Livelihood and diversification in Rural Coastal Communities : Dependence on Ecosystems Services and possibilities for Sustainable Enterprising in Zanzibar, Tanzania
Abstract: Poverty and degradation of ecosystem services are prevalent features of the livelihood insecurity of coastal communities in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Livelihood diversification is typical in coastal rural areas and it is increasingly important to identify opportunities for income generation and ways to alleviate poverty. Sustainable enterprises provide a strong tool for livelihood development, but are still unable to find pathway towards development of ecosystem services and sustainable enterprises in coastal communities in Zanzibar.The aim of this study is to understand the existing livelihood diversification and income generating patterns in order to introduce sustainable enterprises in the future. Also, we aim to identify the conditions of the present dominant livelihood activities in terms of sustainability. During the study a household survey was conducted using a sample of 200 households from five coastal villages in Zanzibar. The data was collected by maintaining a daily diary and conducting comprehensive interviews. The statistical techniques, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), linear regression and other statistical measures were used to analyze the results. The ANOVA technique is used to test the differences in income generated by different livelihood sectors. The regression analysis techniques are employed to find out whether there is a correlation between numbers of livelihood activities and income.The results show that livelihood diversification is very high in coastal households in Zanzibar. With respect to ecosystem-based livelihoods, there is more household participation in fishing and seaweed farming, but it varies from village to village. Furthermore, fisheries and tourism are the most important sectors, and offer more opportunities to generate higher income for households. The findings suggest that there is space to improve the current dominant livelihood sectors in a sustainable way in the future. Livelihood management strategies are needed to take into account the market opportunities and their roles in livelihood development. Also, there is a need to identify possibilities to enhance livelihood opportunities in sectors with low household participation as an important way to reduce pressure on ecosystems. Finally, we outline the possible future impact of unsustainable development and of sustainable enterprises, and highlight the importance of a collaborative sustainable enterprise system to ensure livelihood security.
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