Same District


Kadando village is in Maore Ward in Ndungu Division. It is about 65 km from Same town, which is the District headquarters, and 5 km from the Ward office in Maore. The village is located 3 km from the main road (Same-Gonja-Mnazi-Lushoto Road) on a poorly maintained seasonal earth road, which is impassable by vehicles during the rainy season. The village is a lowland village located in the Hingiriri River Basin and some parts of the village are only 12 km from Mkomazi Game Reserve. The vast land area of the village extends to Makokane, Mpirani and Msufini villages. Swift small rivers run across the village from the South Pare Mountains and the large Hingiriri River passes through this village and empties into Kalemawe Dam and thereafter into Mkomazi River.


Kadando is located near the border of Mkomazi Game Reserve at S 04° 18′ 40.2″ E 038° 03′ 29.2″. It is in a valley created by the Pare Mountains in the west and the Usambara Mountains in the east. Housing and social services are concentrated in one area within the village but land used for other activities is also classed as part of the village. Although the village is located in a lowland semi-arid area the Pare Mountains provide an important source of water that allows agricultural activities to be conducted. Further away from the Pare Mountains grassland predominates with scattered woodland and this is used for grazing livestock. This mosaic of ecological characteristics dictates the spatial arrangement of activities in the landscape.

The area in the north-west of Kadando is by far the most productive agriculturally and the supply of water from the Pare Mountains is redirected through irrigation canals to allow rice cultivation. Maize is also grown in rain-fed farms in this area. There is an obvious gradient in productivity from the slopes of the Pare Mountains, down through the village and out onto the grasslands and this is likely to be related to decreasing water availability. Grazing land is separated from agricultural land and is to the east in the extensive grasslands that lead to the Usambara Mountains. Wood for fuel is collected from the small forest inside the village and from wooded areas in the surrounding grassland although it is possible that Gonga Forest is also used as a source of firewood even though it is a protected forest.

There is only one road that leads from the main Same road to Kadando and it is difficult to navigate by vehicle since it is overgrown and bordered closely by farmland. There is also no power supply to the village although electricity is available along the main road. There are small watercourses that run through the village but water for domestic use is collected from piped water points supplied again with water from the Pare Mountains.

Village History

The village is a traditional village, which was formerly under the Chief of Gonja (Hon. Kigono Chuma). The village name “Kadando” reflects the nature of its feeder road. It is derived from a log placed at the entry point of the feeder road leading to the village. The log allowed people to cross a marshy, waterlogged area. This act of balancing on the log is known as “Kudanda” in Kiswahili hence the village was reachable only through Kudanda on a log. The Kudanda situation still persists especially for vehicles, which have to navigate cut-gullies and sandy loam soils at the entrance to the village.

In the traditional past, the chief was the custodian of the people’s land. He owned the land and assigned a land distributor who allocated land according to people’s needs. The land distributor (Mgawa) also allocated irrigation water, solved conflicts that arose over use of farm and grazing land and over the use of irrigation water. The village is at present a registered village under the Village and Ujamaa act (1975). The village government (VGT) now carries out the role of the Mgawa.

Human Population, Ethnicity and Settlement Pattern

The village has 450 households and 1500 people (1998 village count) who are concentrated at the centre of the four sub-villages called Kandando Kati, Marango, Hemisara and Rika. 30% of residents keep livestock. They are therefore agro-pastoral as the majority also farm.

The main ethnic groups are Pare, Sambaa and Kamba. The Kamba are originally from Kenya and were brought into the area during colonial times to work as foremen and labourers in sisal plantations in the nearby villages of Misufini and Ndugu as well as within Kadando in the former sugarcane plantations. The different ethnic groups have co-existed since colonial times and still live peacefully.

Different Pare ethnic groups are also represented here and own land. These are the Mbaga, Mrutu, Bwambo and Mjema. The Mjema is the indigenous group in this area. The four Pare ethnic groups were ruled by different chiefs who controlled different areas (Kimambo 1991). However under the 1928 efforts to unify the chiefs in the North and South Pare Districts the groups shared much of their environment. Even before the 1928 unification, intermarriages meant that the Pare ethnic groups shared much of their resources.

The Sambaa also are indigenous to the area. They have a long history in the Pare area, having lived here since the 1800s. Sambaa chiefs controlled some areas of the Pare Mountains and especially the plains from the Usambara Mountains to as far as Kisiwani village, which is 40 km from Same town. This control was in order to keep the Arab caravan routes open. Trade through a barter system between the Pare and Sambaa also encouraged Sambaa into the Pare area prior to the presence of Arabs in east Africa (Kimambo, 1991). It is no wonder that since this co-existence prior to colonialism and villagization, people of different ethnic groups consider themselves indigenous and own land outside the area of their tribal origin.

Housing settlements are arranged in such a way that it provides space for different land use activities. Hemisala and Marango sub-villages for example are rangeland and fuelwood collection areas. Kadando Centre is where much of housing and public facilities are located. Rika sub-village is where irrigation farming activities takes place.


Immigration into the village, according to the VGT, is approximately 10 people per year, mostly Sambaa from Mnazi in Lushoto District coming for rice cultivation. Some of these are temporal seasonal migrants who borrow or rent land for rice cultivation while some are seasonal labourers who then decide to stay. The area has vast fertile lands suitable for rainfed and irrigation farming. Favourable rains and extension of irrigation canals can attract a lot of new settlers with negative consequences on rangelands and existing forested areas.

Present Village Administration

The village government is composed of three major committees that administer village affairs. They are Finance, Economics and Planning, Self-help, and Defense and Security. Each of the committees has five members, two of which are women. Under the self-help committee, there is a sub-committee for construction that takes care of self-help activities in construction of public buildings (e.g. schools) as well as construction and repair of irrigation canals. Apart from the above formal committees, the village has a traditional cultural committee. The role of this committee is to monitor the behaviour of village government leaders in managing village affairs especially of natural resources, conflict resolution between neighbours and performing cultural services related to healing of the land. The latter role is related to preventive measures associated with overcoming natural disasters such as drought, insect pests, vermin and providing offerings to Gods who takes care of land and its productivity.

