Tanzania: Hifadhi Ardhi Shinyanga (HASHI) Project

The Shinyanga region in the north of Tanzania is occupied mainly by the agropastoral Sukuma people.  The Hifadhi Ardhi Shinyanga (HASHI) project, which means “soil conservation” in Kiswahili, is a government initiative under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.  It has been instrumental in reviving the Sukuma people’s traditional practice of conservation.  Using indigenous knowledge, they are practising a natural resource management system called ngitili - a Sukuma word meaning enclosure.  Traditionally ngitili were used to provide animal fodder for very young, old or sick animals unable to follow other animals to grazing lands.  Involving the conservation of grazing and fodder lands by encouraging vegetation regeneration and tree planting, ngitili has proven to help protect the environment and improve the livelihoods of communities in the region. The Shinyanga region used to be extensively forested with dense woodland and bushland species.  The traditional practice of ngitili was used by people in response to serious fodder shortages caused by the frequent droughts typical in semi-arid areas.  The government relocation scheme, together with drought, over-grazing, cash crop cultivation, destruction of forests to wipe out tsetse fly and increased demand for fuel wood, began to reduce land productivity and increase deforestation and soil erosion.  The Shinyanga landscape is now changing, thanks to farmers’ enthusiasm for agroforestry.

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RegionSub-Saharan Africa
Settlement TypeRural
Objective"Serendipitous" Adaptation
ImpactsDrought and Aridity, Land Degradation
TargetednessAddressing Vulnerability Drivers, Building Response Capacity
Adaptation Strategies EmployedChanging Natural Resource Management Practices