Karatu

Name ID 284

external link

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Internet Web Pages
Extract Date: 1930's

In 1930 …

In 1930 …

some german farmers got permission to root out the bush on the southern slopes of Mt. Oldeani and Ngorongoro-Crater wich were not inhabitat in those days. One of the newly established farms was later named "Shangri-La", after the famous novel "Lost Horizon" of James Hilton. Being an english possession for a relatively short period after World War 2, not only Shangri-La, but also some other plantations were rebought by a Danish-German group, who invested a substantial amount to revitalize the old neglected farms.

Nowadays [2006~]

this investor group is represented by its owners Christian Jebsen and Dr. Günter Klatt. The familiy Jebsen has a long link of over 100 years with Tanzania and Dr. Klatt made some historical studies about the country. With their Karatu-Developement-Foundation company ( KDF), they are eager to promote the three sections of the farm: coffee, vegetables and dairy. These products are supplied to hotels and lodges. Local people also benefit, as the farm is one of the biggest employers in Karatu.

Extract ID: 5132

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 023
Extract Date: 1934

Ngorongoro was of course well known to the Germans

Ngorongoro was of course well known to the Germans prior to World War I, and to British officials, farmers and hunters in the early twenties. But the land through which the road runs from the top of the rift to the Crater was then uninhabited. In the mid-twenties German nationals were permitted to return to their previous colony, then a Mandate, but the previously German farms had been sold by the Custodian of Enemy Property, so that the returning Germans had to find somewhere new to live. Who the originator of the idea was will never be known, but a number of these people settled on the lower slopes of Oldeani and started carving out coffee farms for themselves.

One effect of this move was to encourage the Iraqw people to move up from their overcrowded country to the south, first as labourers on the farms, and then as settlers in their own right on the neighbouring uninhabited land. A specially appointed Land Commissioner, Mr Bageshaw, recommended - and the recommendation was accepted - that all the land lying to the south of the boundary of the Northern Highlands Forest Reserve, already demarcated by the German Government, should with the exception of the alienated farms, be developed as an expansion area for the Iraqw tribe. There were however three major deterrents to settlement; firstly the tsetse fly which prevented the keeping of cattle, then the lack of water, and finally the fear of Masai raids from Ngorongoro. But the tribal authorities, with the aid and advice of British officers, organised extensive self-help schemes whereby the empty lands were settled, slowly at first, but with increased impetus in the period following World War II.

When I first travelled along that road in 1934 there was not a sign of habitation from Mto-wa-Mbu to Karatu, whilst the big triangle of superb land lying between the rift and the forest edge, called Mbulumbulu, was entirely empty. With Government aid and encouragement the Iraqw folk were just beginning to trickle north, when World War II broke out. This involved the removal of German settlers to camps, but at the same time increased the need for self-sufficiency. The Oldeani-Karatu-Mbulumbulu area had proved itself particularly suitable for the production of wheat, and attracted the attention of the Custodian of Enemy Property (who was running the vacated farms in the interests of the Government), the non-German farmers in the area, and a specially organised official Wheat Scheme. In addition to encouraging production within the boundaries of the existing farms, the Government of the day permitted all these agencies to clear and plough on the land allocated by the Bageshawe Commission to the Iraqw people, on short term lease, the agreement being that the land should be handed back at the end of the war.

In spite of the pleas of those in occupation to retain the land, the Government honoured its pledge to the Iraqw people and put the land at their disposal. The result was that one had a number of wheat growers, with know-how and machinery at their disposal, but no land and a large number of Iraqw folk with a large area of ready cleared wheat land awaiting cultivation, but lacking machinery and know-how. Common interests brought the two parties together, the wheat growers working the land for the Iraqw and sharing the profits.

Extract ID: 1426

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 207b
Extract Date: 1935

First Lodge

Colonel Hallier, then Provincial Commissioner in Arusha, quickly realised the tourist potential of Ngorongoro and obtained funds - a meagre £400 - to build the first Lodge.

