Arusha Times

2006

Book ID 879

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: By Staff Writer
Page Number: 403
Extract Date: 15 Jan 2006

Karatu Café fire incident poses more questions than answers

Despite being a fast growing town, Karatu is yet to have its own fire and rescue equipment, even though major fire disasters have been reported in the area.

Last weekend, for instance, a famous tourist center at Karatu town was reduced to ashes in the early hours of Sunday morning. No one was hurt in the ordeal.

The center which comprises an Internet cafe, a restaurant, gallery and gift shop, was a popular rest point for tourists en route to, or from the Ngorongoro and Serengeti National parks.

The Arusha Regional Police Commander, James Kombe confirming the incident last Sunday said that police were continuing with investigations. According to the RPC, the fire which has gutted a coconut leaves thatched building of the Bytes Internet and Restaurant Café erupted at about 4:00 a.m and could have been caused by electric fault.

The Bytes Internet and Restaurant Café is owned and operated by a British National, Chris Dabbon aged 65. A member of the restaurant management, Felician Mushi, said arsonists may have been behind the fire outbreak as preliminary investigation conducted by the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) indicated that there was no electric fault at the hotel.

The Director of a security company protecting the restaurant, one Clemence Rodger Msawa, told reporters, that the fire must have been set at the center of the roof of the building housing the café and spread throughout the building.

Mushi maintained that TANESCO had found that some electric equipment such as the Meter gauge and fuel pumps, belonging to the restaurant's vehicle fueling station, were undamaged and operating effectively.

"So if the fire was caused by electric fault, all hotel buildings would have been reduced to ashes as they share the same wiring system," he said adding that this was also what the TANESCO officials had pointed out.

Former Prime Minister in the third phase government, Frederick Tluway Sumaye, a few years ago officiated at the launching ceremony of the café, whose quality services attracted many executives, traders and tourists to the fast growing district town.

Karatu town is a busy stop over destination catering for Kenyan vegetable buyers from as far as Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya who come into the country to buy the produce and tourists who visit the surrounding parks and Lake zone bound travelers.

Extract ID: 5120

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Dr Chris Daborn and Sandie Wood
Page Number: 404
Extract Date: 15 Jan 2006

The Burning of Bytes

Dear Editor,

At approximately 3.30 hours on Sunday 15th of January Halifa, one of the four night guards at Bytes Internet Pub Restaurant, Karatu shouted the dreaded words "Fire, Fire!". He had seen a four foot by two foot patch of flame suddenly flare up on top of the Makuti roof. When a second watchman turned to see the fire it had already spread to cover an area six foot by two. Whilst the fire continued to take hold of the roof it was seen that there was no fire inside the building itself and that the electric lights remained on ruling out an equipment or electrical fault causing the fire – this was an arson attack of the most terrible consequence.

Within the next four hours our business, that had taken us one year to construct and two years to reach its current widely acknowledged level of fame, went up in a devastatingly destructive fire. At the end we lost everything not one item of equipment, furnishings or stock could be saved – the fire was just too intense. The cash in the safe and two cash boxes was just so much charred paper. Everything that we have worked for in the past years including unique data, computers and ancillary specialist equipment has gone. We remain with just the walls standing though many of those are structurally weakened and may have to be demolished.

The story of Bytes began in August 2003 when the Tanzanian Investment Centre granted me a certificate, as an Investor in Tanzania, to establish a livestock development programme for the area. Bytes was to be the shop window for locally produced livestock products that has been my lifetimes work to assist small scale farmers to produce. Over the two years that we operated Bytes we gradually built up a reputation for the quality of our food and we were progressively sourcing more and more of this food from Tanzanian producers. With the loss of Bytes that shop window and the market we were creating have gone. Also gone are the jobs of our 20 locally recruited and trained staff. Gone too are our nights of sleep – if we manage half a night we count that as a blessing.

