Resource use conflicts in Usangu Plains, Mbarali District, Tanzania
Conflicts over natural resources such as land, water, and forests are ubiquitous. People everywhere have competed for natural resources to enhance their livelihoods. However, the dimensions, level and intensity of conflict vary greatly from one place to another. This study was conducted in Usangu plains, Mbarali district, Tanzania, to investigate resource use conflicts and their underlying causes. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and household survey using a structured questionnaire were the major tools for data collection. Participant observation and secondary data sources were also used to supplement information. The study revealed the existence of resource use conflicts in the area. About 50% of respondents argued that relationships between the various ethnic groups in Usangu plains were bad. Conflicts were centred on competition for water and land. Crop damage was ranked highest (25% of respondents) as a cause behind many conflicts in the area. The study recommends that the government should redefine land tenure and land rights, enhance crop-livestock linkages and carry out a stakeholder analysis in the Usangu plains.