Construction began in 1935 under the supervision of Gordon Russell, and Assistant District Officer. The idea of building in logs was suggested by an ex-naval man called Marks who was employed on the job, as also a farmer Prinsloo, who brought up a team of oxen from Karatu to haul the logs from the forest. The timber used is Pillarwood, Cassipourea elliotii, of which many fine specimens are to be seen from the road

Extract ID: 717

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Thomas Ratsim
Page Number: 548
Extract Date: 13 Dec 2008

Karatu pioneer missionary dies in US

Pastor Elder Jackson, a former missionary with the Karatu Lutheran Church died at the age of 88 on Saturday, November 29, this year at the Benedictine Living Community in St. Peter, Minnesota, US.

A Memorial service was held on Friday, December 5 and was attended by former missionaries and friends. Burial was conducted in Resurrection Cemetery, St Peter.

Jackson was born on February 21, 1920 in Rosholt , South Dakota and attended West Central School of Agriculture before joining Augustana Seminary in Rock Island Illinois. He was ordained Lutheran Pastor in 1948. Jackson served as Pastor in Wheaton Minnesota for one year then became Missionary in Tanzania and Kenya for thirty six years.

The late Reverend Jackson served Lutheran Church in coffee Plantations at Oldeani before he moved to Karatu in 1954 after the Lutheran mission had acquired land from a South African family, Chris Hitchcock

He is most remembered in Karatu area for establishing primary schools in villages, then known as bush schools and building houses of worship. However, in 1959, They needed to move to Singida area to continue with their mission work because his wife Renee Jackson was allergic to Karatu’s volcanic dust.

He is survived by his wife, Renee, seven children, 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Extract ID: 5904

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 08
Extract Date: 1955 July 30

Saturday

We had to have everything we might require as I did not know always where we would be staying. So we eventually packed into our new Anglia three camp beds, one suitcase of clothes etc., my case of robes and books for service etc., overnight bag, the boy’s kit (Lazaro, one of the houseboys came with us) paraffin, water bottles, primus and lamps etc., etc..

The road out of Arusha is being tarmaced for about 50 miles, and at the moment where work is in progress, deviations are created - made by a bulldozer of some kind just pushing back a track across African bush for cars to travel over. This means that you have to journey over soft ground, in inches of dust, with soft patches and potholes likely to occur anywhere. To save some of this we took the road into Monduli and then backout again on their dry weather road out to the main Dodoma Road. This added a good 10 miles to our journey, but saved about the same number of dusty ones.

We made quite good time and pushed on to Mto wa Mbu for lunch. (about 75 miles from Arusha). We got petrol here and then stopped by the river amongst trees at the foot of the Rift Wall escarpment. We saw none of the baboons and monkeys that are sometimes to be seem here amongst the trees. We climbed the escarpment and took a view of the Rift Wall and Lake Manyara lying below us, and had hardly got going again when the car stopped, and I suspected over heating in the climb up. However it was not that, it was the petrol supply being choked with dirt. Fortunately Lazaro travelling with us had worked as a safari boy and had had something to do with cars so that I could get him to have a go with the carburettor without worry.

This delayed us in the heat of the day, and it was pretty warm at the top of the escarpment. However, we got on to Karatu in fairly good time, and called at the Government Rest House there to find that David Brown had moved and the place was empty. At least we will be able to stay here if required. We then went on to the Oldeani Rest House (mileage 109) and unpacked, leaving Lazaro to see to beds etc. while we went to the Notley’s for tea. ...

Lazaro had got our things out and beds seen to, but there was no boy around in full charge of the house so that wood supplies etc. were not available. However, David and Paul were so anxious to see cooking by Primus that we used that in any case. After a meal I got them to bed. (we were not able to have a bath after a very dusty journey as there was no bath available - so the grime stayed on). When the children had settled and Lazaro was finished I went over to the Oldeani Club (about 5 miles) for their club evening.

Extract ID: 573

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 11
Extract Date: 1955 August 3

Tuesday

It was fairly clear on Tuesday morning at the Camp. We had a good run down into Oldeani, misty in patches, though occasionally it cleared to give us views of the Oldeani farms. I found the turning off the crater road, which took us round the back of the farms on to the road that led down to the village shops. I reckon that I just about know my way around Oldeani now after about 6 or 7 visits though I still do not reckon to know who is on all the farms. From the Karatu end to the other end of the District well over 20 miles just along the road, and there are about 30 farms in the whole area. Many of them have their houses only a mile as the crow flies from their neighbour, but it is often more like 5 miles to get round by road and tracks.

We called at the Purchases ... after we left them, we stopped at the dukas for Lazaro’s benefit, and he decided to stay there until we came back for him late in the afternoon. Then we went on to Mrs Ching’s estate for lunch. .A new family has just come there, the Holton’s, and their daughter aged nine who was very pleased to have the company of other children for half a day.

Mrs Ching and Mrs Holton are both interested in ‘improving’ church servies when the new club is opened, and asked about making contributions of suitable items of furniture. They also asked if more regular servies might be provided in the future. I am wondering just how much they may be spurred on by the fact that the Afrikaans folk are having more regular visits from their minister now!

It was well on to 5 p.m. before we got away from here, and as I had decided to spend the next two nights at Karatu, we went straight over to there, there being as much as 20 miles to cover. The roads were pretty dusty especially around the farms, and some of the bends wanted watching. On one of them the dust was so thick that we practically skidded round an S-bend, and then the wind whipped up the dust we created and blew it right across the car so that it was literally falling down the front of the windscreen as if some one had emptied a bucket of dusty sand from the roof of the car.

We picked up Lazaro at the Oldeani dukas and then got over to Karatu after 6 - to find that the Rest House was deserted, and all locked-up, though fortunately the back door had been left unlocked. We were able to get in and unpack, but there was no boy around in charge, and so no ‘kuni’ (wood) for fires, and then to our dismay not water from the taps. We scrounged round for a little wood to light the bath fire, as we were able to do the cooking on the primus. Fortunately I had a good supply of drinking water available in the car to eke out for supper and breakfast if necessary. Judging from the next day it would seem that the water supply is off here at night for the present.

However we managed to get settled in and had a cooked meal, some kind of wash and then eventually to bed. David and Paul were very good over all this kind of thing and I never had a grumble from them the whole safari; occasionally they got a bit silly in their ways, but accepted all that came. Jolly good for them!

Extract ID: 576

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 18
Extract Date: 1956 December 31

Monday

Filled up with petrol at Karatu. Off about 11.30. Took it slowly up to Ngorongoro Crater, stopping three times for engine to cool down. First at gate where we had lunch, then on way and at Wilkies Point. Arrived at camp about 3.30, and got unpacked and settled in two huts with good views. ... when we went to see if boys OK saw a buffalo under their window, and later saw him in car headlights.

Extract ID: 580

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 210c
Extract Date: 1958

Visits

Inevitably, most of my work was concentrated in the densely populated Moshi district where, with splendid secondary schools, Roman Catholic seminaries and large numbers of middle and primary schools, people were relatively well educated. I particularly liked and often visited the government secondary school at Old Moshi and the Holy Ghost Fathers' secondary school at Umbwe in Chief Abdiel Shangali's Hai division in Machame in West Kilimanjaro.

At Arusha, the Lutheran Ilboru secondary school a short distance from my bungalow, was a home from home and I was sometimes invited to take English classes there.

Apart from courtesy calls on the district commissioner, I rarely visited the headquarters of the Masai and Mbulu districts, though I often stayed with the Irish Pallotine Fathers at Karatu in the north of Mbulu district near Oldeani, and talked to the boys in the middle school there. I once took a party of them to spend Sunday in the nearby Ngorongoro crater and, like me, they were all thrilled with this Garden of Eden where animals and men had coexisted so happily since the dawn of time.

Extract ID: 4391

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 141
Extract Date: 1962

Flight Plan

Therefore, for the balloon flight, it was necessary to get well away from the lake before coming down. On the high ground to the west of the cliff wall there was a road, a frequently blocked one - but a road none the less, that led from Karatu southwards to Mbulu, From Mbulu there was a cross-road of sorts that led to the Great North Road, the north-south highway of Africa. Therefore our flight plan, so far as it could be predicted, was at least bounded by a rectangle of roads. It would plainly be advantageous if we landed near one of them. How, or where, or when was not in our control. Therefore, as we took off from Manyara, these crucial issues of the future were well at the back of our minds as we sailed, effortlessly, wonderfully, into the vast blue expanse of sky above our launching site.

