Factors Influencing Transient Poverty Among Maasai Pastoralists Households in Semi-Arid Areas of Simanjiro District, Tanzania
There are two discourses on the feasibility of pastoralists’ livelihoods. The first maintained that pastoralism is still a feasible approach if suitable development ingenuities link rural households to markets. The second discloses the fact that pastoral livelihoods are depressed and unviable due to political side-lining, drought, and inadequate institutional support (markets and education). Consequently, poverty associated with the seasonal fluctuation of income (transient poverty) remains intense among pastoralists. This study determined factors influencing transient poverty among pastoralists in Simanjiro District, Tanzania. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. Purposive and random sampling techniques were employed to select representative samples. Data collection methods comprised household surveys with 100 Maasai pastoralists, 4 focused group discussions (FGDs), and 20 key informants interviews. The regression model was used to determine the relationship between poverty and hypothesized-explanatory variables. The findings show that household heads who had never been to school have a higher likelihood of being trapped in transient poverty (statistically significant at p<0.05 in logistic regression). The herd size shows a significant effect on transient poverty i.e., the more the herd size the less likelihood of households being trapped in transient poverty holding other factors constant. Geographical proximity (distance to markets, water sources, and pasture fields) has a significant effect on transient poverty. The more the distance to markets, water sources, and pasture fields the higher the likelihood of households being trapped in transient poverty holding other factors constant. The poverty status of the household is highly associated with the level of physical access to markets, water sources, and pasture fields. Theoretically, the study contributes at different levels. First, contributes to the role of educational profile in transient poverty persistence, by showing how returns to education reduce transient poverty likelihood. Second, contributes to the factors for transient poverty, by showing the effect of geographical proximity on transient poverty. Lastly, contributes to the role of livelihoods diversification, by showing having multiple livelihoods strategies reduces transient poverty.