Arusha Times

2004

Book ID 796

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 307
Extract Date: 14 Feb 2004

Medieval robbery

... And you thought the ordinary Snail mail was outdated? Think twice.

Six fully armed guys, believed to be hard-core robbers, this week attacked the ... Eh ... Local Post Office!

I suppose it will take years before a similar attempt is made at any of the local Internet Cafes.

Extract ID: 4689

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Page Number: 311
Extract Date: 14 Jan 1948

first leadership of the United Waarusha community

Chief Simeon Laiseri posing with British Government officers at the official inauguration of the first leadership of the United Waarusha community on January 14, 1948. (File photo)

Extract ID: 4701

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Page Number: 311
Extract Date: 1979

a special award

Chief Simeon Laiseri (left) presenting the late Mwalimu Nyerere with a special award at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha shortly after Tanzania’s victory in the 1978-79 war against Idd Amin Dada of Uganda (File photo).

Extract ID: 4700

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: 311
Extract Date: 13 March 2004

Local hero ‘knocked out’

Chief Simeon Laiseri posing with British Government officers at the official inauguration of the first leadership of the United Waarusha community on January 14, 1948. (File photo)

The decision to change the identity of the road previously named after the legendary chief of the Waarusha community has annoyed various residents of the municipality and its environs.

Running between the Goliondoi roundabout and Sanawari junction via the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), Simeon Road was on the 2nd of March this year, given a new name.

The road was christened, "Barabara ya Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki" (East African Community road) in a ceremony graced by Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the current chairman of the EAC Heads of State.

This event preceded the official signing of the Customs Union protocol for the East African Community which was carried out by the three presidents of the EAC member states.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Sheikh Amri Abeid stadium, President Museveni lauded the Arusha Municipal Mayor, Paul Lotta Laizer for "donating" the road to EAC.

The news of the road-re-labelling reached the family of the late Chief Simeon, who later told The Arusha Times that they were shocked.

"We weren’t even contacted", said Mesiaki Simeon Kokan (67), the last born of the legendary chief and hero of the Waarusha tribe, when this paper visited his home at Olturoto village in Arumeru district.

Both Mesiaki and his wife, Hellen (61) admitted that they were irked by the decision to wipe out of public memory the first indigenous ruler of the Waarusha community.

Chief Simeon’s youngest grandson, Thadei Kokan lamented that the council had even ignored Simeon’s family. "They should have at least invited some family members to the road-naming occasion".

"He was the light of Arusha!" said Lazaro Simeon Kokan (85), the chief’s eldest son, when the Arusha Times visited his home also located in Arumeru.

Lazaro suggested that Simeon be given another road to immortalize his legend as the first chief to bring together the two communities of Waarusha namely Burka and Boru.

"In some ways it is also a legend that, Simeon’s name has kept one road long enough for it to mature into an East African one", added Lazaro. His views are also shared by the former head of the Arusha Town Council , Ismail Letawo who suggested that another road should be named after Simeon.

"A road like Goliondoi for instance", said Letawo, "Which was named after a river", he explained.

However, a Taxi driver operating from Sanawari was adamant: "Why should Simeon’s name be shifted?" he asked. "EAC should be given another unnamed road like the Kaloleni one which is being constructed". "They totally want to wipe out the history and presence of the Waarusha community, don’t they?" asked Gasper Mollel, a teacher in Arusha.

Other residents called for the remaining local elders to intervene and ensure that the old Simeon road has been restored in memory of the chief.

It took four phone calls before the Municipal Mayor, Paul Lotta Laizer finally made his comment.

"The decision to change Simeon road into EAC road was reached after the council received a letter of request from the Secretary of the East African Legislative Assembly", said the mayor.

Mayor Laizer, responding to the residents complaints said the council has decided to name the road which runs from Phillips junction to Kijenge roundabout after Simeon to replace the fallen identity.

However, the Philips-Kijenge roundabout road, had already been named after the first President of Tanzania. A large sign indicates that the road is actually called "Nyerere Road".

Died in April 1983 at the age of 95 years, Chief Simeon Laiseri Kokan Benne became the first "Orkasis" of the Waarusha community on the 14th January 1948.

Before that, Simeon was the "Orkasis" for the Boru community while his counterpart , Chief Simon headed the Burka community.

