Modelling the Determinants of Using Matengo Pits in Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and Variability: The Case of Mbinga District, Tanzania

Sifuni Nikombolwe Lusiru *

Department of Geography and History, The Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy, P.O. Box-9193, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: This study was undertaken to find out what determines the adoption of Matengo pits in order to adapt to the impact of climate change and variability.

Study Design: The study adopted a quantitative research design. The design allowed collection of a wide range of numerical data, covering the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and their households, farm characteristics and institutional factors. These data were important in finding out the determinants of using Matengo pits.

Methodology: The study was conducted in Mbinga District, south-western Tanzania, because of the predominance of the pits. Three wards, which constituted about 10% of all 28 wards, were randomly selected and one village from each ward was selected to represent the other villages. Data were collected using structured interviews with systematically selected respondents from the sampling frame, which comprised all the heads of farmer households. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to find out the determinants of practicing Matengo pits.

Results: The findings indicated that slope of the land was the most important factor that determined the use of Matengo pits. This was based on the Wald value of 42.846, which was greater than all the other Wald values and the p-values of 0.000 at a 95% confidence level. Other significant determinants of using Matengo pits were sex of the household head (p-value = 0.000), farming experience (p-value = 0.002), knowledge of Matengo pits as a strategy for adapting to climate change and variability (p-value = 0.004) and the size of a household (p-value = 0.014).

Conclusion: Matengo pits dominated the steep slopes of the study area, where they were introduced for soil conservation purposes. Low practicing of the pits were observed in the low land areas because some farmers had no knowledge about the usefulness of Matengo pits in their areas. Besides, the strategy is adopted differently by different sex, whereby male headed households were mostly practicing Matengo pits than their female counterparts. This is attributed to difficulties involved in digging the pits among the females and low income to employ other people to dig the pits. Further, farming experience and knowledge about the usefulness of the pits in adapting to climate change and variability increased the rate of practicing the strategy. Regarding the size of a household, small household size reduced adoption due to small labour force to engage in digging the pits.

In view of these findings, it is argued that knowledge of the usefulness of Matengo pits for adapting to the impacts of climate change and variability and availability of financial resources can help to overcome the barriers to practicing Matengo pits. As such, the Government, Non-Governmental Organisations and Community-Based Organisations should provide education about the usefulness of the pits and fiscal resources to motivate more famers in the district and other areas to adopt Matengo pits so as to improve their adaptive capacity, food security and the general socio-economic development.

Keywords: Climate change and variability, matengo pits, determinants, logistic regression

How to Cite

Lusiru, S. N. (2022). Modelling the Determinants of Using Matengo Pits in Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and Variability: The Case of Mbinga District, Tanzania. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 26(9), 46–54.


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