation.
Imposed technical solutions
The village is within the area covered by the HADO project. As part of the HADO initiatives there has been de-stocking, the introduction of zero grazing and the distribution of milk goats to replace lost livestock. There have also been changes in farming practices, including farming by contour to control soil erosion and soil fertility, the use of manure instead of artificial fertilizers and the planting of trees in and around homesteads and farms. There is also strict control of activities on hills and mountains to allow the regeneration of natural forests.
As a result of these initiatives there has been improved control of soil erosion and fertility. There is also an improved supply of milk because the introduction of better quality milk goats, which also act as a source of income generation. Zero grazing has helped to improve the quality the remaining livestock, making them easily marketable at better prices. Zero grazing has also meant that land which was used for grazing has improved and is now available for agriculture. Use of animal manure has improved farming methods and crop production. De-stocking has also meant that the villagers use the time that was spent tending livestock for other economic activities like farming.
The availability of trees through forest regeneration has led to the development of honey production. This increased tree cover also means that firewood, which was extremely scarce before the start of HADO project, can now be obtained easily and at a reasonable distance.
The traditional accepted ways of resource sharing
Access to resources was free for all villagers. Those who came as migrants had free access to resources as well as long as they sought permission from the ruler /chief of that area. Resources such as grazing land, water sources and forest products were shared as long as everyone kept to the accepted norms for resource use like no tree cutting at or around water sources and no tree cutting in reserved forests.
Norms regulating resource use
The traditional norms for resource use have been passed down the generations and are not very different from the present laws implemented by the village government. These norms are generally prohibitive and do not allow trees to be cut or cattle grazing in forest reserves. The norms also prevent the grazing of cattle on other peoples farmland. Permission can be given enter forest reserves for firewood collection or for timber cutting for construction and brick burning.
There are government procedures in place for conflict resolution and these start at the level of sub-village. There has never been a case serious enough to require resolution at district level. Zero grazing means that there are no loose livestock so conflict between farmers and livestock keepers is rare. Since all the villagers belong to the same tribe and practice both agriculture and pastoralism it is relatively easy to resolve conflicts.
The village militia are supposed to catch and take to court anyone found breaking the by-laws of the HADO project. However, it is difficult for the militia to report their relatives if they catch them breaking the law. It then becomes difficult for the villagers to enforce the by-laws. The HADO forest officers have had more success in enforcing the by-laws but with the assistance of the police instead of the village militia so as to avoid unnecessary friction. A common problem cited is the lack of punishment of offenders. The village may catch an offender and take them to court only to find that they are released without any form of punishment for their actions. This demoralizes the villagers because it sends out the message that the by-laws are not adequately enforced and the laws can be broken.
Other problems include:
- Transport difficulties due to the poor access road to the village
- The loss of crops to insect pests like termites and locusts
- A dependence for water on hand-dug wells in the riverbed, which are not reliable during the dry season and are hazardous to health
- Food shortages caused by drought or because too much rainfall destroys crops
- The lack of a health facility in the village, which means that villagers must walk long distances for treatment
- A lack of access to credit, which means that there are no small income generating activities
- No market for crops since the collapse of the cooperative union
- Poor quality houses due to lack of money
- Low quality education for children because of the lack of funds for parents to buy text books
The village doesn’t have a dispensary so there are no official records for disease prevalence in the village. However, diseases mentioned by villagers and elders include Malaria, diarrhoea and on rare occasions an out-break of cholera.
Financial benefits accrued from natural resources
No fee or payment is imposed on land. All the land is in the possession of individuals, therefore the village authority has no land unallocated in its possession. Because all land is privately owned land is rented, usually by immigrants or farmers from Kondoa. The prices charged per acre depend on individual agreements. On average an acre costs between 3,000-5,000 TAS per season, irrespective of the crop sown. Rents are always paid in cash rather than through harvested crops because of the unpredictable weather. Land for sale costs 100,000 TAS or more per acre.
Under HADO initiatives access to forest products is restricted by by-laws and licences. If a villager wants to cut trees for domestic uses (cooking, burning bricks, etc.) they must apply to the village executive officer (VEO) for a permit, explaining the demand. The VEO then provides a letter for the HADO office. HADO identifies the tree to be pruned (no stems must be cut) and the villager must pay 1,000 TAS per tree. This money goes to the District Council.
The village depends on seasonal streams that cut across the village and three wells for water. The streams dry up in the dry season. The three wells were dug with the assistance of a Belgian NGO called BSF in 1996. Each household contributed 1,000 TAS to raise the 50,000 TAS required for each well and the remaining costs were met by BSF. So that the use of the wells may be sustainable each villager has to contribute 1,000 TAS every year. This money is kept in a bank account in Kondoa and is managed by the water committee. Continuing bad weather and the subsequent poor harvest and financial earnings of the villagers has meant that no contributions were made between 1997 and 2000. At present the balance of the account is 98,000 TAS. This money is intended to be used to maintain the wells including servicing the pumps, and to cover daily allowances to committee members when they travel to Kondoa to bank or withdraw money from the account. Each is paid 1,000 TAS per day in town.
Grazing of animals on open land is strictly prohibited. Villagers are required to keep livestock contained in corrals (zero grazing). To enforce this, fines and penalties have been implemented under HADO initiatives. If a villager is caught grazing cattle by the village militia (Mgambo) or HADO forest officers they are taken to the ward court (Baraza la Kafa) or to the primary court in Kondoa. In the ward court everyone caught and found guilty is fined 10,000 TAS per fault. In the primary court the fines range between 10,000 – 300,000 TAS depending on the case and the degree of destruction.
Money collected through fines from the ward court goes to the District Council and is used to fund development projects. Part of the money is used to pay the ward court members and the Mgambo. Each is paid an allowance of 1,000 TAS for each case they have participated in. Money collected through the primary court is divided equally between the District Council and central government. Of the 50% allocated to the District Council 10% is equally distributed to all the villages under the HADO programme. The village authority has stated that the amount allocated to them is very small and sometimes it is never received. The money that is obtained is used to run village authority activities.
Agro-pastoral villagers look on the HADO project and its restrictions as a setback to their financial well being. They would prefer to keep larger herds of cattle. Therefore, land under common management is associated with less financial returns for pastoralists.
Identification of the poor
The village leaders identified wealth based on the following criteria.
Wealth ranking by villagers
Kondoa district imageThe village is in Bumbuta Ward in Bumbuta Division. It is located about 10 km the Great North Road to Arusha. The village borders Kisaki village in the north-west, Salare village in the south, Mamo village in the east, and Mahongo village in the north.
Bumbuta village is 50km from Kondoa at S 04º 38′ 37.3″ E 035º 56′ 59.4″ and falls outside the Kondoa Eroded Area (KEA). The villagers are mainly agro-pastoral with both cattle grazing and agriculture conducted in the village. Land used for grazing and agriculture is generally clearly defined but other activities such as wood gathering is carried out over all the surrounding area. There is one road to the village from the main Arusha-Kondoa road. There is no power supply to the village, probably because of its remote location. The village is on a hill that slopes downwards from east to west with housing and farming activities carried out on the higher ground. The village is bordered by hills that extend from the west to the south of the village.
The village is dependent on rainfall for agriculture as there is no irrigated land. Therefore, agricultural activities and food provision are likely to be insecure. Like most of the other areas visited, Bumbuta village has been subject to drought in recent years although this year the improved rains have lead to greater agricultural activity. Farming is carried out on the higher land to the east with the lower lying grassland used for grazing cattle. It is likely that the grassland is seasonally inundated, making it the most suitable area for cattle grazing. There is also a dammed water source that provides water for cattle in this area. The miombo woodland in the north east is likely to provide wood for fuel and building for the village although much of the surrounding area is probably used to provide sufficient supplies.
The village was created in the mid 1950’s by migrants from Upper Irangi. They moved into this area because population growth meant that there was an increased demand for agricultural and grazing land in Upper Irangi. In addition, the de-stocking programme introduced during colonial times meant that the indigenous population had to either substantially reduce their herds to a maximum of five per person or move to another area large enough to support large herds of cattle. The village was officially registered during the Ujamaa Villagization Act of 1975.
Human population, ethnicity, and settlement pattern
The village has 567 Households and a population of 3,558 people (according to 1999 counts). The village has 4 sub-villages, namely Bumbuta A, Bumbuta B, Gumbali and Mkundulu. The village inhabitants are mainly agro-pastoral, with about 80% of villagers keeping livestock.
Land is generally partitioned for specific uses. Land for agricultural activities was originally set aside for that use when the village was first created. There is also an area set aside for grazing livestock and farming here is prohibited. Housing is concentrated in the centre of the village although some households have to live on their farms because of the lack of space. All social services facilities such as the dispensary, school, and village government and ward offices are located in the centre.
There are short-term migrants who come to this village to borrow land for agricultural activities. However, there is no land available for allocation to newcomers who wish to settle in the village. Anyone intending to live in the village must be able to purchase land from the current owners.
Present village administration
The village government is composed of three major committees that administer village affairs. These are Finance and Planning, Defence and Security, and Social Services. Each committee is made up of sub-committees, which have the role of executing various activities. The social services committee has the most responsibilities in the village and therefore has the most sub-committees.
Ownership, use and management of common pool resources
Common pool resources
The interviewed villagers and village leaders identified the following as common pool resources.
While individual villagers own land privately for farming, the village government owns the land encompassing the forest reserve and pasture used for grazing livestock. This area is not under the HADO project so there is no programme to reserve areas for forest and no programme for land conservation. Renting land is a common practice in the village. Rent is usually 10,000 TAS per acre per season although labour can be offered as an alternative to money.
The area identified for livestock grazing is also considered to be the village forest reserve. No one is allowed to cut trees without the village governments permission. Villagers generally depend on the trees within and around their homes for firewood and timber for building or for burning bricks.
Although the majority of the villagers have cattle, there are a few who don’t. However, there is a system where villagers with a lot of livestock lend cattle to those who have none. This is especially useful as bulls can be used to pull ploughs and so help to cultivate a large area of land relatively quickly. This system can be used to raise capital through charging to plough land so that those without cattle can buy their own livestock. Tending cattle for the livestock owner is another way that villagers can get cattle of their own since some of the offspring are used as payment. In this way the community manages the resource through sharing and conflicts are minimal.
The village depends on water from two deep wells, one dug in 1955 by the colonial government and the other dug in 1974 by the Ministry of Water. There is also a dam that supplies water for domestic use and livestock, which was constructed in the 1950s. The first well is located in sub-village Bumbuta A and is used only by this sub-village. The second well serves the three other sub-villages. Each well has its own water committee with six members, including three women, and each well has a water account. Water is sold throughout the year for both domestic use and for cattle, although it is in greater demand during the dry season. The money raised is used to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the wells.
Past, present and future influences on resource use, and management systems that impact on poverty alleviation
Low population and fewer livestock meant that there was little or no pressure on resources and so minimal degradation. In most cases resources were shared equally in the village. However, population growth and an increase in livestock means that there is an increased demand for resources. This has lead to a shift from sharing to individual ownership. Now all available land is in use, including those areas that were formerly reserved, except for land used for burial and traditional rituals, rites and sacrifice. Although there is village land set aside for grazing cattle this is now being invaded for farming activities. Future land use will be determined by the increasing demand but resources will be depleted as a result. Already the demands placed on land is leading to soil infertility and the need to start implementing soil conservation measures. It seems likely that de-stocking measures will have to be considered in the future.
Imposed technical solutions
Since this village is outside the HADO project area, there have been no technical solutions imposed to deal with problems from resource use such as soil erosion and deforestation.
Climate change and the lack of alternative sources of income
The area has only one rainy season between December and April. The rest of the year is dry and farming is not possible. The lack of credit and financial capacity means that there are no alternative activities for income generation during the dry season.
Norms regulating resource use
There are norms in place that regulate resource use. These norms cover the use of farming land, grazing land, reserved land and forests. The norms prohibit the villagers from grazing their livestock in the farming land. They are also forbidden from cutting the trees in the reserve/grazing area unless they have a permit from the village government. Renting to those without resources to ensure appropriate sharing is also included in the norms regulating resource use.
The village government has the responsibility of resolving any conflicts in the village concerning resource use. When the village government can’t resolve the conflict, the ward administration is brought in. Where necessary the ward will involve the District Council or the courts. Generally, there are very few cases that need to be referred to court or to the District Council for resolution. In most cases problems are resolved at ward level. Issues referred to the court or district level, are usually very serious problems which need expertise or higher authority for resolution.
The villagers identified a number of factors that hinder development and perpetuate poverty. Obtaining firewood is a problem because there are no forest reserves in the village. Women have to walk long distances for up to 3 hours to collect firewood. Long periods of drought in the area have caused food shortages and have prevented villagers from earning money through the sale of crops. There is also a tendency in the courts to not uphold the village by-laws, thus making it difficult for villagers to institute them with effect. This loop-hole has allowed some people to conduct prohibited activities in the knowledge that there will be no redress. The result is that the villagers have become demoralised and this feeling has also spread to the village government and ward officers. Villagers would like to be educated on the latest land law and see the by-laws they implement upheld in court.
Key pressing problems as identified by villagers
- Crop destroying insects such as grasshoppers and termites
- The lack of transport facilities
- Food shortages due to drought
- Unreliable rains
- Firewood available only from great distances
- A lack of green vegetables in the dry season
- Distance between the village leadership and the people
- No unity among women because of the fear of witchcraft
- The lack of credit available to farmers
- No farm implements
- Market failure as prices do not help farmers to solve their problems of poverty
- The dip for livestock is not functioning
- Invasion of the grazing land for farming
Malaria is the biggest disease concern in Bumbuta. Other than malaria there are occasional outbreaks of diarrhoea and more rarely cholera.
Financial benefits accrued from natural resources
Farming land is all privately owned by villagers and farmers from neighbouring villages, like Pali, Haubi, Masawi, etc. No fee is charged for the possession of these farms. Most villagers acquired their farms during immigration to the village. During that period the population was still small. The situation now is that around 40% of villager’s own large farms of over 30 acres while 60% own farms of only 1-5 acres. Villagers who wish to cultivate more have to borrow land from those with bigger farms. The rent for an acre is 5,000 TAS per season irrespective of the crop planted. Rents can also be paid in piecework. For example, someone renting two acres would cultivate one for the landowner or someone renting an acre to cultivate would weed an acre being cultivated by the landowner. Cash payments are usually used when the farmer is an immigrant and so not always available to do piecework. Poor families usually get land in exchange for labour while richer families can pay cash. This system benefits poor families as they rarely have cash to rent land.
The village has no large tree forest reserves. The available forest is bushy and dedicated to grazing. No fee is imposed on the use of the forest and its products. Individuals can buy a tree for brick burning or other domestic uses from those villagers who have planted their own trees, at a cost of 4,000 – 5,000 TAS per tree.
Two boreholes were dug within the village. Colonialists constructed Kisima A in 1956 during the transfer of pastoralists to this area. The borehole stopped operating due to a damaged pumping machine. Kisima B at Mkundulu sub-village was constructed in the 1970’s by the government but due to age the pump also ceased to operate. In 1994 villagers, with the assistance of organisations under WAMMA (Water aid, Maendeleo ya Janui, maji na afya or Water Aid, Community Development, Water, And Health) contributed funds and rehabilitated the two wells, installing new pumps, constructing two reserve tanks and providing piped water to four delivery points in the village. Villagers around Kisima A (sub-villages Bumbuta A, B, and Gubali) made a contribution of 700,000 TAS, with each household contributing 2,000 TAS. Villagers around Kisima B (sub-village Mkundulu) made a contribution of 200,000 TAS. The balance was then made up by WAMMA. Water is sold at a selling point. A 20-litre bucket is sold for 5 TAS and watering cows is 5 TAS per head. Watering goats and sheep is free.
Two water committees oversee the operation of the wells, all under the village government. Each water committee has six members of which three are women. The committees use the money collected from the sale of water to purchase diesel, oil and filters for the pumps. The committees also pay a pump attendant, guards and sellers at the selling point. Five litres of oil purchased by the committees is used to pump water to the reserves. This water brings revenue of 10,800 TAS. Out of this money the pump attendant is paid 500 TAS and each seller is paid 250 TAS. The two guards are paid a monthly salary of 6,000 TAS each. The rest of the money is kept in a bank account in Kondoa. Each well has its own bank account. None of the money collected from water resources goes to the district council.
Identification of the poor
The villagers used the following indicators to identify wealth: the type of house, size of farm, livestock and plough ownership.