Later, the then British colonial rule, decided that the Waarusha tribe was rather small to be governed by two chiefs, hence a council of elders met and the two communities were united.

Both "Orkasises" Simeon (Boru) and Simon (Burka) resigned their positions, but after a new election, Simeon emerged the first Orkasis for the newly united Waarusha community. The chief was also instrumental in the campaign against colonialism.

Extract ID: 4699

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: by Arusha Times Reporter
Page Number: 313
Extract Date: 25 March 2004

Arusha Node Marie braces to improve internet services

Run by AFAM Limited, the Arusha Node Marie Internet services are operated under a non profit-making organisation, which was formed by 12 local members in 1994.

Marie Benson, whose name the society has adopted, donated her telephone line to ANM during those mid-nineties days, when it was almost impossible to acquire a telephone line.

Since then, ANM has grown from 12 to over 800 members and is the first and only Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Arusha to date that provides free services to community-based institutions like schools, hospitals libraries and community centres.

So far, a total of 18 such institutions, among them 12 schools, 2 hospitals, One museum, a local library, a church mission and community centre, are benefiting under this philanthropic service.

Extract ID: 4705

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: By a correspondent
Page Number: 313
Extract Date: 25 March 2004

How Tanga survived the ‘Ice Cream War"

Two prominent families of Asian origin have their roots in Tanga. The Karimjee Jivanjee family settled in Tanga in 1830 while that of Khanbhai has a history in that coastal town that dates back to 1836. After many years of neglect, what makes Tanga tick today is only its history.

Tanga is the most important Tanzania port after Dar, and lies just south of the Kenyan border. Like Bagamoyo, it has an air of fading decadence about it and would not feature in any travel guide were it not for the superb beaches which sprawl to the south of the town, and the vibrant night life that transforms the town after dark. It was here that a German expeditionary force led by Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck defeated a joint British and Indian landing force in 1914, aided and abetted by millions of angry bees whose hives had been destroyed by gunfire.

The tragic though comical consequences of that battle shaped the opening chapter of William Boyd’s contemporary novel, ‘An Ice Cream War’. About a thousand years ago persons migrated to Tanga and gave it its name, which in Persian has four meanings: straight, green valley, road beside mountain, farm on mountain or rolling hill.

In 1857 Richard Burton, the explorer, visited Tanga and described it as a patch of thatched pent roofed huts, built upon a bank overlooking the sea".

He estimated the population to be 4,000 to 5,000, which included fifteen Baluchis and twenty Indian merchants. The town was under the rule of The Sultan of Zanzibar. At that time Tanga was trading post dealing mainly in ivory. The annual trade in ivory was about 70,000 lbs. Tanga was a small outlying settlement compared to its more prosperous neighbour, Pangani.

With the coming of the Germans to East Africa in the last quarter of 19th century, the port of Tanga probably offered less resistance to The Germans compared to, for example, Pangani, which was more heavily fortified. The Germans took control of the coastal area from the Sultan of Zanzibar in April 1891 calling their colony Tanganyika. In the same year, Tanga was designated a township.

From then on, large scale developments, pushed by private German commercial interests took place. A wharf with a railway line to the interior was developed, construction of the Railway line started in 1896. The line reached Korogwe in 1902; Mombo in 1904 magnificent Cliff block hospital was built in 1902.

The Usambara Mountains were opened up as reliable roads and bridges were built which are still in use today. Rail line was also planned to go to Lushoto and beyond. A short line was built at Shume; parts of it still exist today. The Tanga town centre was also properly planned and developed. Most of the commercial cum residential buildings in use today are from that German period of 1891 to 1914.

Sisal, a plant that looks like yucca, was introduced into Tanganyika by the Germans in 1893. Sisal produces the longest and strongest natural plant fibres, hence the longest and strongest ropes, everything from the largest ropes to tie battle ships to docks to twine for boxes. Sisal was so lucrative with no competitors that it was then called the ‘white gold of Tanganyika’.

Tanga became the largest producer and exporter of Sisal in the world. In 1913, Tanga exported 20,800 tons of Sisal fibre from its port. In 1914, during World War One, an historic battle between the German and the invading British forces was fought in Tanga. The battle is vividly described in the book "Ice Cream War" by William Boyd. The British forces suffered a serious defeat. However, two years later, the British finally pushed the Germans out. There are three graveyards in town exclusively dedicated to the fallen soldiers from those battles.

