Tanzanians near Lugufu refugee camp preparing for a hunting excursion © Simon Milledge / TRAFFIC

Night Time Spinach

Tanzanians near Lugufu refugee camp preparing for a hunting excursion © Simon Milledge / TRAFFIC


Published 22 January 2008


Lack of meat for refugees causing large scale poaching

Cambridge, UK , Gland, Switzerland - The lack of meat in refugee rations in East Africa is causing a flourishing illegal trade in wild meat, threatening wildlife populations and creating a food security issue for rural communities, reveals a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network

Night Time Spinach: Conservation and livelihood implications of wild meat use in refugee situations in north western Tanzania

Report author(s):
George Jambiya, Simon Milledge, Nangena Mtango

Publication date:
January 2008


The report recommends closer partnerships between wildlife and humanitarian agencies, which have already showed progress to address other environmental impacts of refugee camps such as deforestation. Copies of the full report are available in English (PDF, 900 KB) and of the executive summary in French (PDF, 337 KB). 

More than 800,000 refugees fled to Tanzania during the mid 1990s in two waves, the first to Kagera in mid-1994 and the second to Kigoma in 1996. Although many have since returned home, Tanzania still hosts the largest refugee population in Africa, around 548,000, the majority from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Almost two-thirds of them reside in formal refugee camps. 

TRAFFIC collaborated with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, UNHCR, WFP and many other organisations involved with both the management of refugee camps and wildlife in the production of this report.

TRAFFIC Briefing paper: Wild meat and food security in refugee hosting areas available in English, French and Swahili