African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 966

Full Length Research Paper

The dynamics of pastoral mobility routes in relation to food security in semi-arid areas of Simanjiro and Handeni districts in Tanzania

Sixbert J. Msambichaka
  • Sixbert J. Msambichaka
  • Department of Education, The Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar
Paul O. Onyango
  • Paul O. Onyango
  • Department of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries, College of Agricultural Sciences and Fisheries Technology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 July 2019
  •  Accepted: 28 August 2019
  •  Published: 31 October 2019


This study specifically examined the pastoral mobility routes in relation to food security in Simanjiro and Handeni districts. The pastoralists from Simanjiro district usually migrate to Handeni and other areas as a coping strategy. During the pastoral mobility the pastoralists face different problems such as food insecurity. The data were collected by using participatory geographic information system (PGIS) and the descriptive data using questionnaire survey, focus group discussion and interviews. A total of 367 respondents were asked to fill the questionnaire, eight focus discussion one from each village, each focus group discussion comprised of eight members. The focus group discussions were assigned to locate the current and former mobility routes; once these points are reached the food is always finished, and all of these were located on the satellite image. Data show that 58% of the respondents said that the dynamics of the route was because of looking for shortcut path. Most of the pastoralists about 38.9% stayed 3 to 4 months in the destination area, 61% of the respondents had no access of food on the mobility route. 39% of the respondents had food during mobility and the food available was maize flour 44.4%, beans 20.7% and milk 18.5%. Therefore, it is evident that pastoral mobility has an impact on pastoral communities especially on food security since walking long distance searching pasture and water causes the livestock to be unhealth which lead to poor production of milk. This study recommends that the pastoralists especially the Maasai pastoralists should reduce the number of their livestock so that during drought season it could be easier to handle the livestock without deciding mobility which is more problematic, as it causes challenges such as death of livestock due to long distance travel to the pastoralists themselves and the livestock.


Key words: Pastoral mobility, pastoralism, food security, semi-arid areas.