Survival strategies of migrants in intermediate towns: a case study of Babati town

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study is on the survival strategies of migrants in Babati, an intermediate town in Arusha region. It has been undertaken in order to assess the strategies used by migrants to enable them to survive in intermediate towns. The study is based on the contention that people migrate from rural to urban areas, not only because of tough/harsh living conditions in the rural areas but also due to the fact that they perceive that life is much easier in town than in rural areas. The study revealed that out of the sample population, some 57.6% had migrated to Babati as a result of employment opportunities found in Babati town. The opportunities are found in Private Institutions, Government Offices, Self Employment and Parastatal Organizations. On the other hand some 29.0% migrated to Babati as a result of fertile land around the town while11.8% followed their husbands/wives there and only 1.6% had migrated to for reasons other than those mentioned above. As far as acquisition of accommodation and assistance offered were concerned, some 50.2% of the migrants are received and accommodated by their brothers already in Babati town; some 18.4% were accommodated by their friends and some 8.6% by kin members from their rural areas. Only 22.8% had no one to assist them upon arrival in town. Therefore the second research question is answered, for 77.2% of the sample population were accommodated by their brothers/friends/relatives and kin members while only 22.8% had no one to assist them. Migrants adopt a variety of survival strategies once in town. In the first place, all of them try to be multi-occupational as far as possible, and involve everybody in the household. Furthermore, 69.4% of the migrants maintain very strong relations with their areas of origin. These visit their respective rural areas at least every year. Some 6.7% manage to pay a visit at least once every second year, 3.1% once every two years, 3.9% once in every three years, while 16.5% had not managed to pay visits to their area(s) of origin for the last five years. This can either be due to distance for those coming from distant places/regions/countries or when all the members of the family are at Babati, while from 0.4% of the respondents no information was secured.
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Rural- urban migration, Migration, Internal, Mbeya town, Babati town, Tanzania
Muhandi, C. N.D (1995) Survival strategies of migrants in intermediate towns: a case study of Babati town,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (