The potential contribution of peri-urban wetlands to livelihood of local communities in Shinyanga Municipality, Tanzania

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MOHAMED YUSUPH
P.K.T. MUNISHI

Abstract

Yusuph M, Munishi PKT. 2018. The potential contribution of peri-urban wetlands to the livelihood of local communities in Shinyanga Municipality, Tanzania. Bonorowo Wetlands 2: 75-83. The study took place in Shinyanga Municipality, Tanzania to assess the potential contribution of peri-urban wetlands to the livelihood of nearby communities. The specific objectives were to examine the participation of the suburban wetland ecosystems to natural capital-(food production/food security), evaluate the involvement of periurban wetlands ecosystem to financial capital-(household income) and assess the advantages received by farmer groups/associations formed around the utilization of wetlands (social capital). Information was acquired through households and farmer's group/associations questionnaires, focus group discussion as well as field observations. Data were analyzed by employing descriptive and inferential statistics by applying correlation and t-test. As many as 79.2% of the wetland nearby communities rely on the wetlands for food. The major food crops were paddy, fruits, vegetables, and sweet potatoes. The average production levels of cereals, vegetables and fruits were prominently higher in wetlands compared to uplands. In the case of household income wetland cultivation (paddy, vegetables, maize, and fruits) brought about statistically higher household annual mean income of Tshs 2,335,852/year (US$ 1,168) compared to Tshs 197,475/year (US$ 99) produced by upland cultivation. The results further suggested that 70% of the farmer groups/associations established around wetland utilization accessed loans/credit to support agricultural production as an advantage from being members. Sustainable use of peri-urban wetlands in Shinyanga Municipality produces substantial livelihoods to adjacent communities. Conservation of such wetland ecosystems is indispensable for continued contribution to livelihoods while ensuring environmental protection. Further studies are necessary to unravel the nature of social capital associated with utilization of wetland ecosystems.

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