Kibaha District is one of the six districts of the Coast Region and is located 40 km west of Dar Es Salaam, along the Dar Es Salaam - Morogoro Highway.
The district lies between latitude 6.8o in the South and longitude 38.2o and 38.5o in the East. Kibaha District shares common borders with Bagamoyo District in the North, with Bagamoyo District again and Morogoro Rural District in the West and with Kisarawe District in the South. The District consists of 5 administrative wards: Magindu, Kwala, Soga, Mlandizi and Ruvu.
The study was carried out in the administrative wards of Magindu and Kwala. The two wards lie between latitudes 6.42o and 7.03o in the South and longitudes 38.17o and
38.38oin the East. They occupy the southern part of the Kibaha District bordering Morogoro in the West and Ruvu River in the East (Map 1). Magindu and Kwala were chosen because the first is dominated by the Maasai while the second is mainly inhabited by the Barbaigs.
Map 1. Map of Kibaha District showing Magindu and Kwala wards
The human and livestock populations of the two wards are shown in Table 1. Based on the number of Maasai and Barbaig pastoralists and the number of livestock, four villages, two in each ward, were selected for the study.
Magindu Ward: - Gumba
Kwala Ward - Dutumi
Table 1. Human and livestock population of Magindu and Kwala wards1
|Wards||Human Population||Ethnic group||Livestock Population|
1 source: National Census Report 2002 and kibaha district Livestock Monthly report for September 2003
The Maasai community in the study area is distinctively stratified in gender and age-sets. While the male strata are based on age sets, the female strata are not divided into different age groups. The hierarchical gender strata correspond to different tasks within the homestead, traditionally known as ‘boma’ in the Maasai community.
The ‘morani’ also known as ‘koriang’ are aged between 18 and 25 years and track long distances with big herd of livestock while women and older men remain at home with the younger boys, ‘layoni’ who are below 18, and girls herding young calves, milk cows, goats, sheep and donkeys.
The elderly male group is divided into four strata namely ‘landis’ the young elders (25–45 years), ‘ikishumu’ (45–50 years), ‘iseuri’ (50–65 years) and ‘makaa’ usually consisting of elders aged 70 and above. The ‘landis’, who are only an age set above the ‘morani’ are newly initiated elders and remain at home although they occasionally visit the herders in the grazing areas. The ‘makaa’ are senior elders who stay at home and supervise the raising of the stock that remains at home. They are also the overall overseers of herd and range management activities. Decision-making is usually hierarchical and individuals of lower rank must consult those of a higher age set.
The Barbaig community in the study area is also distinctively stratified in gender and age-sets. Both male and female strata are based on age but while hierarchical structure is fixed for men, women have more flexible roles within their groups. The ‘boma’ is also commonly known as a household in the Barbaig context.
The decision makers come from the elderly male group called ‘kwarukwa’ (male adults, fathers), followed by ‘gharemanga’ (warriors over 18 years) and young male children ‘balojika’. The female strata are divided into two groups: ‘kademka’ (married women) who perform all domestic chores and milk animals and ‘hawega’ (young females below twenty) who help kademkas in all domestic chores.
The study was conducted in four villages of Kibaha District during the month of September 2003. Magindu and Gumba villages in Magindu ward represented the Maasai communities while Dutumi and Kwala villages in Kwala ward represented the Barbaig communities. A combination of different methods including interviews and participatory focus group discussions were used to collect information from men and women. Observations and guided transect/mapping walks were also used. A checklist (appendix 7) helped to obtain specific qualitative information on the indigenous techniques used to assess and monitor forage plants, soils, water and animal performance, as these are indicators of range conditions. A 20 minute documentary video film was produced during the study as another source of documentation.
Owing to the nomadic nature of the Maasai and Barbaig communities and the drought condition which was persistent throughout the study, it was hard to locate and find herders in their respective homesteads. Through the use of respected elders’ leader ‘laigwenan’ and village leadership the whole exercise succeeded although most of the herds had been moved very far from their bomas (kraals) in pursuit of pasture and water. A purposeful sampling, carried out on the basis of age, gender and number of animals possessed, included 50 informants (25 men and 25 women) from two Maasai villages in the two studied wards who were individually interviewed using the checklist. All respondents had over 100 animals.
In each ward, about 20 persons of mixed gender (30 % and 15% being females for Magindu and Kwala respectively) were randomly sampled from the 50 informants interviewed and then assembled together for a focus group discussion (Appendixes 1 and 4). Twenty percent of the male group were morani/koriang (Maasai) and Gharemanga (Barbaig) aged between 18 and 25 years. The rest of the male group was made up of adults, all being heads of household. From the female group only adults took part in the focus group discussion, and none were head of household. At the end of each discussion, participants were split into different gender groups and a further discussion was conducted to get independent views on the role of women in society in terms of range resource management, animal performance and overall decision making. Visits were made to kraals (bomas) during the morning milking session and in the evening, when receiving animals from grazing. Interviews were conducted with ‘morani’ during grazing.