Tanzania: rufiji, ruvu and wami

Further, it is recommended that there be an inter-ministerial committee that looks into all policies in order to remove overlaps and conflicting goals

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Further, it is recommended that there be an inter-ministerial committee that looks into all policies in order to remove overlaps and conflicting goals. While the formation of such an inter-ministerial committee will require prior approval of the government, it requires immediate attention because the damage in the deltas is already great.
Harmonization of policies is crucial, but not sufficient, to redress the problem. Effective coordination is also required. Therefore it is recommended that a body responsible for coordination of activities along the coastal areas is important. In the absence of such a body, and in order to avoid further costs, it is recommended that the TCMP coordinate resource use in the coastal areas. TCMP should be strengthened by including all the major players in relevant sectors and including sustainability aspects after the end of the project life. The framework envisaged here is that of integrated coastal zone management. Currently, several donor-funded projects operate in the coastal zone but they are not necessarily coordinated.14 The newly formed TCMP is best placed to facilitate a cross-sectoral integration. This assessment is based on the fact that TCMP aims at supporting the efforts of the government of Tanzania in partnership with ongoing coastal management programs working at regional and district levels, the private sector, and the NGO community to establish an effective coastal governance system. However, since TCMP is a donor-funded project with a set life span, sustainability issues should be carefully considered and, if possible, built into the project implementation mechanism. TCMP should also look at the possibility of developing multiple land-use plans for the deltas.
Furthermore, it has been observed that many of the villagers and land users in the deltas are not fully aware of the interdependence between their activities, such as harvesting of mangrove poles, and the health of the marine environment. In many cases, people are concerned with their survival needs, and strive to meet them at any cost. It is therefore recommended that the NEMC should take the lead in organizing awareness-raising programs for the people of Rufiji Delta and Bagamoyo with respect to sustainable use of natural resources. This is not something new; NEMC’s portfolio includes training programs for various stakeholders on matters of environmental conservation and sustainable resource use.
The government established the Mangrove Management Project in the coastal areas of Tanzania without adequate consultation with the local communities. Many people in Rufiji and Bagamoyo still question the sustainability of the project and the role of bodies such as the Village Natural Resources Committees. It is therefore recommended that the Mangrove Management Project should foster greater participation of all the stakeholders at the local level by changing their participatory approach to bottom-up from top-down to ensure that maximum support is obtained. However, it is also important to ensure that the sustainability of the project is considered, especially by linking the central with the local government in the project administration.
This study was unable to quantify the extent of degradation or loss taking place in the deltas due to lack of baseline information. It is therefore recommended that further long-term studies be carried out in the deltas to establish baseline environmental data upon which monitoring can be based. On the basis of this, follow-up studies must be carried out to establish the extent of loss. Scientists from the University of Dar es Salaam in collaboration with the MNRT can undertake such studies. Negotiations must be carried out with the government in order to enlist their support for this important study.


1 For details of this discussion see Stedman-Edwards (1998).
2 NEMC’s review of the environmental impact statement for the prawn-farming project put the employment generation capacity at around 3,000 people.

3 One version of the story is that some Arab merchants were apprehended by the police in 1974, allegedly for trading without license.

4 Over 30 percent of the respondents in Bagamoyo said they had over six people in their households who depend on them for the provision of their basic needs.

5 These are estimates reported by the respondents; they may be grossly understated.

6 Comments made by several farmers in the Rufiji Delta.

7 Similar views on the importance of mangroves to local welfare were also expressed in Bagamoyo District.

8 Mangroves for the purpose of making keels are rarely found. Mango tree trunks have largely replaced them.

9 After a court finding in 1995 that the land tenure policy was unconstitutional because it conflicted with customary law, the policy has been under review. Two land bills will be put before the parliament soon.

10 The Ujamaa policy, which seemed to embody popular participation, was in practice an attempt to bring development to the people, hence the resulting dependency. The nationalization of the foremost enterprises was intended to put the major means of production under the control of the people through public enterprises. Although well-intentioned, the state usurped too much power and allowed too little popular participation, killing self initiative. People were wary of being branded capitalists and seeing their legally acquired wealth confiscated or nationalized.

11 Being a program initiated by the twin Bretton Woods Institutions, it had the support of donor countries, which financed the program. So, unlike the preceding programs, this one enjoyed the availability of funds for implementation as long as the conditions laid down by the program were met.

12 This new policy incorporates the findings of a report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters and the recommendations and observations of the National Workshop on Land Policy.

13 The politics of NGOs in developing countries is well-acknowledged but will not be discussed here.

14 These projects include Mangrove Management Project (national project), Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Project (Tanga region), Rural Integrated Project Support (Lindi and Mtwara regions), Mafia Island Marine Park, and Rufiji Environmental Management Project (REMP).

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