Ownership, use and management of common pool resources

Common pool resources (CPR)

According to villagers interviewed the following resources are considered to be CPR:

Forested village lands and rangelands.

Forested village lands are used for collection of fuelwood while in rangelands or grazing land people can cut down trees for different domestic uses. Cutting down of green trees in village-protected forests is prohibited and punished by law. Traditionally, cutting down of any type of large tree was prohibited and taboo. Other trees such as Ficus species, Vittellaliopsis kirkii (Back) Dubard (Msara), Sterculia appendiculatta (Mfune), Trichilia emetica (Mkoromaji), Milicia excelsa (Welw)Berg, Euphobia species and many others are protected by traditional unwritten law. Some of these trees, such as Ficus and Milicia excelsa, are also protected by the country’s conservation law.

Apart from accommodating the Gonja protected forest, which is part of a network of national protected forests, the village accommodates a village-protected forest known as Ubiri Kasimba. The forest is an indigenous one and is primarily used for the conservation and enhancement of the hydrological cycle mentioned by villagers as ‘rain’ (msitu wa mvua). Fuelwood, mainly dry matter, not green trees, can also be collected from the forest but no grazing is allowed in the forest. In 1999, people from within and outside Kadando village invaded the Ubiri forest for irrigation farming. The main cause of the invasion was a new outflow irrigation canal (furrow), which was constructed from the Mariranga intake on Hingiriri River by the SNV Traditional Irrigation Project (SNV-TIP). The project is aimed at improving water intakes for traditional irrigation systems using Hingiriri River water. Hingiriri River is in Maore Ward where Kadando village is situated. SNV-TIP created an outflow, which according to the villagers diverts large amounts of water away from their irrigation system to Ubiri Kisimba forest. Thereafter the water flows by gravity to Kalimawe Dam and finally into Mkomazi River. As a result of the outflow the main Kadando irrigation furrow doesn’t get enough water and therefore does not provide adequate water for irrigation of crops. Villagers who have been affected by lack of water caused by changes imposed by the project and others in need of irrigated farmland have invaded the Ubiri Kisimba forest, to clear and create irrigated farmland for rice, beans and maize. It was reported that the invaders/users of these farms in Ubiri-Kasimba are mostly young people from within Kadando and villagers from the nearby villages of Maore, Ndungu and Msufini. In Ndugu and Msufini, as a result of Japanese financed irrigated rice farming, there are complex problems related to the distribution of rice fields to customary owners of land, some of which were not allocated adequate land for their extended families. There are also problems similar to those in Kadando whereby those without irrigated farm plots cultivate along and at the tail end of the overflow irrigation furrow (Kiwasila, 1996). Both the village leadership in Kadando and villagers interviewed are bitter about the invasion of the Ubiri Kasimba forest. The matter has been taken to the District Commissioner because otherwise, the forceful removal of the farmers, the majority of whom are unemployed young people, would have lead to an unwanted civil fight. However, the matter has yet to be resolved.

Herders from within and outside Kadando village use rangelands or pasturelands. We were informed that there is no restriction on who is entitled to use pastureland. During the dry season, users come from as far as Lushoto and Hedaru, which is along the Same-Dar es Salaam road. However, whoever uses the pastureland should follow the traditional and formal resource use norms prevailing in the area. The norms are well known by herders who, for generations, have shared the resources. For example, construction of permanent housing structures, cutting down of trees for charcoal, farming, and cutting down of large green trees for uses other than fuelwood and house construction is not allowed. The villagers apply both traditional norms and VGT laws, as well as district council by-laws.


Village leaders informed us that at present, the village government (VGT) owns mainly public land areas. Farm land that is suitable for rain-fed agriculture and the land which is irrigated is completely owned by customary owners. The VGT has no irrigated farm land for distribution. The public land area owned and managed by the VGT includes land already accommodating and demarcated for public buildings such as schools, village offices and other social services. It also includes village forests, the grazing areas that extend up to the neighbouring villages, the irrigation system and rain-fed farms that belong to customary owners. The areas that are considered to be public lands include natural resources areas that are considered Common Pool Resources. During colonial and post colonial times, sugarcane and papaya plantations occupied the major fertile lowland areas of this village. The land occupied by plantations were later on given back to the customary owners and others who joined in the village.

Hingiriri River

Swamps and the Hingiriri River are considered CPR. Water available in swamps and water pools is used for watering livestock and for making mud blocks. The Hingiriri River originates in the South Pare Mountains and runs through the Gonja protected forest. The river is also the source of a dependable gravity piped water supply for Maore, Mheza and Kadando. These villages also share the traditional irrigation system from the Marriranga intake. Kadando villagers informed us that the water supply in Kadando has been intermittent for years due to possible silting in pipes and illegal connections. At times the public distribution points (DP) do not yield any water for a year or more. The village has a total of twelve DP’s but only two of these were found to yield water during the time of this visit. It seems that the previous VGT has left some of the problems of natural resource use and management unsolved. The present new younger leadership is trying to address these.

