Migration and survival strategies of the people in Tanzania: a case study of Ileje and Mbozi districts

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University of Dar es salaam
The objective of this study was to examine the migration and survival strategies of the indigenous people in Tanzania: using Ileje and Mbozi districts as a case study. It analysed the relationship between population pressure, out-migration and survival strategies. This study also looked at lack of non-farm income generating activities as the main factor behind the current out-migration from Ileje district and other areas inside and outside Tanzania. Data on migration and survival strategies were collected using a sample of 496 and 551 heads of households in Ileje as area of origin and Mbozi as area of destination, respectively. Methods of data collection included interviews with the heads of households and key informants, focus group discussions (with Ileje people in Ileje and Mbozi districts), questionnaires and non-participant observations. The methods used for analysis were both qualitative and quantitative. The descriptive approach was used essentially in generating statistics. The study revealed that out-migration from Ileje was a survival strategy in response to increased population pressure on land that has led to increased cultivation of marginal land, in turn leading to land degradation and loss of soil fertility, hence unsuitability of the land for agricultural production. A combination of physical changes in land use patterns and social changes in the people’s way of thinking and living stimulated out-migration in Ileje district. The main push factor was population pressure on land in Ileje and the main pull factor in Mbozi district was the availability of land for settlement and agricultural production. The study, findings also reveal that the population pressure in Ileje made the people adjust their means of survival in several ways; first, through intra-district migration. Whereby the main trading centres attract intra-district migrants due to better business opportunities and wage employment especially at Itumba, Isongole, Msiya and Ikumbilo. Secondly, through seasonal and permanent out-migration to areas with better economic opportunities such as Mbozi, Mbarali and Chunya districts and as far as Morogoro region. Third, shift to production of non-traditional cash crops such as maize, rice, millet and bananas. Moreover, those who migrated to areas with relatively reliable rainfall resorted to growing more traditional cash crops such as coffee and pyrethrum. Fourth, some conducted business within and outside the district. Finally, others resorted to salaried employment (i.e. barmaid, clerks etc) in growing district trading centres such as Itumba, Isongole, Vwawa, Tunduma and Mlowo. On the basis of these findings, this study recommends that the policy makers in Tanzania should approach issues of livelihood security and agricultural transformation more holistically instead of only focusing on agriculture. Such approach could both improve agricultural productivity hence generate other employment opportunities in Ileje district which are crucial for livelihood security, agricultural transformation and the reduction of rural poverty. These goes together with improvement of infrastructures, including rural electrification, roads and enhanced distribution of social services to minimise out-migration. It is recommended that, for further research, one such study may focus on Ileje people, but enlarge the coverage area. Other studies may focus on other less developed districts in Tanzania, which have not received due research attention.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HB1952.T34M84)
Migration, Internal, Ileje district, Mbozi district, Tanzania
Mulungu, D. A (2013) Migration and survival strategies of the people in Tanzania: a case study of Ileje and Mbozi districts, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.