Two acute crisis – “ climate change” and “ the financial crunch ” In a post Copenhagen world .
Despite all facts, figures they tell us little of the complex human & physical interaction
The disappearing snows of Kilimanjaro, symbolizes that climate variability and “change” is a reality.
The cacophonic ideology of CC has undermined valuable lessons about livelihoods and alternatives development.
Is There Evidence of Major Past Climate Changes In Kilimanjaro?
Anomalies in Kilimanjaro Region. The dormant volcanic mountain is the highest peak in Africa is very new feature compared to the adjacent Pare Mountains.
Two significant scientific works specifically on Kili. In 2002 Thompson et , al , reports on three periods of abrupt CC including the First Dark Age (- 4000 years BP) – clues to the greatest historically recorded drought in tropical Africa.
During last 150 years great variations in snow and rain. If trends continue the snow will disappear between 2015 /2020.
The French Institute for Research in Africa & the Geography Dept /UDS has more perspectives & human dimensions
Basically what were the major factors that impacted on the livelihood of communities?
Coffee production was 27,000 in 1961 about 47,000 tons in 1971,000 tons, peaked to 67,000 tons in 1981.
At Kilimanjaro had several distinct advantages: coffee was a good export crop; other products, sugar cane, maize, rice, fruits and vegetables. For the landless but educationed there were jobs.
There was livelihood diversification rather being enslaved by a subsistence economy.
The pastoralists of the semi arid plains were less rushed to make radical changes in their livelihoods.
3.3 The Decline of Coffee & First Major Shifts in the Livelihood
A combination of factors led to major changes in agriculture especially in the relatively scarce fertile and well watered areas.
Disillusioned by the skewed and slow pace and externally led national development a radical creed of self reliance and nationalization was proclaimed in 1967.
By the mid 1970’s most cooperatives even the KNCU were abolished. The services once enjoyed by coffee growers declined, erratic payment for cultivators led to a loss of interest even in coffee because of the bureaucracy and poor management.
Many peasants uprooted coffee. By the early 2000’s Kilimanjaro was producing only about 5,000 tons.
It preferable to cultivate for the internal market and to grow vegetables. The returns came in within months, red tape was absent .
As part of a Regional Planning exercise in Tanzania, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was requested to focus in the Kilimanjaro Region. Several activities, including the Kilimanjaro Agricultural Development Programme (KADP 1974-1993).
It 1974 rice formally introduced as a cash/food crop in the Lower Moshi Irrigation Project. As a formal irrigation project it differed from the traditional in many respects: more efficient use of water, fertilizers and improved seeds, (from IRRI - Philippines), The small allocated plots were small but returns were considerably greater than growing other grains.
The multiplier effect impressive: milling, transport, marketing and trading, supply of goods and services. Basically one did not have to be a farmer to earn a living.(URT 2007)