Irrigation System

The irrigation system is mainly used during the dry season, which starts in June and ends in September/October. The short rains in October (Monsoon rains or Vuli) may delay the use of irrigation water for crops. However, when there is limited Vuli or heavy rains (Mashikaa) the irrigation system is used continuously throughout the year. There is one major traditional irrigation furrow that runs 3 km from the Marriranga intake in Gonja forest to Kadando village. Before SNV-TIP, Kadando village had its own major irrigation furrow from the Gonja-Maore traditional irrigation system. This old furrow has since been covered and a new one dug. Running parallel to the new furrow is the SNV supported outflow furrow, which is the focus of dissatisfaction among the villagers. The new Kadando furrow constructed by SNV-TIP to improve the traditional irrigation system has been constructed in a sandy area. According to villagers this furrow collects a lot of silt and the water easily soaks in to the sandy soil. This reduces the amount of water available for crop growth and food security. Along the Kadando irrigation furrow there are earth gates and tributary earth furrows for watering farms. Each tributary furrow has a water distributor who allocates water. All the water distributors form a committee that works together with the self-help committee in organizing repair and cleaning of the irrigation furrows. Each water user pays 200 TAS to the water distributor. The money is put in to the village account and used to cover the costs of repairing the irrigation furrows. Cleaning and repair of the irrigation system is done on self-help basis during the dry season. The activities are announced through the traditional sound of alarm (Mbiu) and people gather for work as planned.

Mkomazi Game Reserve

Despite the fact that the Mkomazi game reserve (MGR) is owned by central government, villagers consider the MGR as theirs too and important for rainfall. During extreme drought, wildlife invades the village for water from the Hingiriri River and from the irrigation furrows. However, the presence of the MGR nearby was not seen as a constraint to villagers because wild animals rarely visit the village, destroy crops or damage irrigation furrows. The presence of the Gonja forest has more impact on crops harvested and food security. The forest accommodates a lot of monkeys that dig out sown seeds and cause pre-harvest crop loss by feeding on crops.

Past, present and future influences on resource use and management systems that impact on poverty alleviation

A few 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 villagers rely on natural resources. This includes both the poor and the wealthy. In the past the focus was on equal access to natural resources all year round. As a result the kingdoms of the traditional chiefs in the Pare area included both mountains and plains (Kimambo, 1969, Homewood et al, 1997). This enabled the agro-pastoral Pare to use the mountains or the plains for irrigation farming depending on the microclimatic requirements of the crops. The plains were also used for grazing under the rotational system of Ndisha. The villagers in Kadando pointed it out that the former arrangement were appropriate because it had one leader who could make a final ruling on all the problems that concerned his people. At present, the mountains and the plains have different leadership. Having different leadership seems to be causing conflict in resource use and maintaining resource use boundaries, as in the case of the Ubiri Kasimba forest. The lack of cooperation between the Kadando and Maore village leadership in making sure that those who have invaded the Ubiri-Kasimba forest and are using outflow water are evicted has led to degradation of the indigenous forest. The leadership of the two villages has not reached consensus on how to deal with the Ubiri Kasimba issue.

Imposed Technical Solutions

The villagers explained that in the past when they were using their traditional Kadando furrow there were no problems of inadequate water. However, many problems were experienced after covering the furrow and replacing it with a new furrow constructed with the help of SNV-TIP in Hingiriri area. The furrow used to cut across the central part of the village. Since 1994, the villagers have been experiencing episodes of drought that have affected food security and income a great deal. A consensus was therefore reached to re-dig and revive the old Kadando furrow so that those at the central part of the village and other affected by inadequate irrigation water could meet their water needs. The villagers collected stones, contributed funds and purchased work equipment but could not re-excavate the furrow as residents in the adjacent Maore village refused. It was reported that the refusal almost lead to a fight between the two villages and the older residents had to intervene. The Maore Ward leadership then had to call in the District Commissioner. The DC seconded a mission that is still looking into the matter.

The SNV-TIP project has completed its mission and has closed its offices. It seems that the construction of the new canal and the controversial outflow was either imposed or did not pursue adequate community participation and consultation of farmers who have experience in irrigation farming and furrow technology. Villagers explained that, without the revival of the furrow or the construction of an additional new one many village residents will be affected economically and health wise as they will continue to be food insecure. However, from the villager’s explanations, the refusal by the Maore village was based on the grounds that a revival of the old furrow would deprive farmers on its side of adequate irrigation water for crop production. It is apparent here that, although the two villages share the same water intake for their traditional irrigation system, and residents can farm in either of the villages, the village and resource boundaries are still clear. The way resources are shared and how that can affect livelihood is well understood and at times contested especially where there are conflicting interests or when traditional and formal norms of resource use and management are contravened.

Climatic changes and lack of alternative sources of income

The area receives bimodal rains. Heavy rains occur in March-May with a peak in April. The dry season starts in June and ends in October. In a good year the rains start in October. Crops grown include maize, cassava, beans, paddy rice and vegetables. Sugarcane is also grown. Except for rice, which is only sown between October and February and harvested in May-June and beans, which are grown during dry season (June-October) when it is easy to control the flow of water from the irrigation system, the rest of the crops are grown during the heavy rains. Since 1994, the area has been experiencing episodes of drought and limited irrigation water. As of this year, the rains have been irregularly heavy but have also ended abruptly. Such abrupt changes adversely affect crop yield. Villagers said they could improve food security if a water reservoir could be constructed to trap and store rainwater for irrigation during dry season. With an improved irrigation furrow, vegetables and fruit cultivation and planting of maize or paddy rice twice a year could be possible. The lack of alternative sources of income generation for the young has led to crop stealing especially green maize and rice. This forces villagers to harvest maize early while it is still green. This affects food storage and induces post harvest loss of grain as insect pests can easily bore into soft unripe seeds. Alternative sources of income are very important in areas where villagers face abrupt climatic changes that affect their livelihood.

Traditional accepted ways of resource sharing

As discussed above, the traditional system of resource sharing allowed people within and outside the resource area to use natural resources provided that they had gone through the Chief (Mfumwa in Pare language) and his system of local administration of natural resources (Wagawa). This practice brought herders as well as farmers to the Mkomazi adjacent areas. People came from nearby and distant chiefdoms and from different ethnic groups provided that they followed resource use norms. Through this practice, some of the migrant labourers who were brought to work on the colonial plantations were also able to secure customary land or land for seasonal use of resources. This system was still followed at independence and during the villagization and post villagization periods when there were no restrictions on who should be provided land. Land was given to those who requested it provided that it available and a migrant was willing to follow proper procedures for moving into a new village and to adhere to land use norms.