Extract ID: 3744

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 188b
Extract Date: 1962

Safari Balloon Crashed!

What we most certainly did not know was an event taking place at Karatu. Fifteen miles away an African clerk from a treasury office had solitarily witnessed our descent. He had considered with remarkable accuracy, that not everything had been under control. In his opinion, and he had cause for it, the landing could best be defined as a crash. So with, all haste, he had rushed into the Karatu Police Station to tell his story. He had told it pungently, but he had garnished it to excess. It was all very well to call a landing a crash, for only the expert balloonist's eye could tell the difference - particularly at 15 miles, but it was utterly wrong of him to add that we had exploded. The Police Officer then set the various wires humming, and reported the matter to Arusha and the capital. 'Safari Balloon Crashed. Loud Bang Reported. Balloon Seen To Explode. Fate of Crew Unknown.'

The message went out shortly after I had failed to get at the valve, from the bank, and had been more interested in the fate of the ants still alive within my trousers than in our own. By the time the balloon had been folded up, three lorry loads of 'Special Force' constables were on their way to the area from the provincial headquarters. A room had been prepared at the Arusha hospital for three. The Civil Aviation authorities had advised pilots flying over the district to keep a look-out for wreckage. In brief, that one African observer, that one teller of a very tall tale, had had his message flashed to every relevant corner of the administration, and many more besides. After all, 'exploded' is a powerful word, and he had used it convincingly.

The broadcasting units helped to spread his story, and soon it was common knowledge. However, there were three people who were most gloriously ignorant of it. They were just bashing away, in turn, at nettles and thorns and shrubs and creepers, while trying to carve a path up the slope. When they did stop to wonder, they never dreamed for a moment of what in fact was occurring. Instead, they reserved all their curiosity for wondering where on earth they were.

Extract ID: 3764

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 199a
Extract Date: 1962

Who had reported our explosion?

Alan and Joan were due back any day, but they had not arrived when I set off. Douglas took me to the crater top, and from there I got a ride into Arusha. The driver was in a hurry, and there was no time for stopping. We hurtled round the Wilkie's Point bend, neglecting the road to the rhino and the take-off site, and then twisted down the curves leading to the Karatu plain. On going through the scattered and drawn-out village of Karatu itself, I longed to know who it was that had reported our explosion. Was it that man wearing the bright blue track suit with a tie round the neck? Or that one wearing a sort of mustard coloured jacket with purple trousers, or him with a white toga, or that one just in a ragged pair of shorts? I longed to know. I swivelled round to have a last look at an exceedingly gaily dressed lot, but they gave me no due. In the dim distance, half hidden in the haze, was a thin blue line of hills cut out against the sky. How that man had picked out our balloon among those Crater Highlands I do not understand. Perhaps he imagined the whole thing! Perhaps a blob swam across his vision, as blobs sometimes do. Whatever it was, he had told his tale and, what is more, he had been believed. So good luck to him, whether his clothes are mustard or purple, white or ragged grey; I, at least, shall not forget him.

Extract ID: 3767

See also

Internet Web Pages
Extract Date: 11 Sep 1963

Karatu 11Sept1963 LL6

On 11 September 1963, the Karatu meteorite fell at Tlae Daat, near Karatu, Arusha, Tanzania. A single stone of 2.2 kilograms was recovered. Karatu is an ordinary LL6 chondrite. The LL chondrites are somewhat lower in total iron content than 90% of the ordinary chondrites (e.g., the H and L chondrites). Like all ordinary chondrites, the LL chondrites are believed to be fragments of small or medium sized disrupted asteroids.

Extract ID: 5340

external link

See also

Internet Web Pages
Extract Date: 11 Sep 1963

KARATU, Tanzania - Witnessed Fall

This meteorite fell in Arusha, Tanzania, on 11 September 1963, and witnesses found only one stone weighing a scant 2.2 kilograms. Karatu is an Ordinary chondrite, LL6, is beautifully brecciated, and has a light gray matrix with very little metal flecking. It is seldom available to collectors as virtually all of it remains in museums.

