Implications of ecological changes on livelihoods in the South Rufiji inner delta

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University of Dar es Salaam
Livelihoods in flood plains and deltaic ecosystems are flood – dependant; greatly influenced by natural and anthropogenic forces such as flood, droughts, fluvial processes, agriculture and industrialization. Detailed analysis of the historical events and processes, and their implications on livelihoods, including coping and adaptation strategies in response to such social-ecological dynamics in Rufiji delta are not well studied. This thesis investigates the main implications of the ecological changes on livelihoods in the South Rufiji Inner Delta since 1970’s. The Sustainable Livelihood Framework along with the participatory mapping, transect walk, historical and seasonal timelines tools have been used as qualitative methods linking historical events and processes associated with ecological change with both policy and natural perspectives. The study has shown how the state’s technocratic based policies on negative effects of flood in history has been overlooking its entire prospects of the inundation of the arable land and associated livelihood benefits, and local adaptations to flooding conditions. The natural fluvial processes which lead to the shifting of the rivers in the study area are the main natural phenomenon characterizing the ecological dynamics of this ecosystem. Based on Ramsar definition of wetlands, the study has narrated how the floodplain offers multiplicity of ecological patches including the fresh water in the rivers and ponds, brackish water in the estuary and salt water in the muddy shore, which provide diversity of arable land frequently inundated by flood, for diversified livelihoods. Diversification of production systems has created famer-fisher-trade-herder systems, complementing each other. The study has recommended on consideration of local empowering investment models management of flood release and hydoclimatic and fluvial processes monitoring systems to guide management of flooded ecosystems such as the South Inner Rufiji delta. Detailed quantitative and political ecology narratives are recommended for expanding this study.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QH541.15.R57T34A462)
Ecological risk assessment, Flood plains, Community life, Delta, South Rufiji, Tanzania
Albert, A (2019) Implications of ecological changes on livelihoods in the South Rufiji inner delta.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.