We have been overwhelmed with messages of sympathy and offers of support from all sections of the community both home and abroad. There is a universal feeling of deep shock and dismay at the event – who could have had such evil design to do such a thing and why? The matter is currently under active investigation and we hope that these answers will be forthcoming but we must be prepared for the fact that it is possible that the culprits will never be brought to pay for what they have done. The outcome I feel will be a real test of all that we believe to be right and decent about the citizenry of Tanzania. There have to be people who know who was responsible and we appeal to them to come forward with what they know. This attack was not uniquely against Sandie and I, it was against a successfully and properly run business and impacts on all our staff, all our suppliers and all our clientele. If this attack is left unaddressed then what or who will be the next?

We remain with the intention to rebuild Bytes and to rebound from the shock of this terrible event. Tanzania is our home and we are convinced that this act was not in any way condoned or supported by the community we live in. We believe it was the work of one individual with an agenda to cause the business to fail simply for personal gain or plain jealousy. May the fires that raged to destroy Bytes be equally severe in that person's ultimate destination.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who have sent us their sympathy and support. This has been invaluable in giving us the strength to work through this tragedy and to set in motion the restoration of Bytes.

Dr Chris Daborn and Sandie Wood

Bytes, Karatu

Extract ID: 5119

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Arusha Times Correspondent
Page Number: 414
Extract Date: 8 April 2006

Monument care may change hands

A monument constructed at a spot in Karatu districtwhere former president Julius Nyerere announced the villagisation programme more than 30 years ago, may be handed over to the Antiquities department.

Prime Minister Edward Lowassa said he would propose that the monument be handed over to the department to ensure maximum protection and promotion as a national asset.

Mr. Lowassa made the promise when responding to pleas by Endabash villagers who said the monument was on danger of getting ruined or vandalised in the absence of an authority taking care of it.

The villagers at Endabash, roughly midway between Karatu and Mbulu, suggested to the PM that themonument should be placed under the Antiquities department or the National Museum so that it can be well maintained and preserved as a national heritage.

The monument, resembling the Uhuru Torch monument in Arusha but smaller in size, was constructed at a spot where the late Mwalimu Nyerere announced compulsory villagisation programme during a visit there in November 1973.

The programme, under which scattered rural people were moved into permanent villagers, was one of the major actions taken by the government after the proclamation of the Arusha Declaration in 1967.

The Declaration saw massive nationalisation of foreign banks and private firms. In 1971, privately-owned buildings which were worth Sh. 100,000and above during that time werealso nationalised.

Several monuments which have been constructed in the country in relation to Arusha Declaration, Tanzania's blue print for Socialism and Self Reliannce include the Azimio (Uhuru Torch) monument in the heart of Arusha.

Extract ID: 5127

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 414
Extract Date: 8 April 2006

Oldonyo L'engai : 3000 flee as 'Mountain of God' erupts

The legendary Oldonyo L'engai, the land feature believed to be 'Mountain of God' by locals, has unleashed its fury through a major volcanic eruption, the first ferocious to be recorded since 1966.

Hundreds of villagers, who live around Oldonyo L'engai which is found within the Ngorongoro district, had to flee from their residential areas, following the massive eruption of volcano, an occurrence that is believed to be one of the fiercest, in history and surpasses even the previous record of 1966.

Local people estimated to be about 3000 in total, hailing from, five villages namely: Nayobi, Magadini, Engaruka, Malambo, Ngaresero, Gelai-bomba and Kitumbeine, had no choice but to flee after the 'Mountain of God' roared spitting out red-hot rivers of molten rock and spewing scalding fumes and 'iron melting' lava all over the locality.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) has already issued a warning, ordering tour operators not to take tourist or even venture anywhere near the 'Mountain of God' since doing so would put the lives of the visitors at risk.

Ibrahim Ole Sakay a 41 year old resident of Ngaresero recounted the incident saying the eruption of volcano that caused havoc around Oldonyo Lengai first took place in the night of March 24 and repeated the following day. Later however, the Mountain continued rumbling and spitting lava for more than a week.

