Sumbawanga cluster is located in the south-west part of Tanzania, in the area between Lake Rukwa and Lake Tanganyika. It is situated in two regions, Rukwa and Katavi. Sumbawanga was selected for inclusion in SUSTAIN-Africa because a new road linking these regions to Tunduma in Mbeya region is nearing completion and stakeholders advised that they expect new investments associated with SAGCOT to quickly follow, particularly in the agricultural and mining sectors. As in Ihemi/Kilombero, Sumbawanga is associated with critical ecosystems including the Masito-Ugalla and Greater Mahale ecosystems, Katavi National Park, forest and game reserves as well as the two water bodies of Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa. These are some of the least disturbed ecosystems in the country due to their remoteness, but heavy deforestation and land degradation from farming, cattle grazing and charcoal making have become serious problems. Sumbawanga therefore offers the opportunity for SUSTAIN to engage with SAGCOT-related investments as they are initiated and as pressures on natural resources and ecosystems increase.

In the Sumbawanga cluster, SUSTAIN’s implementing partner SNV is working in three landscapes

  • Sumbawanga Mtowisa landscape: characterised by a high deforestation rate from clearing of land for farming and high competition for water resources by the upstream and downstream users.

  • Kate Chala landscape (Nkasi DC): marked by migration of large number of cattle, creating conflicts between farmers and pastoralists as well as environmental degradation i.e. water and land resource mismanagement (River Mfui).

  • Kassanga Matai landscape (Kalambo district): which lies in the Ufipa plateau, stretching to the Lake Tanganyika shore. Challenged with fast growing population and heavy deforestation for charcoal making. Kassanga port provides gateway to neighbouring countries, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.