The web site belongs to Schoolers, a mmineral, fossil and meteorite dealer. In March 2007 they had five fragments displayed (2 sold). .09g, 6.58g, 5.71g, 1.81g and 3.02g. Other sites, including ebay, are selling fragemnts of the meteorite.

Extract ID: 5339

See also

Else, David Trekking in East Africa

Karatu

dubbed Safari Junction by just about everyone

Extract ID: 377

external link

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Said Njuki
Extract Date: 2000 April 29

Karatu fails to reach levy target

Arusha Times

Karatu district council collected some Tsh.77,859,000 equivalent to 76.4 percent of its levies collection in the last fiscal year.According to the District Executive Director, William Njau, the target was to collect Tsh.101,850,000 but collections failed by some 23.6 percent attributing it to evasions and other reasons he didn't specify.In a recent press release Njau said the council had already netted some 30 individuals who have long since imprisoned for failure to pay their levies.

Njau also explained two ward executive officers had been suspended for negligence and general indiscipline in work from March 21 and named them as; Patrick Kwaang'w of Qurus ward and Samson Mohe of Kansay ward.

He specified their offences as unsatisfactory collection of levies and lack of cooperation with the council leadership.

In ensuring more effective collection of levies Njau said the council is deducting some Tsh.500 from its workers and the central government civil servants who had not paid their last year's levies.

He called on all the district residents to stop the habit of tax and levy evasions and said all evaders would be netted and dealt with according to law.

Extract ID: 1494

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: N. Kipunde
Extract Date: 2000 May 20

Gongo business dwindles in Karatu

Edition 19

Brewing and drinking of the illicit brew popularly known as gongo or piwa is on the decline in many areas of Karatu district, following efforts by both government and religious leaders in curbing the harmful habit. The leaders, including the District Commissioner, Captain Antony Malley, the Member of Parliament for Karatu Constituency Dr. Wilbroad Slaa and the Catholic Bishop of Mbulu, Yuda Thaddeus Ruwaichi, have since January this year, stepped up their campaign to stop Karatu district residents from indulging in brewing, selling and drinking of the illicit liquor.

This was accomplished in addressing public rallies and in speeches delivered at seminars, workshops and symposium held in various parts of the district. A survey conducted recently in areas of the district notoriously known for the business proved that generally, the habit of drinking 'gongo' has declined along with the selling of molasses obtained from the Mtibwa Sugar Factory in Morogoro and transported by large trucks to Karatu. Molasses are raw material in the brewing of 'gongo'.

The survey indicated that in the township of Endabash, about 40 kilometres from Karatu town, as well as in the neighbouring localities, the buyers of molasses have decreased by 50 percent and the price of the illicit brew has also shrunk to Tsh.100 from Tsh.300 per one 350ml soft drink bottle.

The price of a 20-litre plastic container of molasses now sells at Tsh.1,800 compared to Tsh.3,500 a few months ago. Even the number of peddlers of plastic containers of 'gongo' from various places to Mang'ola chini village, where the sole 'gongo' market in the district is situated, has dropped to 30 percent form 80 percent. In one incident, a resident of Gorfan village, Eyasi division, whose name was not immediately available, proved his distaste to the habit of brewing, selling and drinking of 'gongo' by invading a caravan of 'gongo' sellers travelling from Kambi-ya-Faru village to Mang'ola and managed to destroy several of a total of 37 'gongo' containers with 20 litres of the brew each.

With the decline in the business of the illicit brew, the people of Karatu can now engage in gainful work instead of loitering around in 'gongo' bars. During the past five years, use of the brew has resulted to the deaths of at least 20 people and adversely affected the health of various others in Karatu district.

Extract ID: 1501

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Mussa Rajab and Said Njuki
Extract Date: March 17, 2001

Hunger force bushmen to pose for tourists

The forest may no longer be as paradise for the bush men of Hadzabe tribe in the Mang'ola division of Karatu district, because a recent strike of famine is reported to have driven the hard core forest dwellers into a new trade of posing for the tourists who nowadays visit the area frequently.

