Coexisting with Wildlife: Its Effects on Pupils and Children in a Maasai Community, Tanzania

Journal of Social and Political

Sciences

ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 25 February 2019

Coexisting with Wildlife: Its Effects on Pupils and Children in a Maasai Community, Tanzania

Sayuni B. Mariki, Mathew L. Sengelela

Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

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10.31014/aior.1991.02.01.56

Abstract

It is well known that human-wildlife conflicts can be most challenging for local people living inside or nearby protected areas. While many studies focus on the impacts of human-wildlife conflicts on community bordering PAs, few studies, however, have focused on these impacts on children. We conducted interviews with 46 primary school pupils and children from a pastoral community, 5 teachers and 21 parents, three focus group discussions, and direct observation to investigate how living with wildlife impact pupils and children. The findings revealed that distance to school was directly related to more disturbances by wild animals. Both girls and boys were disturbed by wildlife, but boys were affected more because they exposed themselves to wildlife attacks due to their role of grazing livestock and guarding crops at night during farming seasons. Crop loss and livestock depredation impaired families' capability to provide food for the children. Hunger combined with long walking distances to school made pupils tired and hungry, leading to poor concentration and understanding thus poor performance academically. Generally, pupils' dislike dangerous wildlife due to costs they incur, however, their attitude differs with perceived benefits, i.e. those who have received benefits had a positive attitude than those who had not. In order to reduce disturbance to school children and pupils, this study recommends building boarding schools, improving school infrastructure, and constructing schools nearby areas highly settled by local people.

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