The role of local people’s participation in soil conservation in Iringa rural district, Iringa region, Tanzania: a case Study of Isimani Division

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined the participation of local citizens in soil conservation practices in Kihorogota and Kising’a wards in Isimani division, Iringa rural district, in Iringa region. It was guided by three research objectives and three research questions which were to: identify soil conservation practices taking place in Isimani division, examine the role of local people’s participation in soil conservation activities, and analyse the challenges that encounter local people’s efforts in soil conservation practices. The study employed a descriptive survey design. A total of 85 respondents were involved in the study through purposive and random sampling methods. Data were obtained through interviews, focus group discussion (FDGs), documentary reviews, observations and questionnaires which were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The findings revealed that soil conservation practices in the study area included reducing stockings; planting trees; establishing agricultural practices by emphasizing the use of natural fertilizers like manures, ashes, practicing crop rotation, mixed farming, planting leguminous plants especially in unfertile soil, using terraces in slopes; making by-laws towards environmental destroyers; fire fighting; and educating the soil stakeholders on good farming practices through meetings, seminars and trainings. The levels of local citizens’ participation in the entire practices were found to be minimal. The study identified that the key challenges for local citizens’ participation in soil conservation were due to poor leadership existing in the divisions and the entire district which in most cases relied on top-down decisions, this situations narrowed freedom of expression which is a constitutional right to people especially in contributing to their economic and social development in their area. The study recommends that in order to achieve sustainable development in Isimani division, the government as the key development actor, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), environmental activists like HAKI ARDHI, LEAT, to mention a few, and other developments actors should involve all stakeholders and shareholders in the development process for sustainable development.
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cultural significance, Management, Lindi, Mtwara
Byarugaba, I (2012), The role of local people’s participation in soil conservation in Iringa rural district, Iringa region, Tanzania: a case Study of Isimani Division, master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam (available at