The student should be able to give the meaning of human activities. Identify major types of human activities.


  • Human activity:- Are functions or tasks carried out or done by human beings over time for achieving certain purpose.
  • Primary activity:- Are activities that involve processing and manufacture of raw materials.
  • Secondary activity:- Are activities that involve processing and manufacture of raw materials into useful products.
  • Tertiary activity:- These are activities involve provision of services that are needed in the society
  • Quaternary:- Involves the provision of intellectual services and information
  • Quinary activities:- Are activities that are done by top executive or officials in such fields as governance.


Human activities are what people do or cause to happen in order to achieve a certain goal in life.


Human activities are functions or tasks or work carried out or done by human beings over time for achieving certain purposes or goals.


1. Primariy Activites

  • Primary activities involve the exploitation of nature in the production of materials. Production in this kind of activities largely depends on the earth’s natural resources. Examples of primary activities include farming (agriculture), mining and quarrying fishing, forestry (lumbering), hunting, raising cattle (livestock keeping) and gathering. Most products from primary activities serve as raw materials for industrial activities. Example; cotton for textile industries, timber for paper industries and leather for shoe industries.

2. Secondary Activities:

  • These are human activities that involve processing and manufacturing of raw materials into useful products. Secondary activities include processing of raw materials such as processing of steel and iron from ore, coffee pulping, cotton ginning and sisal decortications. Other secondary activities include clothe making, construction of houses, manufacturing go glass, car assembly, making of baked beans shaping metals into cans, making papers, making dyes and ink as well as making glue. Secondary activities lead to the fast economic development since they produce products that have immediate demands.

3. Tertiary Activities:

  • These are the activities that involve the provision of services that are needed in the society. Examples of tertiary activities include, trade (i.e. restaurants, hotels, lodges and supermarkets); tourism, education (i.e. teachers); hospitals (i.e. doctors); transportation (i.e. driving), plumbing; mechanics; banking; entertainment (i.e. Cinema, radio) water supply; waste management, advertising legal services in courts, clerical services or religious services.

4. Quaternary Activitis:

  • These are the activities that involve provision of intellectual services and information. These activities were formerly included in the tertiary activities. The quaternary activities include high – technology industries with information technology scientific research, consultancy, and library services. Computer based activities like making of software are part and parcel of quaternary activities. In general quaternary activities are considered to be new and started in the last three decades.

5. Quinary Activities:

  • These are activities that are done by top executives or officials in such fields as the governments. They involve the highest level decision making in a society or economy. It should be noted that quaternary and quinary activities are branches of the tertiary activities that demand a lot of intellectual inputs. Quaternary and quinary activities facilitate primary, secondary and tertiary activities. E.g. Research and information are so much important in the development of farming and mining.

Classification Of Human Activities:




Extraction of raw – materials directly from the earth.

Agriculture (farming), mining, quarrying, fishing, lumbering, hunting, livestock keeping and gathering.


Processing and manufacturing activities

Processing and manufacturing activities like processing of iron and steel from iron ore, coffee pulping, sisal decortications cloth making, construction of houses, manufacturing of glasses, car assembly, making baked beans, shaping metals into cans, paper making as well as making dyes, ink and glue.


Provision of services needed in the society.

Trade, tourism, provision of education (teaching), medical treatment, transportation plumbing, mechanics, banking entertainment, water supply waste management, advertising legal services in courts, clerical or religious services.


Provision of highly advanced intellectual services and information. High – technology industries with information technology.

Research, consultancy, library services and making of computer software.


These are done by the top executive or officials

Leadership (management and administration) that involves decision making.

Importance Of Human Activities:

  1. They facilitate development of manufacturing industries by producing raw materials. E.g. cultivation of cotton can lead to the development of textile industries, forestry can lead to development of paper making industries.
  2. Human activities help in creating employment in the country. People are employed in industries to perform duties managers, security guards drivers and engineers.
  3. Human activities like agriculture and fishing lead to the production and supply of food in a country.
  4. Activities like construction of roads contribute to the development of transport and communication network.
  5. Recreational activities attract tourists who in turn bring about foreign currency in the country.

