Survival strategies of migrants in Tanzania: a case study of Maasai male migrants in Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
The aim of this study was to investigate the survival strategies that migrants adopt in urban areas. The study too looked on the determinants of migration at both the areas of origin and that of destination, and linkages with their areas of origin. The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam as an area of destination and Bagamoyo Districts (Coast Region) as an area of origin of the migrants. The study found that the majority of Maasai male migrants enlarge in informal occupations and activities. They are employed as night security guards. Others are engaged in activities such as selling traditional medicine, street vending and plaiting women's hair. Almost all of those who are engaged in hair plaiting activities also work as security guards during the night. Strategically they practice this dual occupation in order to raise their income to support themselves and their families in rural areas. Migrants also send a significant amount of their income, about one third as remittances to their home place. Maasai migrants make some saving by leading a very simple life in town i.e. most those employed as security guard to do not have formal rented accommodation. The linkages with the areas of origin are firmly established through remittances and frequent visitations. Maasai practise circular and temporary migration as a strategy winch ensure they successfully utilize both urban opportunities and rural resources. The remittances sent are used to build cattle herd since cattle form the basis of pastoral economy. This significantly improves their standard of living in a situation where cattle loss is severe due to frequent drought and diseases. The study has further identified poverty as the main push factor that compels migrants to leave their areas of origin. Poverty is contributed mainly by drought, cable diseases and the decrease of land. On the other hand the possibility of getting employment is the main pull factor of the migrants. As most of the migrants are uneducated they cannot acquire formal employment, they are engaged in informal employment and supplementary activities such as plaiting women's hair. It is recommended that the government should apply economic measure that will reduce Maasai rural exodus. These include proper land distribution policies, construction of more water sources such as dams and improvement of veterinary extension services. More education opportunities in terms of building more school's need to be focused in Maasai villages. Leader have to persuade parents to send their children to school. This is because education will enable more Maasai to diversify their economy and hence improve their livelihood.
Available in print form, University Dar es Salaam, Wilbert Chagula Class mark (THS EAF HB1154.T34M75)
Migrant, Migration, Internal, Maasai (maasai people), Maasai male, Tanzania
Msinde, J(2006)Survival strategies of migrants in Tanzania: a case study of Maasai male migrants in Dar es Salaam, Master Dissertation, University of Dar es salaam