Date of this Version
Purpose: This paper reports a study, which examined the specific information needs and sources of Maasai pastoralists at Orkesumet area in Simanjiro District, Manyara -Tanzania
Design/methodology/approach: The study used pragmatism paradigm which is a mixed method approach. Simple random sampling was used to select 40 respondents from the five villages (Mukumbi, Naibor-enderit, Narosoito, Orkirung’urung’ and Endonyengijape. Purposive sampling was used to select clan leaders (Ilaigwanak and Ingopir), two from each of the five villages forming ten purposively selected respondents. Questionnaire, interview schedule, and observation were designed to extract information from respondents.
Findings: The findings of the study showed that, Maasai practicing pure pastoralism had different needs from those who practice agro-pastoralism. Traditional leaders and extension officers were regarded as the reliable sources of information. Mobile phones were preferred as a source of information but facing challenges. Acquaintance and family members were acknowledged as reliable sources of information. Maasai pastoralist face challenges in the use of information technology due to their low level of educational and inadequate formal sources of information.
Practical implications – The authors anticipates that this study will act as an eye opener to the United Republic of Tanzania government and non-government organizations to think of providing appropriate reliable sources of information to Maasai pastoralists so that their contribution can be seen in the socio-economic development of the country.
Originality/value – Several studies have been conducted on information needs and sources for different tribes in Tanzania. However, none of these studies have been conducted on Maasai pastoralist. This study is expected to serve as a stepping-stone for further studies on this neglected tribe in socio-economic activities in Tanzania.