The traditional and the present VGT way of resource sharing seems to be a contributing factor facilitating increased in-migration of outsiders to the village. It also explains the level of tolerance that villagers and village leaders have with regard to letting outsiders destroy their Ubiri-Kasimba forest land. The situation of resource use and management in this village proves the assumption that CPR are likely to suffer and free access will result when formal institutions are inefficient to act in resolving resource use conflict especially when they restrict traditional institutions from applying their strict conflict resolution measures. The tolerance of resource use malpractices under the pretext of lack of alternatives for poverty alleviation among the resource poor individuals will lead to degradation of natural resources. As a result more poverty and lack of alternatives will ensue and enhance the vicious circle of poverty.

Norms Regulating Resource Use

It was learnt that the norms regulating resource use namely forests, grazing land and pasture, irrigation land and irrigation water were inherited from the past and improved very little by the present VGT. In summary the norms are generally prohibitive statements:

  • No watering animals in irrigation canals
  • No farming and house settlements in range lands
  • No cutting down of trees in protected forests
  • Conservation of certain identified species of indigenous trees and all large trees
  • Isolation of livestock keeping from farming areas. Livestock keepers and bomas should be far from farming areas. In this village, livestock keepers reside close to grazing land
  • Openness to others (neighbours) in need of natural resources provided that resource use rules are adhered to and that they know their resource use status.

Conflict Resolution

The process of resolving local conflict over natural resource use is inadequate and unnecessarily bureaucratic, costly and ineffective. The process is inadequate because the VGT and traditional authorities have to rely on the DC to resolve conflict occurring at village level even though the parties are either related or neighbours. They have usually known each other for a long time and have previously shared resources.

The villages involved in the Ubiri forest dispute (Kadando, Msufini, Maore and Ndugu) are in the same division. The villages disputing the revival of the furrow (Maore and Kadando) are adjacent to each other and in the same ward. The ward and district officers together with VGT and traditional leadership should have been able to resolve the emerging resource use conflicts peacefully. But although the conflicts have been going on for more than a year so far the district bureaucracy has not acted efficiently enough to resolve them. The delay has had a profoundly negative effect on the villagers from Kadando who can do nothing to stop the destruction of the Ubiri-Kashimba, which has been conserved for generations. The conflict resolution process is also costly to the ecosystem and the country in general. Natural resources that contribute to and protect the hydrological cycle are being damaged, which in turn is slowly affecting rainfall and water supply, food production and security.

The area around the outflow furrow should not be farmed in order to allow excess water from Hingiriri River and from irrigated farms to flow freely to Kalimawe dam. This would prevent siltation of the Kalimawe dam, which is used for fishing, and salination of irrigated land. Siltation from time to time causes the dam to dry-up and it is then closed by the fisheries department. When the dam is full and there are adequate fish stocks, fish are drawn into the Kadando irrigation furrows where children and adults can easily catch fish to contribute to their protein intake and to supplement their income. This study observed small catfish caught in the irrigation furrows being sold by children (on behalf of their parents) at 100 TAS for three fish. The fact that the existing irrigation system in both Kadando and Maore villages is inadequate and that people have to survive through farming in prohibited areas, makes it difficult for the VGT, the ward and the DC from taking drastic measures against villagers. When there is seasonal food shortages, the villages do not receive any support in the form of food relief from government authorities. It was observed that most children in Kadando look thin and malnourished.

Village Problems

From the above discussion, it is clear that there is more than one factor affecting villagers and contributing to their poverty.

Key problems identified by villager leaders
  1. Long distance to the ward dispensary (5 km)
  2. Lack of markets and low prices paid by middlemen
  3. Poor access road
  4. Traditional agriculture (including irrigation furrows)
  5. Education (few teachers and lack of adequate teachers houses)
  6. Drinking Water Supply. Reserve tank is small compared to the number of households (was planned for 250 households)
Key problems identified by villagers
  1. Drought and food insecurity
  2. Drinking water Supply (lack of safe water)
  3. Poor road
  4. Irrigation water (inadequate)
  5. Human and livestock diseases
  6. Lack of dispensary/hospital
  7. Few classrooms
  8. Poverty
  9. Lack of agricultural inputs
  10. Low income
  11. Vermin destroying crops
  12. Lack of markets (caused by poor road)
  13. Few primary school teachers
  14. Poor school attendance
  15. Lack of grazing land
  16. Clearing of village protected forest
  17. Lack of development activities for women
  18. Lack of electricity

Common Diseases

No dispensary records at Ward level (Maore) were consulted. Village leaders identified the most common diseases. The diseases are Malaria, Typhoid, Diarrhoea, HIV/AIDS and Cancer (three fatal cases; one male and two female). The diseases are linked to income and food security from CPR as they reduce the capacity of those affected to use and manage their environment for survival.

Financial benefits from natural resources

Benefits accrued from adjacent protected areas

The protected areas adjacent to Kadando village are the Mkomazi game reserve and the Gonja catchment forest. The benefits from the forest are mainly because it acts as a source of, and shade for, river water which runs from the mountains to the plains. Tree species within the forest provide a source of edible fruits such as mangoes (Trichilia emetica). The forest also provides beautiful scenery and a resting place for those travelling on foot. Apart from the ecological benefits of Mkomazi game reserve and the occasional, illegal harvesting of small animals that find their way into the village, the villagers do not accrue any direct benefits such as income from wildlife or tourism.

