Community living southern part of Babati they are very unique. They have succeeded in protecting their natural forest by themselves without external forces like central government, because they use community participatory method to conserve and protect their forest.
From the field visit made in two villages Haraa and Ayasanda they practice this method. Before these forests were under central government where it was very difficult to control the whole area of forest as results the forest was badly destroyed by the surrounding community, you will wonder why these people did destroy this natural forest. Because they never felt ownership of the forest.
In 1994 Ayasanda village was given an authority to own the forest and protect them. After conserving and returning the forests in a good condition the village put down some by-laws on the use of forest. There were three categories of use that is the one used for free, the one used only if you have a licence and other was strictly prohibited.
Haraa village started to own the forests in 2001 with the same by-laws. In both villages, people surrounding the forest and villagers were given an authority of being a security guard for their forest. Because of that spirit of working together and feeling ownership of that forest made them to succeed protecting their forest.
Haraa and Ayasanda villages gets many benefits from the work that they have been working all their life. They get water throughout the year because these forests now are used as source of water, they get building materials like poles, stones and grasses, and forest has changed their local climate now they are receiving enough rainfall in relation to the time when central government was protecting them.
Haraa and Ayasanda villages have some challenges that are used to face them like their neighbour villages attack the forest for building materials and they use as grazing area for the animals. Another challenge is bushfire this happen last year in Haraa this caused a very big loss.
Let us leave this ignorance and that wrong idea of saying ah! This forest is not mine so this is not my business. Forest is destroyed and distincting while we are looking without doing anything let us join together as community fight conserve and protect our natural forest.
Tulizo Malavanu-YET 2011