Author(s): Ogle RB
This paper documents the events leading to the imminent collapse of an attempt to rehabilitate a degraded ecosystem in central Tanzania, focusing on the consequences of the failure to systematically monitor socioeconomic and environmental indicators. A decision was taken in 1979 to evict all grazing livestock from a 1200 km2 semiarid area, the so-called Kondoa Closed Area, in central Tanzania, due to their destructive effect on contour ridges and bunds that had been constructed in an attempt to arrest land degradation. Although the closure was successful in that the vegetation quickly regenerated and soil erosion was arrested, the evictions resulted in severe hardship for the agropastoralists in the area. As a result, it was decided a decade later to allow the reintroduction of cattle on condition that they were totally confined and were of improved dairy breeds.