Other income accrued from natural resources controlled at village level

Land set aside for grazing livestock is free of charge for both residents of the village and outsiders. However, use of irrigation water is not free. When irrigation is in operation, users pay 200 TAS per water allocation. Allocations are normally done once a week. During extremely dry conditions and depending on the availability of water, water can be allocated more than once a week. The fees are collected by a village water committee made up of five members, two ofwhich are women. The money is used to repair irrigation furrows and to pay the person in charge of securing the flow of water for Kadando and Maore villages. They are paid 1,200 TAS per week and this cost is shared between the two villages.

There is a levy on harvested crops taken out of the village. This is done for food security reasons but is also used to discourage outsiders and village residents from using village land for commercial purposes. They produce crops and then sell them outside the village at inflated prices. Money obtained from the crop levy provides revenue for the Same District Council.

Selling and renting land is illegal but still occurs. Land is traded and rents are paid to customary land owners. As a normal unwritten rule, a maize farm is rented at 20,000 TAS per acre per season and an irrigated rice farm at 50,000 TAS per acre per season. Rent can vary between individuals depending on the type of relationship between the landowner and the person wishing to rent land. For example, Amina Daniel (38) rents out one acre of land for maize farming at 20,000 TAS per season and one acre suitable for rice at 30,000 TAS.

Land can also be purchased. A quarter of an acre for housing costs 20,000-30,000 TAS and one acre of arable land for rainfed agriculture costs 100,000 TAS. Irrigated land is rarely sold. It can cost up to 250,000 TAS for an acre because irrigated land is important for capital generation. Villagers do not consider customary land as CPR but use patterns are controlled by the community. For example, a rice farm must only be used to grow rice and not other crops like sugarcane or cassava. This control allows for a uniform pattern for cleaning the irrigation furrows and for releasing water without destroying crops that do not need excessive water or from farms drawing too much water hence depriving others.

Villagers prefer to keep customary farmland in the hands of individuals as it allows them to earn an income through renting out some of their land. Renting land is especially useful in providing an income for the elderly who may no longer be able to work on the farms themselves. Renting land means that they are not forced to starve or beg for food. Forest and water resources are preferred to be owned by the community.

Identification of the poor

Villagers leaders were asked to give their indicators or criteria for identifying the wealthy and the poor. Villagers use the number of livestock, size of harvest from crops, especially rice, and business in non-farm activities that enable an individual to raise income.

Wealth Ranking


Karamba is a traditional village. During villagisation in 1974 it was joined with Mgandu village and administered under Kihurio Ward. In 1977, Karamba was joined with Kalemawe village and administered under Ndugu Ward and Division. In 1994 Karamba was finally registered as a separate village under Ndungu Ward. The village is in a dry area situated along the Same-Gonja-Mnazi road. It is on the alternative route from the Gonja-Mkomazi-Mkundi route for buses en-route to Mnazi in Lushoto. A large part of the eastern side of Karamba village is 2-3 km from Mkomazi Game Reserve (MGR). To the North of the village is the Kalemawe Dam which was constructed in 1956 by the British Colonial Government to support the agricultural activities of the Pare pastoralists who were evicted from the MGR in 1951.


Karamba is located further along the same valley between the Pare and Usambara Mountains as Kadando at S 04º 28′ 51.5″ E 038º 06′ 39.3″ in a relatively flat low lying area. The only outstanding features in the landscape are the Pare and Usambara Mountains some distance away. As in Kadando housing and social services are concentrated in one area but the village encompasses land used for agriculture and grazing. Water is provided through irrigation canals but there are no other sources of water in the village for domestic use. Apart from the farming area around the irrigation canals in the south, the village is dominated by dry scrubland, which provides grazing for livestock and a source of firewood. There is little or no grassland nearby, no forests and only a small wooded area.

Agricultural productivity is low outside the area served by the irrigation canals. Only the land close to the irrigation canals, which is lower than the rest of the village, is suitable for agricultural purposes and this is heavily used to the exclusion of natural vegetation. Rice is grown around the canals and maize in rain-fed farms nearby. Harvests in previous years have been poor due to drought although the rains this year have been sufficient to allow enough food to be grown. There are scattered trees and a small wooded area but no forests in or close to the village and very little grassland. The scrubland lacks a substantial herb or grass layer and the soil is mostly sand-like in composition. Livestock grazing is carried out in the surrounding scrubland but this is unlikely to support large herds and none were seen close to the village. Grassland is available some distance away but the corrals in the village suggest that livestock is brought back often. Collection of wood for fuel is carried out in the scrubland and the small wooded area to the west of the village.

Village history

Karamba village is a traditional village which existed before colonial rule and before villagization. It was administered under Chief Kisaka who took over from Chief Manento. During colonial times, the village accommodated a sisal plantation, which was established by a German investor. It employed people from within the area and migrant labourers from Sambaa. The sisal fibre produced was exported for blanket making.

Human population, ethnicity and settlement pattern

The village has about 250 households and a population of 1100 people (650 women and 850 men). There are different ethnic groups living in the village, with Sambaa the largest ethnic group. Residents from nearby and distant villages such as Mgandu, Kalemawe and Ndungu as well as residents from within Karamba farm in this village. There is irrigated and non-irrigated farmland. It is possible that some of the farmers from other villages have land problems in their own villages or are in Karamba as a risk aversion strategy so as to exploit different ecological niches. The study did not have adequate time to pursue in-depth studies to find out why people from other areas farm in a distant and dry area like Karamba where environmental and social conditions are poor.


No exact number for immigrants per year was reported. Some visitors are seasonal and they visit the village for pasture. Some visit for farming and they either rent, borrow or share irrigated farmland. Others are herders from nearby and distant villages. Those who visit Karamba for grazing but have large herds, use Karamba as a transit stop but actually use Mkomazi Game Reserve for grazing.

Present village administration

The village government has three committees:
  1. Planning and finance
  2. Social services
  3. Defence and security

The social services committee has four sub-committees covering lands, production, water for the Maji Furrow, and health and the environment. We were informed that all major and minor committees have five members two of whom are women.