Environmental Problems Caused By Human Activities:

  • Apart from having positive impacts on the development of the country, human activities have problems on the environment as follow:

  1. Air Pollution : This can be caused by industrial emissions, burning of agricultural wastes and grass when clearing the land for cultivation and mining.
  2. Water Pollution: It can be caused by dumping of untreated waste materials into the water bodies.
  3. Soil Pullution: It can be caused by dumping of radioactive materials into the ground, applying chemicals in the farms, irrigation using saline (salty) water and acid rainfall in industrialized areas.
  4. Deforestation: This can take place when trees are excessively cleared during preparation of large farms, lumbering, overgrazing and development of settlements.
  5. Soil Erossion: This takes place easily on the land that has been left bare due to excessive cutting trees for lumbering, construction and establishing extensive farms.

Measures For Addressing Environmental Problems Caused By Human Activities.

  1. Undertaking agricultural activities using modern methods such as crop rotation, intercropping, fallowing strip cropping, contour ridging and applying organic fertilizers such as Kraal and compost manure.
  2. Planting trees where the land is bare and restricting people from cutting trees unnecessarily excessively if possible too many plantations should be discouraged.
  3. Excessive use of chemicals in the control of pests should also be discouraged.
  4. Improper dumping wastes in the soil or water should also be discouraged.
  5. Population control should be encouraged in order that people can not excessively clear vegetation for establishing settlement and farms.
  6. Mass education or awareness campaigns should be organized among the people both in urban and rural areas to educate them on various ways of conserving the environment.
  7. The government should formulate policies that guide people on how to undertake various activities in a sustainable way.


  1. Human activity – are what people do or cause to happen inorder to achieve a certain goal in life.
  2. Human activity can be classified into primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and quinary activity.
  3. Human activities facilitate manufacturing industries by providing raw materials.
  4. Human activities cause environmental problems such as air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, deforestation and soil erosion.
  5. All efforts should be put into place to address environmental problems caused by human activities.





1. Choose the most correct answer.

(i) Which of the following is not type of human activity?.

  1. Resource exploitation
  2. Processing of resources.
  3. Buying and selling
  4. Intellectual services.

(ii) Which of the following human activity is not extractive?

  1. Teaching
  2. Fishing
  3. Mining
  4. Hunting and gathering

(iii) Harvesting minerals such as copper from underground is called?

  1. Lumbering
  2. Quarrying
  3. Mining
  4. Extraction

(iv) Acts, functions or occupations executed lawfully by human beings for some purpose is called?

  1. Production.
  2. Human activities
  3. Human occupation
  4. Economic activity.

(v) The backbone of Tanzania’s economy is?

  1. Agriculture
  2. Mining
  3. Fishing.
  4. Livestock keeping.

(vi) Which is not and advanced technique in fishing?

  1. Drifting
  2. Trawling
  3. Seining
  4. Barrier trap.

(vii) Stones and sands for building can be facilitated by?

  1. Plumbering
  2. Quarrying
  3. Mining
  4. Extraction.

(viii) Which of the following is not an intellectual activity?

  1. Teaching.
  2. Consulting.
  3. Research
  4. Processing.

(ix) Which of the following processing activity is not in Tanzania?

  1. Car making
  2. Car assembling
  3. Paper making
  4. Coffee pulping.

(x) Growing crops for purpose is termed as _______ farming.

  1. Cash crop
  2. Subsistence
  3. Food crop
  4. Commercial farming

2. Match the items from list A with those in list B.



(i) Parliament and Judiciary

(ii) Scientific research.

(iii) Iron and steel manufacturing.

(iv) Supply stones and sands for construction.

(v) Supply Timber for various functions.

(vi) Harpoons, barrier- trap, hand line

(vii) Powered vessels, drifting, trawling.

(viii) Extraction of mineral such as Gold.

(ix) Growing of crops and keeping animals.

(x) Trade, shops, restaurant.

  1. Quarrying
  2. Processing of resources
  3. Traditional fishing methods
  4. Modern fishing methods
  5. Mining
  6. Agriculture
  7. Livestock keeping
  8. Lumbering
  9. Hunter and gathering
  10. Intellectual services
  11. Civil administration
  12. Social services
  13. Exploitative resources
  14. Religion.


3. (a) What is human activities?

(b) Describe four types of human activities.

4. Discuss five importances of human activities.

5. With examples, show problems that human activities can cause.

6. (a) What is fishing?

(b) Mention four traditional methods of fishing and four modern methods of fishing.

7. Discuss the social services provided by the government.

8. (a) Mention four intellectual services that can constitute human activities.

(b) Define lumbering? Give importance of lumbering.


9. Write an essay on human activities carried out in Tanzania.

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