Although the volcano claimed no human life, it destroyed trees, bushes, crops and other forms of vegetation as the burning hot lava gushed through the area on the mountain slopes and the later dried up Magma measured up to a radius of three kilometers long.

Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Captain Assey Msangi, initially said the volcano eruption was a common phenomenon at the Oldonyo L'engai mountain. However the DC who was contacted by phone had at that time not yet received the report regarding the happening. As it turned out, this year's incident was not the ordinary minor volcanic actions, that the locals are normally used to.

The history of Oldonyo L'engai eruptions officially started to be documented in 1917 when a major explosive eruption took place from January to about June that year. Ash was deposited as much as 25 to 30 miles away, and killed the formerly luxuriant vegetation on the lower slopes of the mountain. The flat lava platform was replaced by a deep summit crater. Another eruption may have occurred for several months in 1926.

Another eruption was in 1940 , when at times a column of smoke, lit at night by glowing internal fires, rose as high again as the mountain to nearly 20,000 feet and spread a film of ash far and wide over the highlands and north Serengeti. In the 1940 eruption the ash was so heavy on the Salei plains, and the mountains to the west, that the grazing became inedible. The Maasai of that part had to migrate. The fallout, which is carried westward by the prevailing wind, extended as far west as Banagai, and affected wildlife as well as domestic stock.

Ol Doinyo Lengai is a unique and fascinating volcano that is located in the African Rift valley about 120 km north-west of Arusha, Tanzania. It is the only volcano in the world that erupts natrocarbonatite lava, highly fluid lava that usually contains almost no silicon.

Natrocarbonatite lava is also much cooler than other lavas; being only about 950 degrees F (510 degrees C) compared to temperatures over 2000 degrees F (~1100 degrees C) for basaltic lavas. Natrocarbonatite is the most fluid lava in the world.

During the day it is not incandescent; most flows look like very fluid black oil, or brown foam, depending on the gas content. Oldoinyo Lengai is less than 0.37 million (370,000) years old, and is the youngest big volcano in this part of the Rift Valley. The first scientific description of Oldoinyo Lengai was by researcher, G.A. Fischer in 1883. He observed "smoke" rising from the summit and recorded reports by local people of rumbling noises within the mountain.

Explorers C. Uhlig and F. Muller climbed the volcano on 4 August 1910 and observed that "the northern crater had only a horse-shoe-shaped southern rim immediately below the summit, and lacked a crater rim to the north, west and east. The crater was more like a platform on which there was a central cone from which gas was being emitted".

Ol Doinyo L'engai is 2878 metres high.

Extract ID: 5126

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporter
Page Number: 415
Extract Date: 15 April 2006

Visitors flock Oldonyo Lengai despite warning

Despite being warned not to venture anywhere near the mountain, hundreds of tourists and other visitors are flocking around Oldonyo L'engai whose active volcano has recently been erupting fiercely.

Tourists are reported to be excited by the volcano eruption and the incident is making the 'Mountain of God' more popular than it used to be when the volcano was quiet.

Contrary to earlier press reports, a statement by Arusha's Regional Commissioner Abbas Kandoro issued on April 10 says it was only one family that has been relocated from the area and so far no damage has been caused by the eruption that occured end of March and early this month.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) had recently issued travel advisory, warning local tour operators not to take tourists near 'Oldonyo Lengai Mountain' following the recent major volcanic eruptions in the area. The NCAA Public Relations and Information officer, Vincent Mbirika said they decided to alert the tour operators because of the possibilities of further eruptions.

"Tour operators have been warned not even venture anywhere near 'Oldonyo Lengai since doing so would put the lives of our dear visitors at risk", said Vincent Mbirika. "We have resolved to take this pre-caution because it is not known, when another eruption is set to occur or how extensive may it be," he added.

The alert came after a joint meeting between the NCAA officials and the National security department which addressed tourists and public safety.