Ownership, use and management of CPR

CPR as identified by villagers

Villagers identifed the following resources as CPR :
  1. Pasture land for grazing livestock
  2. Village land
  3. Irrigation furrows and irrigated land
  4. Mineral resources such as gypsum
  5. Lakes: Lake Karamba and Kalemawe Dam (Kalemawe dam is outside the village)
  6. Forested areas and trees found around the village
  7. Mkomazi Game Reserve

Pasture land for grazing livestock

Although the village has vast areas for grazing, it is rocky and is made up of mostly scrub land and so affords limited pasture for grazing large herds. The pasture in the inner village is for local herds and others coming from Kalemawe, Mganndu, Mkundi, Mtae and Mbaru with small herds. MGR pasture is used by those with large herds and who are prepared to face the consequences if they are caught by MGR game scouts. Management of grazing land is the responsibility of every villager, who’s job it is to see that grazing land is not invaded for non-herding activities. No one is allowed to erect housing structures in grazing areas although herders are allowed to build in remote sub-villages near to the grazing areas. There were no major concerns among villagers about grazing land except that during extremely dry seasons the amount of land for grazing is inadequate.

Village Land

During the traditional past, land was distributed by the Mgawa (or Mchili in Pare) under the authority of the chief. Those given land paid a fee (Mbuta) which is equivalent to TAS 40 per acre. The amount of land given depended on the amount wanted and the ability to pay. Some of the families who obtained large amounts of land are still represented in the village.

The VGT controls land occupied by public buildings and all village land which is used for grazing and fuelwood. Water bodies like Lake Karamba are also under the control of the VGT. The VGT also has six acres of irrigated land. The land was formerly cultivated by government extension staff who expropriated it without permission from the VGT. This occurred in 1959-60 when the department of water constructed a 12km long irrigation canal and surveyed irrigated farm plots. The struggle for the farms was finally resolved last year (2000) when the village government, through their own efforts, managed to regain control of the farms and allocated them to the primary school. The VGT now uses the land for income generation. The land can be used by different local groups who raise money through the growing and selling of crops. In addition to the irrigated land, the VGT has 10 acres of land for public use (institutions). It has already constructed a dispensary on this land and the rest is being used for the collection of dry firewood and poles for domestic use.

Irrigation furrows and irrigated land

The village has two irrigation canals. One was constructed during the traditional past making use of water from the Mkomazi River, and the other was constructed in 1959-60 after the Kalemawe Dam was built in 1956. The traditional irrigation canal is called Mfereji wa Daudi (Daudi’s canal) the other is Mfereji wa Idara ya Maji (Water Department’s canal). The water department’s canal was rehabilitated in 1999 by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The two canals are managed under two different management regimes. The Mfereji wa Daudi is managed under a traditional management system whereby the elected water distributor (Mgawa) allocates water to farmers without charge. If contributions of cash or labour are required then the farmers are informed and collections are made. The water distributor does not get a salary but he benefits from having the whole of Saturday to water his farms and those of his relatives and friends as payment for his work. The management of the Mfereji wa Daudi falls under the remit of the production sub-committee (Kamati ya Uzalishaji). The Mgawa, who is a member of this committee, and other members organize Masaragambo for cleaning and maintenance of the system. The Mgawa reports his activities to the chairperson of the production committee.

The water department’s canal is managed by an irrigation water sub-committee consisting of five members, under the committee for social services. This canal draws its water from the Kalemawe Dam and passes through Bagamoyo and Mgandu village. The canal has not been reinforced except at the gates that control water entering the farms. There are a total of twenty-eight gates on the canal and each has a democratically elected user committee of five members. These committees arrange for the proper sharing of water, collect revenue through user fees and organise the cleaning of the canals served by their respective gates. From these committees the members of the production committee are drawn. The revenue collected by the user committees is submitted to the irrigation water sub-committee and is banked. The production committee (Kamati ya Uzalishaji) is in overall charge of farming and irrigation issues in the village. It reports to the social welfare committee of the VGT.

The role of the production committee (Kamati ya Uzalishaji)

    • To make sure that all irrigation canals are clean
    • To mobilize farmers through the water user committees, and water distributors to clean the canals and undertake the necessary repairs
    • To advise farmers about use of good seeds and good crop husbandry
    • To inform the village chairman about farmer’s needs. In-turn, the chairman will inform the Ward Development Committee (WDC)
    • To organise self-help activities (Msaragambo) related to management of the village irrigation system (both canals)
    • To supervise construction activities
    • To organize villagers for Tamasha for both canals

    Mineral resources

    Gypsum has been reported as present in the area. Extraction could prove to be an alternative livelihood strategy to alleviate poverty especially among the young who make up the majority of the unemployed. Some young members of the community have previously tried to excavate gypsum but the lack of appropriate equipment and poor knowledge of cost-effective processing methods has prevented them from developing this industry. The provision of equipment, technical support and a cheap facility for processing gypsum would be necessary but there have been no efforts by the district council to assist in tapping this resource. In the past there was an attempt by the cement factory in Tanga to excavate gypsum in this area but it proved to be too costly.


    Lake Karamba is a natural water body while Kalemawe Dam is man-made and was constructed in 1956 to provide water for the livestock of the Pare after they were evicted from the MGR when it was gazetted. The Pare were evicted from MGR because of the belief that indigenous people degrade the environment. As well as the Pare, other groups such as the Sambaa and the Parakuyo (Kwavi) practised transhumance inside the MGR. The Tanzania National Archive Files TNA G1/7 (1955), TNA A3/4 agriculture, TRA File V10/22 Lushoto Veterinary Movements, TNA 11/5/vol II, TNA 21/B (1951) and many others have documented the conflict that resulted from the eviction and exclusion of Pare and Sambaa from MGR. The British Government evicted the two groups in favour of the Parakuyo who were considered to be protective of the environment. Communications between the colonial government authorities, local chiefs, local unions of Pare pastoralists in Gonja, and affected Pare individuals regarding eviction shows the demand for part of the MGR in Kisiwani, Gonja and Kalemawe to be degazetted to provide more land for grazing and water for livestock belonging to those evicted. Subsequently, this lead to degazettement of some areas of the Kalemawe Game Controlled area and construction of the Kalemawe dam (TNA. File G1/7 Mkomazi Game Reserve).

