Socio-economic, cultural and livelihood factors influencing local people participation in water resource management in the Uluguru mountains eastern Tanzania
The social and economic circumstances prevailing in Tanzania today have made particular demands on water resource base and the environment and its sustainability is threatened by human induced activities. This study assessed the socio-economic, sociocultural and livelihood factors that influence community participation in restoration and management of water resource in the Uluguru Mountains Eastern Tanzania. Land ownership patterns and cultivation of seasonal crops were among the major factors that influence water resources as they entail more frequent soil disturbance, inadequate ground cover and increased risks of soil erosion and watershed degradation. Free range and semi – zero grazing system along stream banks is a potential problem in watershed management especially with increasing human and livestock population. Water resource management in the Ulugurus is mediated by both formal and informal institutions the strongest informal institutions being cultural. Majority of the population has had an opportunity to participate in watershed protection and conservation and tree planting was the major practice adopted. Increased capacity for conservation skills was the most important driver of community participation in conservation activities. The major livelihoods with regard to water use are various types of domestic use and irrigated agriculture especially during the dry season. Training and education opportunities to local communities can be powerful incentive to protection and management of water resources. Clear policies on water use and priority activities in the Uluguru catchments are important in order to avoid conflicts between water users.
Key words: Water resources-wateshedlivelihoods- participatory-managementconflicts- riparian-ecosystems