"Operators should take into consideration that human lives are more valuable than anything. Therefore despite the fact that they may need money from tourists, the issue of their safety is paramount and should not be taken for granted." stressed the NCAA spokesperson.

The advisory also warned the local people living around the mountain to vacate for their safety. But of late more and more tourists continue to flock near Oldonyo Lengai , all of whom hoping to capture any possible eruption 'live'.

The majority of the tourists are interested to physically witness the re-occurrence of a rare volcano eruption. About two weeks ago, Oldonyo L'engai ( Mountain of God) roared into massive volcanic eruption, forcing about 3,000 residents from seven local villages to flee from the area for their safety.

Oldonyo Lengai is the only remaining active volcanic mountain in Tanzania and its last significant eruption was in 1983. The Masai tribe believes their deity resides on top of the mountain in the African Rift Valley.

Meanwhile, Oldonyo Lengai which early this month unleashed its fury discharging lava and fire has subsided but still active.

A tourist who this week climbed the mountain with four other colleagues told the The Arusha Times on Tuesday the emitted lava had now cooled down but still pushing towards lower slopes where homesteads are located.

"Bomas are still in danger as lava is flowing slowly," he said. Flows of lava are as close as about 50 metres from some homesteads.

Despite earlier threats from last week's fierce eruption, people are raising cattle in the lower slopes.

A team of scientists from the University of Dar es Salaam last week visited the area to study the latest eruption believed to be the most ferocious since 1966.

Extract ID: 5128

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: 427a
Extract Date: 8 July 2006

Arusha finds 'Geneva of Africa' tag too heavy

The Arusha Municipality seems to be already tired or ashamed of carrying the 'Geneva of Africa' tag.

The words 'Geneva of Africa,' were previously painted on the upper part of the entrance to the Municipal Council's headquarters' building, along Boma Road and above the front lobby which leads to both the Kilimanjaro and Serengeti buildings, at the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) complex.

The decision was followed with an uproar from critics who opposed the idea of using an imported catch-phrase to describe Arusha town which is already too famous in its own right, without the need to call it Geneva.

Recently however, these words disappeared from both premises. When asked if the council was ditching the 'Geneva of Africa' tag, the Municipal Director was non-committal but explained that the words probably 'disappeared' when the council re-painted the address banner at the entrance.

"We needed to re-write the address because the previous one was written 'Arusha City Council' but since the 'city status' is now an issue which is being reviewed, we removed that and restored the previous 'Municipal Council' Address," explained Mwaikuka.

The supplementary, 'Geneva of Africa' title became a 'popular' yet a controversial catch-phrase, after the former US president, William (Bill) J. Clinton compared Arusha with Switzerland's city, which also hosts the United Nations' offices among other various International organizations.

Clinton made the remark when he visited Arusha in August 2000 to witness the Burundi peace signing agreement, which was preceded by the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. The former US president had apparently discovered that in addition to hosting the peace accord previously chaired by the late Mwalimu Nyerere, Arusha was home to various international organizations as well.

Later in 2002 both the Arusha Municipal Council and the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) held a special meeting through which they both struck a pact agreeing to start working together in making the 'Geneva of Africa,' status symbol a reality. Then the two institutions went ahead and painted the catch-phrase at the buildings.

Extract ID: 5149

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: 427b
Extract Date: 8 July 2006

Arusha finds 'Geneva of Africa' tag too heavy

Arusha, whose first town building (now the Boma Museum) was constructed in 1902, became a township 46 years later in 1948. The urban center was named a 'city' in July 1. 2005 but this status was later revoked and the issued tabled for review.

Also snubbed was the Arumeru District Council which became a 'Municipal Council' on the same date only to have the decision nullified early this year on grounds that the vast precinct was undeveloped.

The State Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, in charge of Regional Administration and Local Governments, Mizengo Pinda, stated recently that the Arumeru District is now set to be zoned into two councils namely, Arumeru Rural and Meru District, according to the Minister a committee should be formed to evaluate the current district properties and how they should be divided equally among the two proposed new councils.

