Mt Kenya Region
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A network of scientists working together on land-use problems in East Africa

Introduction | Methodology | Results | Conclusions | Recommendations

South Kilimanjaro: Introduction

Mount Kilimanjaro plays important roles in socio-economic and ecological functioning. The mountain contributes to agriculture, forestry and tourism. Ecologically Mount Kilimanjaro constitutes the major watershed of northern Tanzania. It is a source of water for domestic use, irrigation agriculture, industrial activities, and for the generation of Hydroelectric Power (HEP). Moreover, the forest on this mountain keeps natural scenery of Mount Kilimanjaro, which attracts tourists from all-over the world. Forests are also habitats for a diversity of fauna and flora and are sources and sinks for most of biochemical and energy flows that sustain the biosphere and geosphere, including trace gas emissions and hydrological cycle.

Mosaic of Landsat 7TM+ Satellite images for October 1999 and February 2000

Mt Kilimanjaro is an important ecosystem because its socio-economic-ecological and cultural values. However, over the years it has undergone major land use/cover changes that have to a large extent led to degradation of the land and loss of biodiversity of both flora and fauna. These changes are a result of interplay of several factors including policy, demographic and environmental changes.

The main activities that were conducted in the Tanzania Site are as follows:

1. Primary Data Collection

Primary data was collected in 2002 along the Machame, Mbokomu and Rombo transects on the southern slopes of the Mountain. It was important to collect primary data because the analysis of secondary data collected by other people showed several research gaps that needed to be filled. The analysis of socio-economic data was completed in February 2003 and has been incorporated in Working Paper 25.

A map of the Machame, Mbokomu and Rombo transects is below. (Click to enlarge)

Tanzania Transect Map

2. Socio-economic data

The results of 2002 Population Census have been integrated into the analysis of changes occuring in the site. They indicate that the region is still facing high fertility and out-migration rates. Despite the fact that Mount Kilimanjaro has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, it is among the regions with high life expectancy at birth (58 years) and this may influence population dynamics of the mountain for quite a long period. The collection and analysis of household survey data, group interviews and key informant interviews was done by Dr Cosmas H. Sokoni and Prof. M.J.Mbonile. The researchers were assisted by Christine Noe who has just completed her M.A (Geography and Environmental Management).

3. Soil data collection

The soils expert Dr. A.E. Majule collected the data assisted by soil technician Mr. John Tenga. The analysis of soil samples was done at Naliendele Institute of Agriculture in Mtwara. The results are presented in Working Paper 26.

4. Biodiversity data collection

In the same quadants where soil samples were taken, plant species data was collected and analyzed by Dr. H. Lyaruu from the Botany Department assisted by Mr. Haji Seleman (see Working Paper 40).

Additional studies included an analysis of land use change along the the Half-Mile Strip buffer zone on the mountain's forest edge by postgraduate student Mr. Christopher William (Working Paper 30), and an analysis of changes along the Mt. Kilimanjaro-Amboseli wildlife migration corridor by postgraduate student Ms. Christine Noe (Working Paper 31).

Figure illustrating the negative relationship between plant species richness and soil erosion especially along the Mbokomu transect, Mt. Kilimanjaro , Tanzania . Source: LUCID Working Paper 26 by A.E. Majule.

4.0 Land Use/Cover Change

The study included identification of changes in land use/cover on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro . Prof. S.B.Misana successfully analyzed satellite imagery and the results have been incorporated in Working Papers 25 and 38. Since Mount Kilimanjaro covers a big area, it required mosaicing several images.

Working Papers

Mbonile, Milline J . 2003. Absentee farmers and change of land management on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania .
PDF 800 KB

Mbonile, Milline J., Salome Misana and Cosmas Sokoni.
2003. Land use change patterns and root causes of land use change on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
PDF 1.8 MB

Majule, A.E . 2003. A study on land use types, soils and linkage between soils and biodiversity along the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro , Tanzania .
PDF 1.5 MB

William, Christopher M. 2003. The Implications of Land Use Change on Forests and Biodiversity: A Case of the "Half Mile Strip" on Mount Kilimanjaro , Tanzania .
PDF 1.9 MB

Noe, Christine . 2003. The Dynamics of land use changes and their impacts on the wildlife corridor between Mt. Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National Parks , Tanzania .
PDF 2.2 MB

Misana, Salome B., A.E. Majule and Herbert V. Lyaruu. 2003. Linkages between Changes in Land Use, Biodiversity and Land Degradation on the Slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro , Tanzania . PDF 1.4 MB

Lyaruu, Herbert V. 2002. Plant Biodiversity Component of the Land Use Change, Impacts and Dynamics Project, Mt. Kilimanjaro , Tanzania .
PDF 476 KB

LUCC UNEP - GEF Makerere University University of Dar Es Salaam DyMSET - Bordeaux Michigan State University ILRI