The Hadzabe bush men, who throughout their lives have been surviving on hunting wild animals, fruits and plant roots have finally found the going getting tougher with each passing day since the animals have disappeared from Mang'ola forests while the vegetation are also drying up.

Again, it is reported that civilization has also had a hand in their plight because "their' forest has also been invaded by people who chops down trees for commercial purpose.

It's due to this therefore, that most of them are now being subjected to pose for tourists who give them some money before taking their pictures.

The Chairman of Karatu District Council, Lazaro Massay confirmed the presence of such activities, saying that hunger has forced the Hadzabe people to find means of providing for themselves, and that they use the money to buy food.

Previously, the bush men had even started feeding on animal skins once used for their clothing.

However, it is also reported that the tourists don't exactly pay the bush men directly, since a team of self appointed "middle men", acts as "talent agents" for the gullible Hadzabe people.

The middle men, are also reported to rip-off the bush men on their earnings since they only pay them between Tsh.300 and Tsh.500 per single shooting while they are said to charge the tourists thousands of money.

There have also been allegations that, the bush men are forced to pose naked or performing sexual acts but efforts to contact the district council chairman by phone to verify whether these claims were true failed since he was always out of his office when ever we called.

Last week, the Karatu Member of Parliament, Wilbroad Slaa also visited the Qanded area where these bush men live and managed to witness for himself how bad the situation was.

Meanwhile, the priest of Mang'ola Catholic Parish, Padre Miguel has given out a total of 8 sacks of maize to the suffering bush men.

Padre Miguel is also reported to have adopted about 20 Hadzabe young girls in a bid to try and assist them for their plight.

Karatu district is one of the country's 33 districts which have been very much affected by drought.

The World Food Programme recently distributed over 1,000 tons of food to Karatu, Hanang and Mbulu districts in Arusha region.

Also, the CARITAS office in the Mbulu Catholic Diocese distributed over 20 tons of cereal seeds worth Tsh.37 million, to the 19 villages in the Karatu district.

Extract ID: 3124

external link

See also

BBC internet news
Extract Author: By Christine Otieno in Dar es Salaam
Extract Date: 11 January, 2002

Asians flee Tanzanian land clash

Friday, 11 January, 2002, 17:50 GMT
Asians flee Tanzanian land clash
By Christine Otieno in Dar es Salaam

Asian farmers living in northern Tanzania have fled to the town of Arusha after two days of fighting with local nomadic pastoralists left three dead.

Riot police have deployed in the area to quell the violence, which flared when a pastoralist was killed after trying to trying to graze cattle on an Asian farm.

Angered by the death, local cattle herders attacked the farm, killing two Asians.

Director of Criminal Investigation Adadi Rajabu said he had sent three senior police officers from Dar es Salaam, to lead the unit of the Tanzanian Field Force.

He said the area around the towns of Babati and Karatu was unstable, and gunfire had been reported, adding his officers would investigate what lay behind the clashes.

Retaliation

According to police and local sources, the fighting began after a local pastoralist grazed his cattle on a farm owned by an Asian.

When the farm owner asked him to remove his cattle from his land, the pastoralist apparently refused.

It is unclear how the cattle herder met his death, but the local community then attacked the farm in question, killing two Asian farmers and injuring three others.

Retaliatory violence between the locals and the farmers ensued, resulting in the mass exodus of Asians into Arusha, the nearest big town.

Tensions between the Asian farmers and the local communities have always been high.

The local tribes, mainly migratory pastoralists, have been complaining about the commercial farms which reduce the grazing areas, especially during dry weather.

It is during such conditions that pastoralists migrate in search of pasture, inevitably bringing them into conflict with the farm owners.

Mr Rajabu said that whatever the reason for the violence, the police would not and could not condone it.

He said once his officers had investigated the matter, all those involved, by they Asian or local, would be arrested and charged in a court of law.