The British ruled Tanga (and Tanganyika) till independence in 1961.

The Sisal industry reached its peak during this period exporting 200,000 tons in 1958; thereafter nationalization, mismanagement and the rise of synthetics to replace natural fibres destroyed the Sisal, which today is about 8 per cent of 1958. The rise of the Sisal industry in Tanga brought in migrant labourers from throughout the country and the neighbouring countries. Many of these labourers have stayed on. This has given Tanga a truly African cosmopolitan population, with almost all tribes of Tanzania having a considerable presence in Tanga. The indigenous tribe living around the town is the Digo.

They are mainly Moslems, who live on or near the coast. Fishing and subsistence agriculture is the main socio-economic activity. Tanga is renowned for its powerful presence in the Kiswahili literature scene. It has produced some literacy giants and is in the forefront of pushing the language to new heights. For instance, the legendary Shaaban Robert, an author and poet of many authoritative works, was a Tanga resident and is buried a short distance from the town.

Tanga is today the fourth largest town in Tanzania and the second largest port.

Extract ID: 4706

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: By a correspondent
Page Number: 313
Extract Date: 25 March 2004

Tanga has four meanings

About a thousand years ago persons migrated to Tanga and gave it its name, which in Persian has four meanings: straight, green valley, road beside mountain, farm on mountain or rolling hill.

Extract ID: 4707

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Page Number: 314
Extract Date: 3 April 2004

Crying with the Waarusha

My friend, whom I will not name for obvious reasons, is very upset. He originates from Ngorbob a village located in the southern suburbs of Arusha. Most residents of this municipality do not know where this village is. Take heart! I will delightfully be your temporary Arusha guide.

There is a famous village, a few kilometers after the Arusha airport, along Dodoma road. The village is very popular with Arusha residents who love ‘nyama choma’ and those frothy liquids imbibed profusely during weekends.

To most people, the village is known as Kisongo. But that is a misrepresentation. Kisongo happens to cover a bigger area which includes that village, whose actual name is Ngorbob.

Now when you go for your weekend ‘nyama choma’ to those popular joints located next to the village market, you are actually going to Ngorbob. But that is another story all together.

I said that my friend is very upset. His anger began a few weeks ago. Actually it began to boil up soon after the inauguration of the East African Customs Union. It was then that something very traumatic happened to him and, he says, to other members of the Waarusha tribe as well.

My friend requested me to accompany him around the down town streets of Arusha. We went down the Sokoine road, the main shopping street in town. He told me that the name Sokoine is in recognition of a famous Maasai leader, who, had it not been for his untimely death might have been President of Tanzania.

We then explored the side streets. And here he explained to me the cosmopolitan nature of Arusha. Streets were and are named after various tribes and lands in recognition of their people’s historical presence and that of their descendants in this part of the world.

We came across the Wasangu Street, these are from Mbeya region. Actually my mother is Sangu, I proudly proclaimed to my friend. Then there was the Lindi Street ­ you know Lindi is located deep-south near the border with Mozambique. The Wadigo Street, for the Tanga-line people was also there and the Wasukuma Street for the big tribe from western Tanzania was around.

Also there were the Wapare and Wachaga streets in recognition of people from Kilimanjaro region. The Zaramos from coast were not left out; they had a street in their name. So were the Makua from southern Tanzania, the Kikuyu from Kenya and Pangani from Tanga. There also was a street named after the migrants from the north, the Ehtiopia Street.

Even Seth Benjamin, the young man who lost his life marching in support of the Arusha Declaration had a street. And so was one Col. Middleton who, I am told, played a pivotal role in developing Arusha and her sports stadium.

Coming up to the Arusha Central Business District, my friend showed me India Street, in appreciation of the allegedly commercial role people who originated from India played in this town.

It was when we reached the street straddling the Arusha International Conference Centre that my friend’s anger boiled to the surface. Almost in tears he told me, "...and this is the only street which recognised the warmth and hospitality of the natives of this town. It used to be called Simeoni Street in recognition of the first chief of the united Waarusha. Now look what has happened!" he sobbed.

