The Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA) has asked the government to conduct joint research countrywide in an effort to identify idle land suitable for investment.
This is only one of ten recommendations issued by the organization at the weekend to the Parliamentary Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources in Dodoma.
TALA coordinator Francis Uhadi said that there are increased land conflicts between villagers and investors, a direct result of the government using old data to allocate land.
Between July 2010 and June 2011 a total of 12,643 cases on land conflicts were filed in district land councils which is over a thousand cases each month or a barrage of some 35 cases daily.
"We recommend a joint research which would include ordinary citizens, Parliamentary committee, the Ministry and TALA to identify the remaining arable land…” suggested the coordinator…” Investment plays a crucial role in development and there is dire need to resolve the increasingly frequent conflicts and TALA believes that enabling villagers to contract the investors then their land would serve for ever growing income source since land value is generally expected to rise.
A representative of the Hadzabe community, Richard Baallow, said the government should protect them against land grabbing saying that a big part of their land has been sold to investors threatening their livelihood.
Deputy Minister for Land, Housing and Human Settlement, Goodluck Medeye, commended TALA for a job well done and noted that the government has already started working on the land crisis. It is thought that there are no more than 2500 Hadzabe (tribes.co.uk) and their lifestyle is increasingly threatened as their traditional lands have been taken by commercial plantations and farms. This has had the effect of creating barriers along the seasonal migration routes of the animals, upon which the Hadzabe depend for hunting.
In the 70s, the socialist government attempted to resettle them in a newly constructed settlement, complete with schools, a clinic and brick houses. In the spurn of ten years the Hadzabe had abandoned the settlement and returned to their traditional way of life in the bush.
The limited area that they inhabit is ever increasingly becoming constrained, and despite their resistance to formal education, a monetary economy and religious indoctrination by missionaries, they have increasingly come into contact with modern-urban Tanzanians and foreign tourists. Despite bringing in revenue for the tribe, this has proved to be a huge culture shock and consequent problems such as begging and alcoholism have sometimes arisen.
Given that the Hadzabe are in such a precarious position, mainly due to the tourist industry, which has had such a devastating effect on their culture in recent years, the best thing that can happen to the Hadzabe is that they are left in peace.
It is in this effort that TALA is urging the government to intervene and protect its people. TALA was established in 2010 as a joint effort by seven organizations, Legal and Human rights center (LHRC) , Women and Legal Aid Centre (WLAC), a network of livestock keepers (PINGO) Legal Environmentalists Action Team (LEAT), an organization for human resources (U-CRT) and a network of small scale farmers in Tanzania (MVIWATA)