    The TNA. A3/4 Agriculture paper provides information about the construction of the Kalemawe dam and the intention to construct Igoma dam in Kisiwani. The paper also discusses issues related to CPR and colonial/post colonial government policies for wildlife management versus indigenous livelihoods. The paper sheds some light on past sustainable resource use by indigenous communities, marginalisation and impoverishment, and poverty alleviation strategies past and present.

    Karamba village is considered one of the poorest villages in the ward by the ward authorities. People are dependent on irrigation farming, fishing from Kalemawe dam and livestock keeping for their livelihoods. Land suitable for rain-fed agriculture is almost completely absent because the area has sandy soils and is very dry. Large parts of the village also has saline soils. Due to aperiodical weather fluctuations the water department’s canal, and the Kalemawe dam on which it is dependent for water, often dries up. Silting of the dam caused by the weather (sheet and gully erosion caused by storm water) and unsuitable farming practices (no terracing on slops, unstable soils trampled by livestock,) is also a problem. When water levels are low and fish stocks are inadequate, the Department for Natural Resources (fisheries section) closes the Dam. This forces local residents and seasonal migrants from elsewhere who depend on fishing to migrate out of the village to find other means of income generation. People in this village alternate between irrigation farming, fishing and herding as ways of earning a livelihood in an unpredictable environment.

    The Ward Fisheries Officer is responsible for managing the lakes. This involves restocking with tilapia and other species and closing the lake to fishing for three or four months.

    Forested areas and trees found around the village

    There are large and medium sized trees, shrubs and scrub-land around the village, all of which is considered common property. No charcoal making is allowed. The area along the water department’s canal is covered with a bush-thicket purposely maintained to reduce the amount of silt entering the canal.

    Past, present and future influences on resource use and management systems that impact on poverty alleviation
    Creation of Kalemawe dam

    The Kalemawe dam is approximately 10km from Karamba village. It attracts fishermen and women fish-traders to the neighbouring villages and this influx of people has had a negative impact on the local vegetation. Fish curing, food vending and construction of temporary shelters around the lake has consumed much of the trees and other vegetation in the area. As a result there has been an increase in silting of the lake. In turn, this has had a negative impact on irrigation activities, crop production and food security. Income and protein intake has also been affected by frequent closure of the lake due to low water levels and low fish numbers. However, villagers reported that there have been no efforts to de-silt the lake. Closure of the lake without de-silting measures or the promotion of soil conservation around the lake and on the slopes of South Pare mountains is not likely be a sustainable solution for poverty alleviation and food insecurity. The only management of activities is through the licensing of fishermen by the district council and this is not sufficient to promote the sustainable use and management of this resource.

    Lack of understanding of local natural resource use and management

    Eviction of communities from the MGR occurred even though they were able to co-exist with wildlife through the sustainable use of resources. The concentration of communities outside the MGR is now one of the main causes of poverty in the area. Except for a few fertile alluvial soils along the rivers the area is very dry and infertile. Despite this there has been no development efforts in the village apart from the water department’s canal. The poor soils and lack of alternative livelihood strategies mean that many villagers practice a form of transhumance. They stay in the village when they are able to farm but move out at other times of the year in order to gain income from other sources. However, ward officials see this migratory pattern as the cause of poverty in Karamba rather than a solution. They do not understand that the villagers have developed this migratory way of life as a coping strategy when there is limited water for irrigation or the dam is closed to fishing. Instead they see it as the villagers doing nothing to improve the situation in Karamba. There is need to educate local officials on how locally adapted ways of resource use, management and transhumance are related to livelihood security and protect against resource degradation.

    Norms regulating resource use

    There is a mixture of norms used in Karamba. These include formal laws and by-laws formulated by central government and the district council for managing and protecting natural resources, and traditional norms for resource management. The VGT enforces traditional norms, government laws and its own by-laws.

    • No hunting, grazing or any other human activity can be undertaken by villagers in MGR (wildlife conservation law, 1974). Those who use MGR do so at their own risk
    • The use of fire for farming purposes is prohibited
    • Fishing is restricted to the use of canoes and 2.5-3 inch fish nets only
    • Those moving into the village must first report to a sub-village leader who will then introduce him/her to the VGT. Letters of introduction from their previous village are necessary before the person can settle and use resources (VGT standard system in Tanzania)
    • Immigrants with large herds are not allowed to graze within the village (VGT)
    • Those who have not taken part in Msaragambo or Tamasha activities are fined. If they refuse to pay the fine their property is taken by force (Kupambuliwa-Pare traditional norm)
    • Charcoal making is prohibited (forest and VGT by-laws)
    • No other activities or settlements are allowed in grazing areas

    Conflict resolution

    The VGT committees take care of disputes related to their functions. However, there is also a committee of elders that assists in dispute settlement. Traditional rates for fines are used where the offence relates to stealing of irrigation water or watering livestock in irrigation canals. In the case of resource mismanagement such as tree cutting or charcoal making, the culprit is taken to the ward police post where government environmental laws are applied.

    Village problems

    Key problems identified by village leaders

    The following problems were listed by a PRA focus group of ordinary villagers and village authorities.