Truly the street had been re-named "Barabara ya Afrika Mashariki" ­ the ‘East African (community?) Street". I cried with him.

Extract ID: 4709

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Thomas Ratsim
Page Number: 314
Extract Date: 3 April 2004

ELCT jubilee

Speaking on the marking of the 100-year anniversary of evangelism the Bishop, in his Diocese said celebration of the jubilee would reach its climax on August 15 this year. He said the epoch would be marked by the laying of stones and inauguration of spiritual and social services projects as well as spiritual crusades to be conducted all over the diocese. He mentioned some of those as the laying stone of the proposed Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre and water project at Ketumbeine.

During the celebrations of the centennial, the diocese would invite guests within and outside the country. Some of them are from missions in Germany with partnership with the diocese, and Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Operation Bootstrap and Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry.

"Jubilee is not only marking the 100 years, but is also the time for being grateful to God for all the achievements," insisted Bishop Laiser.

The launching ceremony was attended by Government and church leaders from Pare, Northern, Meru and Mbulu Dioceses of ELCT.

The Diocese in Arusha Region which operates in the administrative regions of Arusha and Manyara has more than 334,000 followers and also works in parts of the Morogoro, Singida and Tanga regions.

Missionary Arno Krause from Leipzig Mission established the cradle of evangelism of the diocese at the mission station in Ilboru in 1904 and thereafter 30,000 burnt bricks were ferried to the present location of the Cathedral in order to build a church. The first follower was christened in 1907 while the first Pastor Lazaro Laizer was ordained in 1934.

Extract ID: 4708

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Page Number: 321
Extract Date: 23 May 2004

Hotel reopens after refurbishment

The newly opened New Safari Hotel along Boma Road is a welcome addition to modern facilities catering for visitors to Arusha. The hotel, one of the oldest in the country and with a rich history, even in the film making industry, has been refurbished by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania in Tanzania (ELCT) which recently acquired its ownership.

Extract ID: 4718

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: John Masare
Page Number: 329
Extract Date: 15 July 2004

‘The Anglican Church in the Global North needs to repent and reform’

‘The Anglican Church in the Global North needs to repent and reform’

The Very Reverend Jerry Kramer has come to Christ Church Cathedral in Arusha at a time of great controversy in the Global Anglican Church. Recently he spoke to John Masare about his position and hopes for his new Parish.

Question: When did you begin your ministry at the Christ Church in Arusha?

Answer: We arrived in November of last year.

Q: Was this your first visit?

A: No. My wife and I came out in May 2001. I made a second visit in 2002.

Q: How old is the Christ Church in Arusha?

A: Well, the bell was cast in 1893! But I believe that the current church building is 72 years old.

Q: What made you decide to come out to Tanzania?

A: We felt called for foreign missionary work. Before taking a parish in the States, we wanted to serve the global church. When I was in seminary, however, I said that the one place I would not go was Africa. But God has a sense of humor and here we are.

Q: So, how do you feel now?

A: Its been a wonderful, difficult, exciting challenge which has greatly improved my prayer life. There are always those resistant to change because of their own interests, but the people at Christ Church have been most supportive.

Q: What are your views on the controversy within the Anglican Church regarding human sexuality just now?

A: The controversy is far greater than just human sexuality. It’s about how we define the authority of sacred scripture. We are awaiting the outcome of the Lambeth Commission. The key will be how the African and Global South Primates respond; they very much hold the future of the Communion in their hands. The Anglican Church in the Global North needs to repent and reform. Otherwise we have no basis for "Communion." All we can do right now is be faithful and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Q: I see a lot of renovation going on?

A: We’re completely renovating the vicarage; the guest wing is now complete. We’re also doing some much-needed work on the church. Ultimately, what we hope to develop is "Cathedral Square." This will include a Center for Evangelism, offices, and classrooms for adult and children’s religious education. This will also be available as a resource for the entire community. We also intend to include shops where youths can train in marketable trades. Good jobs at good wages are always the key for advancement. And with that done, we’ll knock down the old hall and reclaim some green space for a prayer garden and other uses.

Q: What is your vision for Christ Church?

