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Power struggles in the management of wildlife resources: A case of Burunge Wildlife Management Area, Tanzania
This study sought to examine power struggles in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Tanzania. A cross-sectional research design was used. Four out of ten villages were purposively selected. Multiple data collection techniques were employed, namely focus group discussions, key informant interviews, questionnaires to household heads, and a literature review. Results indicated that central government, investors and non-government organisations had institutional and strategic powers, while the Village Councils were limited to structural power. Village Councils were, therefore, disadvantaged in making strategic and institutional decisions on the WMA. The study also found power struggles for revenues, land management and access to resources among the stakeholders, mainly due to a divergence of interests. These struggles were responsible for resource usage conflicts. However, there was no conflict management mechanism in place. The study recommends devolution of institutional power to local communities in order to pre-empt effects caused by vesting too much power in central government and other stakeholders. Additionally, low cost mechanisms for conflict management should be established at the village level.
Power struggles, Actors, Resource use conflicts, Wildlife Management Areas