There is several studies which have been conducted to identify various solution if natural resources are managed sustainable and equitably. One of the approaches which has been adopted in different areas and proved success is participatory natural resource management. This is quite different to the community living around Lake Burunge in Babati. Babati district council decided to close down the fishing activities in the lake for six months and other six months for fishing each year, without involving local community which their life depend much on the lake.
Speaking with young environmentalist trainees, Elinaida Mako who is a fisherman leader said that “this was done without our awareness they did not inform us about their plan of stop fishing activities from the beginning.” The interview with one of the fishermen shows that the whole exercise of stopping fishing activities at the lake Burunge was conducted by the district council without any participation of the community.
On the other hand, the interview with a district fishery officer Mr. Abdallah Mbaruku found that, the community was involved after stopping fishing activities. According to Mr. Mbaruku, they stopped fishing activities so that fishes could have enough time to reproduce. “We did not get chance to involve them, but later we explained to them why fishing activities has been stopped” he added.
However fishing activities still going on around the lake regardless they are not suppose to fish during restricted period.
Since community was not involved in decision making, that leads to unimproved use and management of water resource.
Involving local community in decision making is important in order to create a sense of ownership, management and accountability toward water resources. If local communities will not be involved and feel this sense of ownership over the resource the way it is used and managed the sustainability of these resources will be.