The most important thing for us to keep in mind is first and foremost to seek God’s vision for Christ Church . His dreams are always bigger than ours. Cathedrals have historically been much more than a place just for Sunday worship. They’ve always served as centers for the greater community. Cathedrals should be at the heart of the community’s cultural life, education, service to others, especially the poor. I believe that in being faithful to God’s Will we will live into this role in new and exciting ways. Everything we do should be for God’s glory and there’s so much more we can do.

Extract ID: 4719

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 334
Extract Date: 21 Aug 2004

ELCT Arusha Diocese releases own history book

The Arusha Diocese for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) has published a booklet which covers the 100 years of the Diocese since the first Missionaries set foot in the Ilboru area where it was initially established.

Printed by the Moshi Lutheran Printing Press, in Kilimanjaro, the red covered, 68-page book, consists of twenty chapters from Bishop Thomas Laizer’s prologue, to the current mission work in the Diocese.

It covers a partly detailed history of the first delegation of Missionaries from Leipzig, Germany who reportedly arrived on the slopes of Mount Meru in 1902, where Hermann Albert Fokken and his building expert, Karl Luckin established the maiden Lutheran Centre in the Waarusha community then having a population of only 8,365.

Compiled by Pastor Dr. Joseph W. Parsalaw, a lecturer with the Tumaini Lutheran University, Reverend, Dr. Naaman Miraa Laizer, Pastor Godwin Ole Lekashu of Ilboru and Reverend Zacharia Ole Matinda, the book was launched during the 100th Anniversary for the ELCT Diocese last Sunday.

The book has been published in Swahili language and the first copy of the launch was sold at Tsh.350,000 athough the retail price of the publication is set at Tsh.1,000 per book.

Prime Minister, Frederick Sumaye was the guest of honour at the ELCT centennial celebration held at Ilboru which was also attended by a number of other distinguished guests.

The first Church in the region was built at Ilboru in1904 whose building still stands to-date and during the last Sunday’s event it was consecrated to serve as the first Christian Evangelical museum in the country.

The Lutheran Church in Arusha region became a Synod in 1973 and later made Diocese

in January 1987 at a ceremony whose guest of honour was the retired Tanzania President, Ally Hassan Mwinyi, the event took place at the Enkare-Narok Parish in Ngarenaro area.

Today, the Diocese has 329,350 brethren, among them 143,784 adults and 185,564 children. There are also 82 pastors, 482 evangelists, 15 parish workers and 565 church buildings.

The ELCT Town Cathedral, was the second church to be built in Arusha after the Ilboru one, and they were both constructed under the same plan.

Extract ID: 4729

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Elisha Mayallah
Page Number: 335
Extract Date: 28 Aug 2004

Clinton adds glamour to Cultural Heritage

Today marks four years since the visit of the former American President William Jefferson Clinton to Arusha. Clinton paid a short visit to witness the signing a peace accord between Burundi's warring factions on August 28, 2000.

The former American President personally held lengthy talks with the Burundi factions at the Arusha International Conference Centre [AICC]. Clinton's participation in the talks resulted in labeling Arusha the "Geneva of Africa".

The Cultural heritage in Arusha got a rare opportunity when Clinton spent some few moments interacting and buying curios. The former American President bought art and craft items worth about $1,400 and was given some more as gifts by the Cultural Heritage management.

To the delight of the owner, Mr. Saifudin Khanbhai their friendly meeting lasted over one hour as he guided the president and his daughter around the cultural and entertainment sections of his centre. The former American President was so moved by the cultural presentations, says Mr. Khanbhai, that at one point he could not wait any longer: He participated in a traditional dance.

As Tanzania’s tourism industry already maximizing, lustre of gems of the Cultural heritage begin to shine brighter in the World. Most visitors interested in Tanzania's cultural heritage will look for a place where the past and present of the country's 120-plus tribes can be viewed in a single compound. The Cultural Heritage in Arusha, so far, is a place to go, says Mr. Khanbhai

Cultural heritage boasts of large and various carvings, gemstones, artifacts, clothing and books – all offered for sale at the centre. In addition, the project is a good example of the need for tourism investors in the country to be creative. Beginning with the nearby Maasai tribe close to Arusha town. The Maasai statutes that you see at the complex depict the true-life of the Maasais. The Maasai tribal huts erected in the sprawling compound of the cultural centre are amazing.

