Tabora League for Children (TLC) helping orphan and vulnerable young adults towards living sustainably.


  • Cooking without Charcoal read more also see below left
  • Planning families so as to take care of their members adequately. see below right

Tanzania, like many African countries has been experiencing rapid rates of deforestation. However, estimates of the magnitude and rate have varied widely. The Ministry of Tourism, Natural Resources and Environment (MTNRE 1989a), for example, estimates that Tanzania has been losing between 300,000 and 400,000 ha of forest per annum. The FAO and World Bank estimates give an average annual rate of 130,000 ha or 0.3% (WRI 1990; World Bank 1992). Ahlback (1988), on the other hand, believes that the annual rate of deforestation has already exceeded 700,000 ha. Such disparities of data have made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the problem and to come up with strategies aimed at minimising it and dealing with its impacts. Although generalisations have been made on the rates, magnitude and causes of deforestation in Tanzania, differences exist in different areas because of local variations in the types of land use and economic activities, nature of the vegetation and demands for various forest products including fuelwood. Therefore, any attempt to deal with the problem of deforestation must address these variations in order to avoid making blanket statements about it. Of particular importance is the need to understand the contribution of the various factors such as settlement and expansion of agriculture, tree cutting for timber, charcoal production and mining to the deforestation problem in different areas. Such factors may be considered as proximate factors. The question is: what could be the underlying forces behind the problem of deforestation? Is population growth the only underlying factor as many people have always thought and believed? If not, what other factors could explain the process of deforestation? Is there any link between the process of deforestation and the development process within and outside the country? These and many other questions need to be addressed in order to understand the problem of deforestation and to devise appropriate strategies to deal with it.

Extract from ossrea