Extract ID: 3271

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Date: 12 January, 2002

A husband and wife, of Asian origin, were killed

A husband and wife, of Asian origin, were killed and three other persons of the same family seriously injured when a group of Kiru villagers in Babati district waged an attack on their farm house on January 9. Property worth million of shillings, including a sugar cane plantation, was set on fire. The victims who were slashed to death are Bhanuprad Patel (81) and his wife Dhiray Patel (71). Those critically injured (above from left) are Suchitaben Patel (46), Kavitha Patel (17) and Neha Mahesh Patel (20), all are admitted at Ithnaasher hospital in Arusha. Police are still investigating the matter. The Regional Police Commander, Placid Chaka and other senior police officers were at the scene of the crime on Thursday. (Pictures by Raymond John).

Extract ID: 3272

external link

See also

BBC internet news
Extract Author: Christine Otieno in Dar es Salaam
Extract Date: 15 January, 2002

Arrests follow Tanzania land clashes

Tensions are still high in Northern Tanzania where Asian farmers and locals clashed last week.

Riot police sent in to quell the trouble have now arrested 11 people and are combing the nearby mountains for more.

The two groups have been at loggerheads over grazing land.

The fighting that began last week has resulted in three deaths - one herder and two Asians.

Of the 11 people arrested in the regions of Babati and Karatu, none are of Asian origin.

A source in Babati said that nine of the 11 people arrested have already appeared in court charged with the Asian couple's murder.

Still looking

Local authorities were forced to send in the riot police, Field Force Unit or FFU to help quell the fighting.

Many Asians fled to Arusha

The unit was led by three senior police officers from Dar es Salaam.

The police say that in total they are looking for over 20 locals but would not say whether they intended to arrest any Asian farmers.

The trouble itself started when one local herder grazed his cattle on a farm owned by an Asian.

When the man was asked to move, he refused.

It is not known how the man was shot dead.

Dry hills

The local herders retaliated by attacking the farms and killing two of the occupants.

The victims have been named as 81-year-old Bhambhil Patel and his 71-year-old wife Dihraj Patel.

The dead herder has not been named.

Kavita Patel's farm was attacked

The Asian farmers who fled to nearby Arusha saying they feared for their lives, are asking for government intervention.

The farmers say they own their land legally and consequently can bar any of the local herders from grazing their cattle on it.

In response, the herders have appealed to the President Benjamin Mkapa, asking him to visit the region and experience the hardships they suffer.

The herders say all the arable land has been bought out by Asian farmers, leaving them with only dry hilly regions to graze their cattle.

This, they say, is unfair and is resulting in the death of a number of cows.

So far the government has not responded to either the herders or the Asian farmers.

Eyewitnesses report that it has been quiet around Karatu and the only gunfire heard was near Babati, some 300km away.

Karatu has had no problems whatsoever. The problem was mainly in Babati on a farm called Mara Estate and was an ongoing problem between the farmer and the pastoralists for a long time. The farmer gave the gun to his Manager, who let it off and the retaliation was ugly.

MK emailed:

".. The Rift Valley is between us and them - Babati is south and east and 200 miles as the crow flies. Sad that these incidents blow up, but they do from time to time and has always been my point that nothing is as precious as living as good neighbours inspite of the disappointments that arise. Disappointments are everywhere and one has to try and find solutions together. I am saying nothing new, I know but in anger it is easy to forget and the consequences often so sad. The owner lost his Father (81) and Mother (71) and more I dont want to think about."

Extract ID: 3275

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Elisha Mayallah
Page Number: 275
Extract Date: 20 June 2003

Mnadani Karatu: A potential spot for tourists

A couple of weeks ago, I set out of my home to visit a friend who works at The Lake Manyara Hotel, about two hours drive away. When I reached there he suggested that we visit a nearby township called Karatu.

Karatu is small area with a population of about 100,000, mainly farmers. The local market, where people from different areas come to sell and buy, takes place on the seventh day of each month.

The famous market day is popularly known by the people in the area as ‘Mnadani Karatu' and is reached by people from as far as Ngorongoro. The range of products offered for sale at the market varies from second-hand clothes to grilled meat.

The reason for our visit, according to my host, was to taste the wonderful grilled meat. At first it sounded normal to me because Arusha is also famous for good grilled meat. But I had to wait and see what is so special with the meat at Mnadani Karatu.

