Impacts of community based forest management on water resources: the case of Mgori forest reserve in Singida rural district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
In Tanzania like other parts of the world threats to forests resources are increasing, which lead to environmental problems including decrease of forests cover, quality of the forest resources as well as water resources. The extent of conservation in the reserved forests is somehow better compared to public land forests, which are regarded as no man’s land. Community/village forests which are left under the management of the community are also better managed than public land forests. Proper management of forest resources has eventually led to the sustainability of water resources through reduced siltation and improvement of water catchments. This study examined the impacts of Community Based Forest Management on the water resources that may occur due to appropriate management of the forests. Specifically, the study focused on assessing Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) attributes; assessing the influence of CBFM related activities on water resource conservation; and examined the contribution of forest management practices to the sustainability of forest and water resources. Two villages of Unyampanda and Mughunga in Singida Rural District were selected for this study. The selection of sample study villages were obtained through probability and non probability sampling techniques; mainly simple random and purposive sampling techniques. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in data collection and analysis; the approaches included interviews, observations, focus group discussions and review of literature. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and content-functional approach. The study found that local communities are aware of the CBFM and actively engaged in forest management. The study findings show also that CBFM has significant contribution to the sustainability of forest and water resources and has improved the involvement and benefits accrued by local communities from the forest reserve. The study revealed that villagers are benefiting through employment opportunities that are not based on forest resource use, such as security guards; increased cash income by being paid salary and decrease in illegal harvesting of forest resources such as timber and building poles harvesting, as well as charcoal making. Although this study found that there was effective implementation of CBFM activities in the study area; it is recommended that there should be diversification of sources of energy, enhanced participation of adjacent communities in forest management and diversification of livelihoods.
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Forest management, Mgori forest reserve, Singida rural district, Tanzania
John, d (2011) Impacts of community based forest management on water resources: the case of Mgori forest reserve in Singida rural district, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at