Population pressure and overgrazing in Mbulu district: a case study of Isale and Ayamaami villages.

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University of Dar es Salaam
Land degradation has been a serious problem in the semi arid areas in Tanzania. The explanation for the problem has often been delt with in terms of overgrazing due to overstocking. Despite the governments effort to advocate on destocking, there has been no improvement on the issue and on the contrary, overgrazing is becoming severe. This suggests that the root cause of the problem of overgrazing has not yet been addressed and delt with thoroughly. This study aims at examining the influence of human population growth on overgrazing in Mbulu District. Also some socio-economic factors which influence overgrazing are discussed. These are important in understanding the underlying causes and effects of extensive overgrazing in Tanzania. Chapter one discusses the problem, the objectives, the hypotheses and the significance of this study. In addition, the working conceptual framework is clarified in this chapter. Chapter two covers the background information of the area of study and the research methodology employed in the study. Chapter three covers the literature review about the topic. The literature show that apart from the demographic factors, overgrazing is also influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors of the agropastoralists. Chapter four presents the findings obtained from the field survey. In this chapter, trends in human and livestock population growth, have been discussed in relation to the problem of overgrazing. In addition, aspects like the agropastoralists' education level, income, extension services as well as policies towards prices and land tenure are addressed. Among the factors, physical factors such as diseases and drought have been considered the most influential factors in accelerating overgrazing. However, these factors are conceptually influenced by the socioeconomic factors. The chapter also discusses the effects of overgrazing in Mbulu District. Chapter five summarises and concludes the main causes and effects of overgrazing in Mbulu District. It has been found that the livestock size has been decreasing as the human population increases. Implicitly, the increase in human population size has influenced overgrazing. It has been proved statistically that, the increase in the human population size has reduced the grazing land through cultivation. This has consequently confined the livestock in limited smaller areas, hence overgrazing. Among the effects of overgrazing, economic stagnation has been reported the uppermost in the area of study. This is followed by soil erosion, land degradation, land use conflicts. The least effect identified is migration of animals to other neighbouring places where they also cause overgrazing.
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Population density, Population geography
Ngalason, P. K. K. (1996). Population pressure and overgrazing in Mbulu district: a case study of Isale and Ayamaami villages. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (