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Indigenous Knowledge Program for Development



IK Cases


Knowledge Pack : Tanzania

This Knowledge Pack contains Indigenous Knowledge cases and other useful information related to Tanzania. The indigenous knowledge pack is a tool that provides users with quick access to synthesized information by country or selected thematic area.

For more Information on the
Indigenous Knowledge Program
please contact: Reinhard Woytek

Local IK Sources


Bank Projects related
to IK


Other Sources


Contributions






IK Cases

Agriculture

Agricultural Knowledge Exchange between Tanzania and Rwanda.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Matengo pits (grass-fallow-tied ridges).

Taboos Restrict Felling of Trees in the Maasai Steppe.

Education

Storytelling to Bridge Past and Present.

Acquisition and Sharing of Knowledge.

Environment

Maasai Pastoralism - a form of sustainable land use.

Monitoring of Rangeland Condition Through Observation of Fauna and Flora.

Water Management in Arid Regions.


Health

Medicinal Use of Plants.

Traditional Healers Effectively Treat AIDS Related Symptoms.













IK Cases


Agricultural Knowledge Exchange between Tanzania and Rwanda

Summary: The Washambaa of the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania had developed a land use system emulating the climax vegetation of the deciduous natural forest a multi-story integrating annuals and perennials on the same plot. The principles were transferred to Nyabisindu, Rwanda in a GTZ assisted project; special multi-purpose contour bunds with trees shrubs and grasses were added to the system and retransferred to the Washambaa once dense population and demand for firewood had depleted the soil cover.

Lesson:
Emulation of natural vegetation is a valid approach to soil conservation; transferring and adding elements to address new problems adds value to the original land use system.

Source:
GTZ various reports 1980 - 1990, or contact: rwoytek@worldbank.org



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Strengths and Weaknesses of the Matengo pits (grass-fallow-tied ridges)

Summary: The grass-fallow-tied ridge system (Matengo pits) is practiced on the steeper slopes for the cultiva-tion of maize, beans, wheat and sweet potatoes, and sometimes tobacco, all on a rotational basis in the hilly Matengo Highlands with limited arable land under pressure of a highly concentrated and growing population. Shrubs and grass are cut and laid in rectangular rows, forming a grid over the whole area. One set of rows is laid across the slope along the contour, the other set running up and down the slope, forming pits of varying sizes of app. one square meter and around 0.3m deep. The ridges and the pits are planted with various annual crops in a complex rotational pattern. After harvest residues are buried under new ridges where there have been pits in the previous season and vice versa. Matengo fields are reported to have 70 to 80% lower run-off caused by rain than un-treated fields. This practice has been applied for over 100 years. The practice, however, is very laborious, most of the work carried by women, it cannot be mechanized.

Lesson:
This system poses a challenge to development practitioners and farmers to jointly develop a farming practice that is based on the Matengo pits, has the same soil conservation effect and reduces the labour demand on women.

Source
: Rutatora, D.F. IK Monitor 5(2) August 1997,

 


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Taboos Restrict Felling of Trees in the Maasai Steppe

Summary: To fell trees at random is a taboo in the Maasai culture. Only a ritual of prayers prior to cutting a tree as a sign of love/intimacy with the tree would avoid the implications of violating the taboo. The ritual would not be performed unless a dire need was established in advance. Trees being rare in the steppe ecology are not only providers of tools, building material, shade, fodder, and medici-nal use, they are also recognized in their association with other plant species and interaction with the environment. They serve as indicators of water sources, cattle routes, aptitude of physical conditions, and as hosts of favorable fauna. Over years the Maasai have learned and integrated this experience in rituals how to judiciously use their natural resources by preserving their environments.

Lesson:
Cultural attitudes towards plant (species) help preserving bio-diversity.

Source:
MARECIK; N. Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo, or contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Storytelling to Bridge Past and Present

Storytelling as the traditional means to bridge past and present and to transfer ethical values through the generations.
Summary: Maasai elders illustrate ways of the past and thus values to the young tacitly through story telling. Methods and styles of narration are expressed in a performance quality that captures the mood of the audience and highlights the important elements of the story. Singing, gestures carefully ma-nipulated in different voices or codified statements are some of the practiced forms of story telling. For instance the stealing of cows narrative starts with: "Lolong'o lay", i.e. "victim of my shield". Audience participation is important, listeners acknowledge by replying "Eee" for Yes/"mm" - ok with a sharp intake of breath (mmh).

Lesson:
Traditional methods of conveying information could be used in awareness campaigns or in the participatory preparation of projects.

Source:
MARECIK, Tanzania Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Emly S. Friedberg "Oral Fixa-tion" (1998),or contact : multicho@yako.habari.co.tz




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Acquisition and Sharing of Knowledge.

Summary: Maasais and Barabaig alike of Northern Tanzania have developed and maintained traditional knowledge and practices for the management and conservation of biological resources on which they depend on. Their knowledge and practices are empirical, based on continuous observation and their close attachment to and utter dependence on natural resources. The knowledge is stored in cultural and religious beliefs, taboos, folklore or myths as much as in the individuals' practical ex-perience. Knowledge is imparted in the youth through a phased childhood and adolescence. This contributes to a stock of knowledge in human and animal health, in agricultural meteorology and in land use. A combination of cultural, empirical and hierarchical methods ensures thesafeguarding and further development of knowledge as well as effectiveness of existing practices. By preferring utilitarian to hierarchical or theoretical concepts, knowledge is much easier shared. Evidence pro-vides a strong corrective agent in determining the usefulness of existing knowledge, and an "incen-tive" to further develop it.

Lesson:
Indigenous knowledge systems are often application oriented. The introduction of new concepts should use approaches that are based on or compatible to existing systems.

Source:
MARECIK; N. Ole-Lengisugi, F. Ole-Ikayo, or contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz

 


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Maasai Pastoralism - a form of sustainable land use

Summary: The Maasai have roamed the East African rangeland for more than two millennia. Husbandry techniques, environmental observation, land use as well as transhumance patterns are reflected in the culture of the Maasai. Labor division according to gender and age, music, legends, language, rituals, decision making and interaction with neighboring communities are interwoven with the requirements of their primary economic activity of cattle keeping. Despite constant external pressures (slave trade, colonialism, villagization following Tanzania's independence and "Westernization") the Maasai have preserved a conspicuously different day-to-day culture. This culture has assisted them to sustain their livelihoods. However, as population grows in Tanzania and Kenya various pressures may eventually endanger their style of life: expansion of cultivated land, requirements of wild life preservation, cultural pressures and modernization. Time will show whether the Maassai's distinct culture will have endowed them with the flexibility and adaptability to cope with the new conditions without losing their identity.

Lesson:
There exists an evident dilemma, based on traditional values and modernization, facing the Maasai's distinct culture.

Source:
MARECIK; N Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo, or contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Monitoring of Rangeland Condition Through Observation of Fauna and Flora

Summary: Pastoralist Maasai practice everyday monitoring of their resource base to determine the trend of range condition and to detect early signs of deterioration. To ensure reliability of evaluation they have developed various sampling and surveying techniques. They observe forage types, quality, quantity and condition as used by livestock and wildlife. Common indicators used are: daily milk yield, animal coat texture and color, consistence of cow and wildlife dung, and the extend of bush encroachment. None of these indicators is used in isolation, rather a combination of all of them provides the experienced pastoralist with early indications of the condition of the range land and its likely changes. Based on the observations, the herders decide how to manage the situation or to apply coping strategies in case of an impending drought.

Lesson
: Pastoral indicators in rangeland monitoring can be used as part of early warning systems not only for the range land but also for food security.

Source:
MARECIK; N. Ole-Lengisugi, Indigenous Knowledge and Skills in Combating Desertification and Drought (1998), or contact multicho@yako.habari.co.tz




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Water Management in Arid Regions

Summary: Water scarcity in the arid and semi-arid regions of Africa poses a grave threat to the well-being of rural people. The conventional approach to this problem has been to emphasize northern technologies over indigenous forms of water management, without seriously considering the potential benefits of the latter, which have evolved with the local environment and are specifically adapted to local conditions. IDRC (International Development Research Centre), a public corporation created by the Canadian government to help communities in the developing world find solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems through research, has designed a project to address this oversight by supporting an in-depth study of the efficacy of traditional methods of water management, and promoting, as appropriate, their continuance or revival. This project includes 3 pilot projects located in Djibouti, Egypt and Tanzania. The work carried out by local NGOs, and co-ordinated by the International Secretariat for Water (ISW), will seek to document, evaluate and improve upon traditional and contemporary water management schemes, and disseminate the value-added traditional systems both locally and to other regions. Knowledge related to traditional water management will be elicited through participatory techniques such as interviews and meetings with local experts, as well as literature reviews. Workshops will be organized to bring together local innovators and outside experts to investigate promising technologies, and the results will be disseminated through seminars and meetings with local communities.

Lesson:
The involving of indigenous people, and their knowledge of local conditions and techniques, can be used to protect dwindling resources.

Source:
IDRC: Traditional Water Management in Africa, or contact rwoytek@worldbank.org

 


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Medicinal Use of Plants

Medicinal use of plants for people and livestock.
Summary: It is estimated that over 1000 plant species in Tanzania are used as sources of traditional medicine for human ailments. Over 80% of Tanzanians are dependent on traditional phytomedicine to treat various diseases. More than 100 plant species are recorded to treat 38 different pathological condi-tions of livestock in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Uhaya regions. Veterinary use of plants widespread among the pastoralist communities in Tanzania but not restricted to them.

Lesson:
Knowledge of traditional medicine practices has not yet sufficiently inseminated conventional medicinal practices in Tanzania, a missed opportunity for cost effective treatments.

Source:
MARECIK; N. Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo, or contact multicho@yako.habari.co.tz




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Traditional Healers Effectively Treat AIDS Related Symptoms

Traditional healers effectively treat AIDS related symptoms and provide counseling to patients.
Summary: In Tanzania, The Tanga AIDS Working Group (TAWG) has one goal: to alleviate suffering from HIV/AIDS using indigenous knowledge. The group has treated over 2000 AIDS patients with herbs prescribed by local healers. The impact has been most significant in alleviating the opportunistic diseases brought on by the AIDS virus. The patients who have responded most positively have lived longer, by up to five years. Observed improvements included disappearance of skin problems, increase in appetite, return of vision strength within two weeks only. The Tanga regional hospital has allocated a floor to TAWG workers to enable them to test patients for HIV, treat them and provide counseling. They have also set up an information centre in town, which conducts active AIDS awareness campaigns and offers a support network to people living with AIDS. TAWG plans to involve their healers, people living with AIDS and staff working with patients to provide medical care and alternative income generating opportunities, in exchanges of IK with similar communities in Tanzania and possibly Kenya.
Lesson:
Integrating local healers in AIDS prevention and mitigation strategies increases effectiveness of approach and access for poorer patients.

Source:
Tanga Regional Hospital, Tanzania

Contact:Tanga Aids Working Group, Tanga Tanzania, David Scheinman: tanga4@raha.com

External Link: AFP Article



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Local IK Sources

Vice President's Office
Division of Environment
Mr. Rawson P. Yonazi
Assistant Director (Policy and Planning)
IPs Building, 1st Floor, Room 9
Samora Avenue/Azikiwe Street
Po Box 5380
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 25522-2118416/2113983
Fax: 25522-2115297/2113082
Email: vpodoe@intafrica.com , yonazirp@hotmail.com,

TFNC
Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre
Ms. Henrietta Missano
FAO Links Project Coordinator
22 Ocean Road
PO Box 977
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 25522-2118137/9
Fax: 25522-2116713
Email: Hmissano@muchs.ac.tz

TAWG
Tanga AIDS Working Group
PO BOX 1374
Tanga
Tanzania
Phone/Fax: 225 27 2642266
email: taw@raha.com

ITM
Institute of Traditional Medicine
Prof. R. L. A. Mahunnah, Director
PO Box 65001
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 255-51-150096
Mobile: 255-811-622244 (Dr. M. Moshi)
Fax: 255-51-151596
Email: ditm@muchs.ac.tz , mmoshi@muchs.ac.tz

Tameke Animal Disease Control Research Centre
Mohimbili Hospital
Dr. MK Minja, Director (Ethno-Veterinary Medicine)
Dares es Salaam
Tel: 255-51-861152
Email: MKangareminja@hotmail.com

AWLAE
Association of Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment
Mrs. Kweka Rhoda, National Coordinator
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
PO Box 76498
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 255-51-700085/617033
Fax: 255-51-700090/617032
Email: tawlae@ud.co.tz deokweka@udsm.ac.tz

SIDO
Small Industries Development Organization
Fredrick E. Ogenga, Advisor-Trainer
Regional Office, PO Box 22151
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 255-51-865702
Mobile: 255-811-788981
Email: sido-dar@africaonline.co.tz

MIKONO
Handicrafts Marketing Company
Deo Kafwa, General Manager
PO Box 9363
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 255-51-863011
Mobile: 255-811-616005
Fax: 255-51-114261
Email: mikono@africaonline.com.tz

Traditional Healer
Dr. L. Olmelakwa
PO Box 22772
(Via Kurasini Rungwe, Temeke District)
Dar es Salaam
Tel: 255-51-850980

PINGOS
Pingos Forum for Maasai Pastoralists
Edwin Kerere, Coordinator
PO Box 12785
Arusha
Tel/Fax: 255-57-8965
Email: Pingos@yako.habari.co.tz

MAA
Maasai Advancement Association
Peter Toima, Director
PO Box 2720
Uchumi House
Arusha
Tel: 255-57-4444
Fax: 255-57-4453
Mobile: 255-811-512008
Email: maa@habari.co.tz

MARECIK
Maasai Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge
Dr. Nathan Ole Lengisugi, Director
Simanjiro Animal Husbandry Vocational Training Centre
PO Box 3084
Arusha
Tel/Fax: 255-57-4229
Email: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz


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Bank Projects related to IK

Social Action Fund Project.
The objective of the Social Action Fund Project, is to increase, and enhance the capacities of communities, and stakeholders to be able to manage development initiatives, and improve in the process, socioeconomic services. The components will: 1) finance, and support small demand-based community initiatives, to improve accessibility to, and delivery of social, and economic services, enhancing the capacity of communities, and local stakeholders. Subprojects will include improvement of basic health care facilities; construction, and rehabilitation of nursery, and pre-schools, as well as primary, and secondary schools; supply of essential equipment for primary, and junior schools; development of initiatives on water supply, and sanitation; and, construction of economic infrastructure, e.g., crop storage facilities, and markets; 2) finance labor-intensive works, as a safety net scheme for targeted poor rural areas, to provide cash income for the poor, in particular women, and youth, promoting job creation related to the construction of infrastructure facilities, complementing income earning with the construction of productive assets, such as village access roads, water retention structures for small-scale irrigation, and sewage systems; and, 3) support institutional development, and capacity building, through the provision of information, education, communication, and training, in a participatory manner. PAD


Health Sector Development Project.
The Health Sector Development Program Project aims to improve resource management and quality of health services through sector reforms and institutional capacity building. The project consists of four components. 1) Strengthening Service Delivery will improve access, quality, and efficiency of district-based primary health care services; improve financial viability of secondary and tertiary referral hospital services to support primary level curative services; and promote private sector involvement in delivery of health services. 2) Strengthening the MOH and Central Support Systems will strengthen Ministry of Health's (MOH) capacity and systems for policy development, analysis and national planning, development of guidelines for national policy implementation, performance monitoring and evaluation, and development and enforcement of legislation. This component will also strengthen the national support systems for drugs and medical supplies, physical infrastructure, and health management information system. It will also develop human resources to implement health reforms effectively. 3) Health Financing will broaden financing options and improve financial management for increased financial self-sufficiency and sustainability. 4) National HIV/AIDS Fund will intensify national effort to prevent HIV infection and mitigate the adverse effects of AIDS in a multi-sectoral manner.PAD


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Other Sources

Bank Sources

Indigenous Knowledge for Development Link to the Homepage of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

Database of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices Link to the Database of Practices of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

IK Notes Newsletter Link to the IK Notes of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

An Introduction to the
Microfinance Institutions Contact List

External Sources

Register for Best Practices in Indigenous Knowledge Link to the database of Best Practices of UNESCO

Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages

 Please send feedback or comments to rwoytek@worldbank.org

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

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IK Contribution Format

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

You could structure your contribution by using the following format:  

1. Country:Where is the practice applied (country and location)?

2. Domain:

In which sector is the practice applied (agriculture, health, social development etc.)?

3. Technology:

What technology (e.g. soil erosion control, childcare, institutional development etc.)?

4. Bearers of Knowledge:

By whom is the practice applied (e.g. Washambaa, local healers, women's group of a given village etc.)?

5. Source: Where can we inquire further?

 Primary provider information (probably yourself or your institution)

Secondary providers of information

Add references to literature, web sites, names of individuals or organizations that can corroborate the practice.

Include addresses of primary and secondary providers of information.

6. Descriptive headline of practice:

One to two lines capturing the main features of a practice.

7. Summary:

Describe the main features of the practice and explain (not more than 200 words).

8. Lessons:

Answer three key questions related to efficacy and impact of the practice.

 - Why it is important for the local community?

- Why might it be beneficial to other communities?

 - Why should development organizations learn more about this practice?

9. Methods used to capture information:

How was the practice identified, recorded and documented?

          

NB: The IK database is an open, on-line resource for information on indigenous knowledge practices. The database acts as a referral system and does not disclose the technical details of practices or applications. Most practices in the database have been reported elsewhere in publicly accessible information sources. As is the principle of a referral database the provider of information could be asked by users of the database to provide further information or pointers as regards details of the practice. It is to the discretion of the provider of information and the inquirer to negotiate the terms of the exchange of knowledge. No information provided will be made public without the consent of the provider.

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