A week ago a group of media experts, who gathered in Arusha for a short course took time off to see, among others, the wealth of the Cultural Heritage. "I must bring my family to see this wonderful collection" said Mr. George Nyembela, a Consultant attached to the Media Council of Tanzania.

Mr. Saifudin Khanbhai is optimistic that expansion of the Cultural heritage, which is on progress, will provide a rare and sought-out unique brand of dining and shopping. "Former President, Clinton would be filled with happiness if he returned to see the new building" says Mr. Khanbhai.

The thoughts of having ‘almost’ rubbed shoulders with a man who was a national leader still thrills most of the staff at the Cultural heritage, most of whom were in the low-income bracket. "When Clinton was here, it was exciting news for most of us who knew him via the media, it was unbelievable to see him at close-range!" Said one of the staff, Mr. Kangai Hiloga. Four years later, the Cultural heritage community still dreams of the reunion with their client, the former ‘famous’ American President Clinton!

Extract ID: 4736

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Matilda Kirenga
Page Number: 341
Extract Date: 9 Oct 2004

Lion wounds three in rare attack in the wild

Maasai warriors are usually known for their bravery in hunting and killing Lions that attack their cattle, but recently tables turned against them in Ngorongoro area, when a a Lion attacked three Maasai morans, hurting them badly.

The incident occurred last week within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where three Maasai youths identified as Moinga ole Kumbashi aged 25, Momboi ole Kisai (20) and Olenayeiyo aged (18) were grazing their cattle.

According to police reports, when the youths were taking care of their livestock, a ferocious animal jumped from a nearby bush and knocked the three onto the ground, ready to kill them.

Realizing that the animal was actually a Lion the youths decided to fight for their lives by unleashing counter attacks.

By the time the Lion was defeated and left the area, the three Morans were in bad condition, with Ole Kumbashi sustaining deep wounds on the chest, left arm and right leg.

Olenaneiyo suffered bad gushes on his right arm and both lower limbs, especially thighs, while the other warrior, Momboi Kisai had both his buttocks bitten off and right hand injured badly.

Regional Police commander, James Kombe said the three survivors of the Lion attack were taken to a Hospital in Loliondo where they were still being admitted by the time we went to press.

This one is a rare occurrence to happen in the local game parks as wild animals hardly attack human beings residing within or near the reserves.

Extract ID: 4870

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 345
Extract Date: 6 Nov 2004

Lake Manyara turns into dust bowl as drought persists

Elephants, Buffalos and other land mammals are now replacing Hippos in parts of what used to be Lake Manyara. The 220- square kilometer water body is drying up at an alarming rate, leaving a large, dry and hot chalky-basin.

A recent visit to the Lake Manyara National park has revealed a wide, dry plain of the former lake on which, giant elephants were seen enjoying their "Dust bath" scooping loose dry soil from the lake bed with their trunks and pouring it all over their bodies, while buffaloes grazed on the growth which has formed on the new "Pangea!"

A shimmering waterline, could be seen from a very long distance indicating a measly remains of what used to be a large lake, whose history of over flooding, following the 1998 El-Nino rains spell is still fresh around the area.

The Acting Park Conservator, Donald Simon Mnyagatwa said that Manyara National Park covers a total of 330 square kilometers of land, which means Two thirds of it consisted of the body mass which is almost gone now.

The lake has left a shiny white plain of white Soda ash, whose large part has already started to turn into grassland thus attracting buffaloes, antelopes and gazelles that have taken over from hippos, with the exception of the Hippo pool which is however also drying up.

This situation is being explained as the result of prolonged drought in the area, which according to official reports has lasted for three years now. A similar experience was recorded in 1999 but this year’s situation is bound to be worse for the lake is just about to dry up completely. In fact, the entire part of it which lies within the park has turned to dust.

Lake Manyara, according to the officials, highly depend of rainfall, even though three local rivers of Simba, Mto-wa-mbu and Kirurumo, that flow into the park then join to form the Hippo pool, also feed the lake.

The area around Lake Manyara has a highly unreliable rainfall, which varies between 10-47 inches per year. In 1961 the lake dried up completely, yet just one year later, in 1962, it flooded the area. In this area of rainfall extremes, the forests and plants find an alternative water supply that sustains them - underground springs that surface at the base of the cliffs.

