Still “People of Cattle”? Livelihoods, Diversification and Community Conservation in Longido District

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6.1 Introduction

Longido District in northeast Tanzania is arid, relatively undeveloped and historically un-remarked for agroecological resources, landscape or wildlife. Apart from the main road bisecting both the town and the district of Longido, all-weather roads within the area are few, with little or no public transport. Low levels of rainfall (300–600 mm) in most of the region restrict agricultural cultivation to a limited area of land, primarily on the higher western slopes of Kilimanjaro and along a few seasonal watercourses. The vast majority of the population in the low-lying areas is Ilkisongo Maasai. The more agriculturally productive lands on Kilimanjaro's western slopes have larger Waarusha populations, and there are a few Waarusha and non-Maasai immigrants around village centres.

The predominant activity in the area is extensive pastoral production, using herd mobility as the primary strategy to cope with and mitigate patchy and highly unpredictable rainfall ...