The utilization and sustainability of ethno-medicinal plants in western Serengeti, Tanzania

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
Western Serengeti has experienced a continuous movement of multicultural groups of people towards the fringes of the protected area since the 1940s with an increased subsistence need that threaten the survival of the Serengeti ecosystem. Studies on the utilization of medicinal plants were conducted in the area with an assumption that their utilization in the open areas was unsustainable because people had started getting into protected areas for the resource. It was also assumed that indigenous knowledge on the use and conservation of medicinal plants was disappearing before it was documented. Cluster analysis indicated that floristic composition of a site was dependent on its conservation status, anthropogenic activities as well as its historical background. A total of 77 medicinal plant species were recorded in western Serengeti representing 66 genera and 36 families. Tabora “B” study site had higher abundance and diversity of medicinal plants than either Robanda or Mihale. There were more medicinal plants in the protected areas than in the open areas. A total of 122 plant species belonging to 109 genera and 49 families were reported to be used for medicinal purposes. The Kuria tribe of Tabora “B” used more medicinal species (92) than Sukuma of Mihale (78) and Ikoma of Robanda (53). However, the Ikoma people had more medicinal plant applications than either Kuria or Sukuma. Fabaceae was the most frequently used plant family accounting for 21.0% of the total medicinal families cited. Trees and shrubs, which accounted for about 69.0% of reported medicinal plants, were the main sources of traditional medicine. The use of roots accounted for 40.0% of all reported uses.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RS164.T34H37)
Ethno-medicinal plants, Sustainability
Nkya, H.M (2003) The utilization and sustainability of ethno-medicinal plants in western Serengeti, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.