Lake Manyara itself is slightly alkaline and maintains a huge population of water birds; pelicans, storks, cormorants, geese, ducks and flamingoes, all these are supported by the rich waters of the lake and provide wonderful photographic opportunities.

Recently, mass deaths of the flamingo species were reported in Manyara park though the real and actual cause for the sudden demise of the pink colored birds is yet to be known. The incident together with the drying lake are threatening the park’s unofficial trademark of being the "Birds Watcher’s paradise!"

Within the park there is also the "Maji Moto" area, literally 'Hot Water' in Swahili, a natural hot springs where the heated water, bubbles out of the ground at temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The water itself is fresh although there are the occasional sulphur smelling gas emissions.

Extract ID: 4889

See also

Arusha Times, 2004
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 345
Extract Date: 6 Nov 2004

The Ngorongoro Story was indeed ‘Untold!’

The Ngorongoro Story was indeed ‘Untold!’

Tom Lithgow lived in Arusha for over 40 years, having been a farmer in Karatu district in the early 50s, with a house on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater. The former British soldier, who once served with the RAF during the second world war, recently returned to Arusha from his retirement home in Spain to launch his documentary book about Ngorongoro.

A merry old fellow, Lithgow relaxed as he autographed his 100th copy, to a smiling couple at the Cultural Heritage where copies of his new book are currently being sold. The 143 pages hardcover is published by Camerapix Publishers International.

Tom Lithgow’s book, The Ngorongoro Story, was butchered by critics before it rolled out of the press. This was due to fact that it was highly being speculated as the "never told before" account of Ngorongoro a claim which most people refuted.

Except however, Lithgow’s Ngorongoro Story doesn’t exactly boast that speculated feat, it is just a down to earth factual tale about the world’s sixth biggest crater, covering the history, people, animals and events surrounding the caldera for over half a century.

But again it all filters down to an untold saga, because no matter how many accounts have so far been written about Ngorongoro, none covers some little yet important details of happenings in and around Ngorongoro topped with historical facts about Arusha and illustrated by picturesque photos straight from yesterday. The book is almost a scrapbook in its own, featuring leather colored pages, that remind one of old sea maps.

Most of the photos of course are the classic works of the late Hugo Van Lawick, one of the world’s greatest wildlife snapper who spent most of his life in the Tanzanian game parks, but there are some contributions from another photographer, David Pluth.

Tom Lithgow was born in London, England in 1926 according to the back flap of the publication’s glossy sleeve. However, while being interviewed in Arusha recently, he said he was actually born in Kenya.

That aside, because old Lithgow has come up with a remarkably beautiful book to quench the thirst of any dedicated fan of nostalgic and melancholic feelings, as it features not only past interesting events but also photos which seem to come out of a very dedicated museum, not to mention some astounding, unknown before facts. For instance;

Did you know?

That there was a time that Arusha town experienced floods? According to Lithgow, the area once recorded 30 inches of rainfall and most parts of it were submerged.

That a certain settler once shot down a total of 30 lions that had invaded his farm in the outskirts of Arusha?

A group of lions once attacked an aircraft which was flying above them?

If you hire a gun bearer chances are he may soon shoot you (Accidentally)?

Once wounded by the shot, you may have to catch the first donkey to the nearest hospital?

And the book is dedicated to the memory of the "Most feared and unapproachable king of Ngorongoro;" Adolf Siedentopf (1872-1932) who used to be an explorer, a farmer, prospector, chemist and naturalist, all rolled up into one.

The acknowledgment page gives credit to the late Solomon ole Saibul, the first local conservator of Ngorongoro, his predecessor, Henry Fosbrooke, and Mary Leakey, among others.

There is also a page dedicated to the message from the President, now for a book whose work started 50 years ago, the President is none other than the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, while the message is his own signed declaration as presented at the Arusha held, International Fauna and Flora Conference of 1961.

The Ngorongoro Story is available at Cultural Heritage for the lucky few, because according to the director, Saifuddin Khanbhai, they are flying from the shelf like untamed magpies.

Reviewed by Valentine Marc Nkwame

Extract ID: 4888
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