    1. Lack of clean drinking water supply
    2. Inadequate irrigation water from Kalemawe dam
    3. Shortage of arable land for farming
    4. Unemployment
    5. Poverty
    Key problems identified by respondents
    1. Lack of safe drinking water supply
    2. Diseases
    3. Lack of dispensary/hospital
    4. Poverty
    5. Lack of agricultural inputs (seeds, pesticides)
    6. School (few classrooms)
    7. Drought
    8. Costly agricultural inputs
    9. Unemployment
    10. Lack of markets for crops
    11. Transport (poor road)
    12. Lack of extension services
    13. Polluted drinking water from irrigation canals
    14. Lack of farm land
    15. Low level of development
    16. Old age and lack of support

    The poor quality of the soil in Karamba means that villagers have to buy costly fertilisers. However, while a 100kg bag of paddy rice is sold at 5-7,000 TAS a 50kg bag of Urea costs 11,000 TAS and as much as 125kg per acre may be necessary. In addition, pesticides are also needed to protect crops from aphids, grasshoppers and stem-borers, all of which affect rice production. But one litre of Sumithion costs 14,000 TAS and Diazinon costs 12,000 TAS a litre and rice fields would have to be sprayed 2-4 times before harvesting. Middlemen are able to resell rice at 12,000 TAS per 100kg bag but villagers rarely get that much for their rice.

    Villagers are also required to buy water at 200 TAS per a four-litre container (a debe) during the dry season. Water is brought from Ndungu, a small town which is more than 7km from Karamba.

    Common diseases

    The PRA group listed the following diseases:

    1. Malaria
    2. Bilharzia
    3. Cancer
    4. Typhoid
    5. TB

    The incidence of cancer was of interest to the research team. Between 1997 and February 2001 there have been 10 deaths attributed to cancer and two more are believed to be suffering from the disease. The most common form is cancer of the oesophagus but it was claimed that the sufferers were non-smokers, didn’t chew tobacco or drink illicit alcohol. The villagers associate the incidence of cancer with drinking water from the irrigation canals. There is no piped water supply in the village and domestic water is collected from the irrigation canals in the village that receive tail water from the Ndugu Rice Project. The water comes from the Yongoma River and is used by the Ndugu Rice Project before it enters the Mkomazi River and the Kalemawe Dam. The Ndugu rice farms are heavy users of pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilisers and herbicides, some of which are carcinogenic. The Japanese rice project in Ndugu has been in operation for about 16 years and since that time the number of cancer cases in Karamba has risen. It is also believed that acaricides used by villagers to spray livestock is being washed into water bodies used by villagers for bathing and drinking. Insecticides found in homes in Karamba include Sumithion 50% EC produced by Sumimoto Chemical Companies Ltd, Japan and Diazinon 60% EC from Tokyo, Japan. Sumithion is used to kill aphids, fruit flies, grasshoppers stem-borers and sunk bugs (rice pests). It is a broad-spectrum insecticide that has a low toxicity for humans but is toxic to fish. It should not be allowed to drain it into water bodies and containers used for spraying this chemical should not be washed in sources of drinking water. The warning messages are in English but the community literacy level is only around 20%. There is need for a detailed chemical study to identify the amount of insecticides and other agro-chemicals in the water as it enters the village and at other points where water is used for human consumption. This information would provide the basis for education on the safe use of chemicals.

    There is a rising concern among villagers about the escalating cases of cancer. They have been informed by the health staff at the Ndugu Health Centre that using the irrigation canals for domestic water may be the cause but at present there is no alternative. Villagers from Karamba assisted villagers in Bagamoyo in excavating a trench and installing pipes for a water supply from Yongoma River. However, the villagers in Bagamoyo are reluctant to reciprocate and help the villagers in Karamba set up a piped water supply. Although these villagers are considered poor they are willing to help themselves. They have constructed, on a self-help basis, a four room cement block dispensary, at a total cost of 4 million TAS. They were given support by their Member of Parliament (1.7 million TAS), SNV (800,000 TAS) and the district council (1million TAS). The dispensary will be used as a centre for promoting comprehensive health care.

    Financial benefits from natural resources

    Benefits accrued from the adjacent protected areas

    The village doesn’t receive any direct benefits from the MGR. There are some indirect benefits through the conservation of water and other ecological benefits. There have been no incidences reported of wildlife damaging irrigation furrows. This part of MGR has very little wildlife, possibly because they have been over-hunted or because the area is arid and doesn’t have adequate pasture.

    Other income accrued from natural resources controlled at village level

    Villagers using the water department’s canal will, from the beginning of this year, pay a water user fee of 1,000 TAS per acre per year. Collection will start this year (2001) but hasn’t started yet. The funds will be collected by the main water committee (Kamati ya Uzalishaji). At present, the committee has 200,000 TAS in its bank account, which has been collected through fines and various contributions. This money is used to pay for the cleaning and repair of the water department’s canal. Apart from the licensing of fishing activities, the proceeds of which go to the district council, the village government also plans to collect a fee from fish sales to generate income for the village. However, collection of any fee/levy has to be approved by the district council and this has not yet been negotiated.

    It is a common practice for people in this village to rent out land for cash or a combination of payment in cash and in kind. When land is rented out, fees dependent upon the agreement reached between the owner and the tenant but rice farms are usually charged at 25,000 TAS per acre and maize farms at 12,000 TAS per acre. Rent can be paid when the farm is acquired or after harvest. Most owners prefer payment before land is put to use by the tenant to avoid litigation and excuses later on. It might appear that there are greater financial returns from privately owned land than from public land communally owned and managed because private land can be rented out for cash and no income tax is deducted from the cash earned by the landlord. However, land has to be productive before it can attract potential tenants and its location with respect to the irrigation canal has to be favourable. Land owners who require a down payment before a tenant can use the land may gain more compared those who choose to wait until harvest as they avoid being affected by a poor harvest.

    Wealth Ranking

Last Updated: 14 March 2018