The Linkage between Resource Users Discourse Variations and Land Conflicts Proliferation in Lake Rukwa Basin, Tanzania


  • Elieza Yusuf Musana
  • Susan Rugano Gwalema


Rukwa basin, land conflicts, discourses, actors, corruption, agro- pastoralists


Conflicts between migrant agro-pastoralists, crop cultivators and nature conservators are invariably linked with resource scarcity. In the light of the Malthusian and Neo-Malthusian tradition, an increase in the human population and  livestock  in  a  locality  is  a  sufficient  condition  for  the  proliferation  of resource use conflicts.  But this linkage is not the only determinant of land-use conflicts. This study uses the political ecology framework to explore conflicts determining factors beyond population growth and resource scarcity linkages. To ascertain this point, we conducted a descriptive study in the purposefully selected villages of Mtenga, Totowe, Mbuyuni and Ivuna in the Lake Rukwa basin. Data were gathered from the sample of 399 respondents through the use of  semi-structured interview complemented  in part by  documentary  sources. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 22 and Microsoft EXCEL computer programs to establish patterns of the respondents’ opinions on the problem investigated. Results indicated that the persistence of the land-use conflicts was a function of differential resource use discourses held by resource users in the locality.  Such  variations  were  reflected  in  the  differences  over  the  land resources demands, perceptions, values, and power imbalances. The study concluded by calling for the need to establish a middle ground based on negotiation rather than forceful means currently used to manage resources in the basin.

Author Biographies

Elieza Yusuf Musana

Department of Geography, Open University of Tanzania

Susan Rugano Gwalema

Department of Geography, Open University of Tanzania