Extract ID: 5150

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Amani H. Mchau
Page Number: 432
Extract Date: 12 Aug 2006

From tree shade to modernity

Kisimiri Secondary School in Ngarenanyuki ward now has a modern high school after running under tree shades and in an old building since 1994.

The Kisimiri school which is the only co-educational special talents school at A level in Tanzania now boasts of modern buildings including sufficient teachers quarters surpassing even better placed urban- based schools.

This positive development at Kisimiri school has come about through an Arusha born President of Swiss Intermediate Education Fund, Professor Emil Karafiat, who was also brought up at Kisimiri until age of 12 years when his mother died. His father had to be sent home to Switzerland due to illness and died in 1965. He also had to leave Tanzania then.

Karafiat said Kisimiri, his childhood residence, had never gone out of his memory so he made a point of visiting it in 1994 and found students attending lessons under trees and in a dilapidated old estate buildings something that gave him a strong feeling to extend support towards the village.

So on return to Switzerland he started mobilising supporters to contribute towards a fund to develop the Kisimiri secondary school.

Karafiat told The Arusha Times that among the respondents towards Kisimiri school was Professor Nava Settler, the President of Swiss Talent Foundation who decided to take care of the high school. He transformed what was once an eyesore to a well- furnished co-educational special talents high school after the government of Tanzania had given him a go- ahead.

Professor Karafiat said he has prepared enough solar panels for supply of power in the school as the area has no electricity. The school, he said, must have computers and satellite communication system for better global contacts for the students and teachers.

The Swiss supporters have also planned to offer annual study tours of three weeks for teachers working in secondary schools based in Arumeru district to give them exposure and hence improve their teaching proficiency.

Karafiat was born in Arusha municipality (then township) in 1951, brought up by his parents in an estate at Kisimiri until he was 12 years old in the early sixties. He is now a Professor of English at the KME University in Switzerland.

He thanked the people of Tanzania and the government for their cooperation and commitment and promised to go on supporting educational efforts in Tanzania as he believes education is a pre-requisite in any meaningful advancement of humanity.

The founding head of the Kisimiri High School, Abner Mrema, said the school that he and his colleagues started under the forbidding conditions has at long last grown into the present ultra-modern institution through the efforts of Professor Karafiat who had decided to extend a helping hand to the villages of his childhood.

Extract ID: 5158

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Edward Selasini
Page Number: 434
Extract Date: 26 Aug 2006

Little "big" town at standstill ~ "Traffic jam caused by ignorance"

Even before Arusha explodes into a major city, being the headquarters of the East African Community and other regional and international organizations, the municipality's roads are already choked with traffic jams.

What however, worries many residents especially motorists is that, in their opinion, authorities are not concerned of the situation let alone take measures to ease the traffic jams. But, municipal officials say they have already done much.

Driving from Ngarenaro along Sokoine road to the Kijenge roundabout, a drive that only two years took less than 15 minutes now takes well over one hour during morning and evening rush hours.

Notorious roads for bumper to bumper traffic jams include Sokoine road, Old Moshi road, Njiro road, Phillips-Sakina road, Chagga road and Colonel Middleton road.

"Practically all the roads in Arusha are a traffic nightmare," said Patrick Magorwa , a taxi driver who is irked by the fact that the town has very few roads and there are no plans to create more.

He said that authorities should act now to erase traffic flow or else it will soon be too late to build new roads or to ease the traffic flow.

The Faya-Unga Limited road, municipal authorities boast of having established recently is not even fit to be called a road unless it is improved and paved with tarmac, said Magorwa.

He also suggested that Kanisa road which passes by the State Lodge and the High Court be extended to Arusha-Moshi road as the case was during colonial times and during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Another motorist who identified himself as Phillip Mushi said he is generally annoyed by the traffic flow in Arusha and to him the situation is hopeless all day long.

