Factors inducing wildfires in the upper part of Malagarasi basin in Kasulu district, Kigoma, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Wildfires have been among those human activities that demolish the earth’s resources as they pose a threat to resources and ecosystems. This calls for efforts to study the factors that influence them. This study investigated the factors which influence wildfires in a part of the Malagarasi Basin in Kasulu District, Kigoma Region. The study explored the incidences of wildfires, causes of wildfires, and people’s role in controlling the fires. Interviews, questionnaires, observation and documentary review were used to collect data. A randomly and purposively selected sample of 200 respondents composing of farmers, livestock keepers and students/pupils, was drawn. The collected data were classified, coded and entered into the computer using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and the Microsoft Excel. The study findings show that wildfire is a big problem in the area. A big percentage of wildfires is caused by people and the major factors for the fires are livelihood activities, traditional beliefs, recreational activities, problems related to land ownership, ignorance and poverty. As a matter of fact, livestock keeping and farming were found to be the most activities associated with wildfires. It was also found that very little efforts are made by people to combat the problem. These findings imply that there is lack of awareness building programmes and legislative measures. To alleviate the problem, it is recommended to mobilize and sensitize people towards valuing and conserving their environment; to encourage and organize pro-people projects mainly aimed at combating wildfire in the area; to make sure that the established environmental committees at local government level are empowered and linked to the central government for them to fulfill their required responsibilities; to provide environmental education to all community members; to set out proper plans for land use and land ownership system; to ensure participatory establishment and implementation of by-laws; to encourage community members to make initiatives and efforts to reduce the intensity of poverty and over-dependence on natural environmental resources.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library
wildfires, Malagarasi basin, Kasulu district, Kigoma, Tanzania
Emmanuel, O. (2008) Factors inducing wildfires in the upper part of Malagarasi basin in Kasulu district, Kigoma, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.