Topic 1: Human Activities - Geography Form 2

Topic 1: Human Activities – Geography Form 2

Geography Notes Form Two (2) - All Topics Topic 9: Transport And Communication - Geography Form 2, Topic 8: Sustainable Use Of Power And Energy Resources - Geography Form 2, Topic 7: Manufacturing Industry - Geography Form 2, Topic 6: Tourism - Geography Form 2, Topic 5: Sustainable Mining - Geography Form 2, Topic 4: Sustainable Use Of Forest Resources - Geography Form 2, Water Management, Topic 2: Agriculture - Geography Form 2 Topic 1: Human Activities - Geography Form 2

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An activity is something that people do in order to achieve a certain goal.

Human activities refer to the sum of all things that human beings do to modify the environment, as well as the exploitation of the environment for the resources needed to survive. Over time , human beings have moved from basic tools to more improved and efficient technology for this purposes.

Human activities can be defined in various ways: –

Human activities refer to what people do or cause to happen in order to achieve certain goal in life

Human activities refer to any tasks performed by man for the purpose of earning his or her livelihood

Human activities refer to functions, tasks or works done by human being overtime for achieving certain purposes or goals

Human activities refer to acts or processes of production as intended by people in a certain place, which can be a country, region, district, or a village

Human activities refer to tasks human beings do to modify the environment as well as extract the resources from the environment which are needed for survival, that is, satisfying human needs and wants.


Human activities can be categorized into two types; social and economic activities.

The social activities studied in geography include population and settlement.

Economic activities studied in geography include agriculture as referred to the cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock. This is commonly practiced human activities and many people take it as an income generating activity or for the purposes of meeting the family’s food requirements.

Tourism is another economic activity which involves traveling to interesting places for leisure, education or business. Some of the tourists place in Tanzania like Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar and others.

Another economic activity is Energy and power generation which includes all activities aimed at producing and distributing power or running machinery, lighting as well as heating.

Trade is also one of the economic activities where it refers to the buying and selling of goods and services. This referred as one of the oldest human activities and is still very common today.

Transport also involves the movement of people and goods from one place to another. Transport often goes with communication as it refers to the sending of messages between people. These are vital human activities on which most of the activities rely on.

Mining is also another economic activity as it referred to the extraction of valuable minerals from the ground. Some of these minerals are scarce and therefore expensive.

To sum up, therefore economic activities include agriculture, tourism, energy and power generation, trade, transport and communication and mining.

Major Types of Human Activities

Identify major types of human activities

Primary activities

Primary activities involve exploitation of nature in the production of materials. Production in these kinds of activities largely depends on the natural resources available on earth. Examples of primary activities include (agriculture or farming which largely depends on availability of arable land which includes fertile soil, water for irrigation for crop growing or pasture for animal keeping. However, mining and quarrying depends on the availability of rocks with mineral ores. Other activities include fishing, lumbering, hunting and gathering. The production of primary activities includes raw materials for more sophisticated manufacturing industries. For example, cotton from agriculture is used in textile industries, timber for paper industries and leather for shoe-making industries


Agricultural activities involve growing and harvesting of crops from farms and rearing of animals. Agriculture is the oldest and commonly practiced primary human activities. This is because it contributes to the provision of food and other raw materials. Some of the crops are used as sources of food, for example, maize, rice, millet, sorghum, soybeans and peas. Figure 1.1 shows a maize farm

Livestock keeping is the rearing of animals for food and for other human uses (Figure 1.2). The word ‘livestock’ initially was applied primarily to cattle or dairy cows, poultry (chicken keeping), goats, pigs, horses and sheep. However, nowadays even raising of other animals such as donkeys, mules, rabbits and insects such as bees are considered as part of livestock farming


Mining is the extraction of minerals such as gold, copper, diamond, platinum and uranium from rocks with mineral ores as well as quarrying for obtaining building materials such as concrete or sand soil. The products of mining activities are used as raw materials for processing industries. Some minerals such as coal and uranium are used as sources of power. For example, uranium is used for the production of nuclear energy that is highly demanded all over the world due to its effectiveness in use. Figure 1.3 shows mining activities


Fishing involves catching fish and other water (aquatic) products from oceans, lakes, seas, dams, rivers and ponds for commercial or domestic purposes. In Tanzania, fishing is done in the Indian Ocean and in the lakes such as Victoria, Tanganyika, Rukwa and Nyasa. There is also fishing in rivers such as Ruvu, Kilombero and Rufiji. Small scale fishing relies on traditional methods such as the use of fish nets or fish lines and hooks. Figure 1.4 shows small scale fishing

Fishing may include catching aquatic animals other than fish, such as molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. The term is not normally applied to catching farmed fish, or to aquatic mammals, such as whales where the term whaling is more appropriate.


Lumbering is an activity which involves cutting timber and preparing it for marketing. It includes cutting down trees, sawing, splitting and even smoothing timber ready for making furniture or use for other purposes (Figure 1.5)

Secondary activities

Secondary activities are human activities that involve processing and manufacturing of raw materials into useful products. Secondary activities are also called processing activities. They involve the processing of raw materials. For example, ginning of cotton from raw cotton and heating crude rocks to get precious stones. Other secondary activities include cloth-making, construction of houses, car assembling, making dyes and making glue. Figure 1.6 shows cloth-making activities in a textile mill

Secondary activities are of great importance as they lead to fast economic development since they produce products that have immediate demands in society. They also accelerate the development of primary activities by providing a market for raw materials produced by primary human activities such as lumbering, agriculture and mining, etc

Tertiary activities

Tertiary activities involve the provision of services that are needed in society for public use. Examples of tertiary activities include trade (restaurants, hotels, lodges, supermarkets, etc.), transport and communication (Figure 1.7), teaching, and provision of social services such as healthcare, water supply, waste management and security. Other tertiary human activities include plumbing, mechanics, entertainment, advertising, legal services, and clerical services or religious services

Quaternary activities

Quaternary activities involve the provision of intellectual services and information. They activities were initially included in the tertiary activities (Figure 1.8). In general, quaternary activities are considered to be new and started in the last decade. Quaternary activities include high-tech, information technology, scientific research, consultancy and library services. Computer-based activities like making software are part and parcel of quaternary activities

Importance of Human Activities

Human activities are important in various ways:
1. Human activities facilitate development of manufacturing industry by producing raw materials for them
2. Human activities help in creating employment in the country. People are employed in the industrial functions or processes and in turn earn incomes
3. Human activities like agriculture and fishing lead to the production and supply of food in a country, hence, contribute to survival of the people
4. Human activities of the past and current ones such as recreational activities attract tourists which in turn contributes to earning foreign exchange and growth of the economy in the country

5. Human activities like construction of roads contribute to the development of transport infrastructures and communication network

6.  They provide employment to the people.

7.  They can facilitate rapid improvement in technology.

8.  They facilitate the improvement of transport and communication in a particular area.

9. They promote the living standards and responsibility of the people. The living standard promoted through income generation as some people are employed in various human activities like Agriculture, trade e.t c.

10  It has contributed to the generation of Government income (Government revenue).

11.  They act as the source of foreign money exchange