"Every hour, every street is chaotic," he said. He attributes the problem partly to municipal officials laxity and allowing heavy trucks and commuter mini buses to trespass any of the town streets as they wish.

Most cities worth to be called so restrict heavy vehicles from entering the central business area.

He appealed to municipal officials if they do not have resources to create new roads to at least use common sense in controlling traffic flow.

He said if they change some of the roads to one way passages then there would be no traffic jams in Arusha at least in the central business area. If for example, Sokoine (Uhuru) road, Chagga road, Makongoro and Boma roads are declared one way passages then it would be easy to drive around the central business area without any hustle," he said.

His suggestion tallies with a proposal given by a British transport engineer who came to Arusha as a volunteer in late 1990. He was also of the opinion that most of Arusha's roads should be one- way passages but authorities ridiculed his ideas.

George Mollel of Kijenge says he has been forced to buy a motorcycle that can manouevre around snailing cars because it is very difficult to drive his motor car into town.

"I have a car, in fact a pick-up truck, but where do I pass when I want to go to the central business area? He asked.

But despite the chaos many people say Arusha has yet to see traffic jams. Many are worried about the impending raucous situation when construction of the East African Community headquarters is complete. The massive structure whose construction was earmarked to start "last quarter" of this year will be located at the backyard of the Arusha International Conference Centre complex.

Commenting about the traffic jams, Arusha's Municipal Director, Dr. Job Laizer said that the Municipal Council has opened a new road connecting Unga Limited, Fire Station and Tanzania Breweries Limited but motorists are not making use of it. He said if drivers choose to use that route, the traffic jam to Njiro would be eased.

He mentioned other new roads such as the one joining TANAPA along Dodoma road with Sakina along Nairobi road and also the one connecting Majengo and Sakina. He claimed that the traffic jam problem has already been solved but the problem is with the drivers themselves.

On heavy trucks roaming town centre roads, Dr. Laizer, said there was already a ban on such vehicles.

Extract ID: 5159

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: June Thomas
Page Number: 439
Extract Date: 30 Sep 2006

I have first hand account of history of New Arusha Hotel

Dear Sirs,

I have just come across your articles written last year (24 Sept 2005) regarding a Dana Bloom from Canada - and the debate regarding the New Arusha Hotel.

My father - Ted Ulyate (now age 89) - son of Raymond Ulyate is very much alive - and if people are really interested in the history of the New Arusha Hotel Dad can give first hand account of events and clear up any problem areas.

By the way - as a child I knew Polly Bloom really well - and he and his family were friends of my parents - I also remember the name of Judah Bloom - both Mum and Dad still speak of the family.

My mother was the sister of the Arusha School (Kay Ulyate) and my father (Ted Ulyate) had a farm out at Essimingor and I am assumed that the luncheon parties mentioned in Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries 1953-7 was in fact lunches as my parents farm.

If anyone would like to contact my parents please let me know and I would gladly put you in contact.

Kind regards

June Thomas (nee Ulyate)

Extract ID: 5160

external link

See also

Arusha Times, 2006
Extract Author: Matilda Kirenga
Page Number: 442
Extract Date: 21 Oct 2006

Arusha School receives 10 computers

Arusha School was last week presented with 10 computers, courtesy of Arusha’s Regional Medical Officer, Dr. Naftal Ole King’ori.

Dr. King’ori was fulfilling a promise that he floated during last year’s graduation ceremony at the school which he officiated as guest of honour. He promised to provide the school with one computer but he eventually came up with 10.

The school which is government run and one that had a reputation of affluence and high rank academically, had only one computer before receiving the donation. Teachers of the school also had computer training but had no access to computers.

Dr. King’ori urged the students to make good use of the computers because computer skills are essential in job markets in all sectors.

The donation was made possible through the support of Computer Aid International of United Kingdom and Computer for Schools, Kenya.

Extract ID: 5161
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