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Research Report

The case of Lindi and its region, southern Tanzania

Fred Lerise
Anthony Kibadu
Esther Mbutolwe
Nimrod Mushi
Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 2001
Pages: 32
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep01760
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 2-2)

    Rural-urban interactions include 'spatial' linkages - flows of people, of goods, of money and other social transactions between towns and countryside - and 'sectoral' interactions — rural non-farm employment and urban agriculture. Households increasingly rely on both rural and urban-based resources for their livelihoods. For low-income groups, this is often a survival strategy to make ends meet by engaging in a variety of activities. For higher income groups, investment across sectors of activity and between rural and urban areas, for example by acquiring farmland with income from trade or urban-based employment, is an accumulation strategy to increase assets and income....

  2. (pp. 2-5)

    Lindi is one of the oldest towns in Tanzania. It was established as a trade link between Zanzibar and the mainland in the 11th century by Arab traders whose culture and religion still dominate the town and, to a smaller extent, the surrounding rural areas. Later on, the town flourished from trading activities and also as an administrative centre for the Southern Province under British colonial rule. The decline of Lindi town started in 1952, when the main harbor and administrative centre was shifted to Mtwara town 108 kilometers towards the border with Mozambique. In 1971 Lindi town became the...

  3. (pp. 5-17)

    The majority of the inhabitants of both rural and urban areas depend on the combination of farming and other productive activities, primarily trade. Only 43 per cent of 120 respondents rely on a single productive activity. Of these, about 40 mentioned crop cultivation, four mentioned trading, while three Mitwero residents depend entirely on fishing and one young woman mentioned livestock-keeping as her only productive activity. The proportion of urban residents engaging in agriculture is high, and reflects the limited opportunities in other sectors. Over half the Nachingwea respondents gave farming as their primary occupation; this figure rises to three-quarters of...

  4. (pp. 17-21)

    Poor road conditions confine accessibility to and within most settlements including Lindi town to the dry season, which lasts for six months from June to November. Outside that period, movement of goods and people is difficult and unreliable. Because of the lack of maintenance, the only vehicles which are able to use the rural roads are lorries and four-wheel drives which can ply through the potholes in the sandy roads. Small trucks, such as one-ton pickups common in other rural areas of Tanzania, cannot cope with the road conditions in Lindi. Investment in private transport services in the rural areas...

  5. (pp. 21-27)

    Movement for cultural practices is significant in Lindi. Among the activities involving notable flows of people are initiation ceremonies for children, which constitute the most important event for many families and a priority investment area for most parents in both rural and urban settlements. Manyago, the local name for the ceremonies, is a process through which boys and girls of between seven and 14 years of age are initiated to local cultural norms. A well financed and well performed manyago, with plenty of food and drink, and well attended by relatives and other villagers, raises the social status of the...

  6. (pp. 27-30)

    1. In the two villages, agriculture remains the primary activity and social status is determined to a large extent by success in farming. Household wealth is ranked by people in the villages on the basis of ownership of cash crop farms and quality of housing. However, income is, in most cases, complemented by non-farm occupations, mainly petty trade, and there is a relatively high level of income diversification in the three study settlements. Rather than population pressure being the main reason, this appears to be due to low incomes derived from farming and to the erratic weather cycle and its implications...