We reached the market at midday and I could see a horde of people moving from one corner to another. Roughly, I could easily notice that many people were busy selecting clothes with a few buying households' items.

Similarly, sellers were busy trying to allure more customers to their business. Surely, their sales techniques were impressive, and they could real find the right words to convince people to buy. One of the cloth sellers was shouting "Dad do not spend your money drinking remember your wife and kids need clothes. Come and get a reasonable deal for your family. I also have a few give-aways for you!"

Next, was our place for the meat, and my host selected the meat, which was already on skewers. I looked around to see a charcoal burner but none could be seen. To my surprise, I was told the meat would be grilled on fire wood. I enquired how long it will take to grill the meat and whether the stick will not get burnt. I was assured that the stick will not be burnt, and needed only half an hour to find our grilled meat ready.

We walked once more around the market to pass time while our mind was fixed to the grilled meat. A few minutes later, my host suggested that we move towards the direction where our meat was being grilled. I had to walk behind my host as we crossed over different makeshift stands in the packed market.

At last, we entered a small tent, the place for eating our meat, where we were seated by a helper. Then came the man carrying our grilled meat stashed on a stick, and he gave a knife to each one of us and a plate.

My host, unlike in Arusha where I come from, told me meat-eating there was self-service. In my home area the meat is usually cut into small pieces and served in a plate. However, the Karatu style was for everybody to cut the meat from the stick and eat without making use of a plate. I enjoyed eating the meat from the stick though it was very hot.

From the sweet taste of the meat, it has made me consider a return visit to mnadani Karatu next month with my host - for our wonderful menu again!

Karatu being on the way to Ngorongoro crater and Lake Manyara National Park, the market at Mnadani Karatu can be good tourism attractions for tourists' who are passing by on the seventh day of each month.

Extract ID: 4298

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: Elisha Mayallah
Page Number: 275
Extract Date: 20 June 2003

Mnadani Karatu: A potential spot for tourists

A couple of weeks ago, I set out of my home to visit a friend who works at The Lake Manyara Hotel, about two hours drive away. When I reached there he suggested that we visit a nearby township called Karatu.

Karatu is small area with a population of about 100,000, mainly farmers. The local market, where people from different areas come to sell and buy, takes place on the seventh day of each month.

The famous market day is popularly known by the people in the area as ‘Mnadani Karatu' and is reached by people from as far as Ngorongoro. The range of products offered for sale at the market varies from second-hand clothes to grilled meat.

The reason for our visit, according to my host, was to taste the wonderful grilled meat. At first it sounded normal to me because Arusha is also famous for good grilled meat. But I had to wait and see what is so special with the meat at Mnadani Karatu. . . .

Extract ID: 4300

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The Long Riders' Guild
Extract Author: Esther Stein and Horst Hausleitner
Extract Date: 22 December 2003

A Horror Story

"We are in Karatu but more dead than alive. We've lost Trine through a snake-bite, but that was only a minor problem compared to what happened afterwards.

Two days ago we left the mission in Dongobash where the people had tried to cheat us (harmless, it happens everywhere). The whole day children followed us, screaming and bothering the horses. We had no bullets left, so there was nothing we could do. They even followed me into the bushes when I wanted to pee. When we complain about this, the adults always say, "But they only want to watch." I couldn't cope any more. At midday we reached the next mission, Tlawi. We'd been told that this mission had a fence, well, that's wrong again. Masses of children are with us when we reach it. I ask for someone who speaks English. The sister in charge comes - a fat, slow woman who doesn't understand very much. I tell her who we are and that we are looking for a quiet place to pitch our tent for one night.

I also ask her if she can help us to get rid of the children. "Yes," she says, but she doesn't do anything. Horst asks for water for the horses, and gets the same answer, the same reaction. I just can't stand it any more. We decided not to stay there, but to rest and then go on to Mbulu. There is a bigger mission there, maybe they have a fence. It's hot, I need a toilet and I want to be alone. A man comes - I find out later he's a priest. He doesn't introduce himself. He asks where we are from. I tell him I won't answer any more questions as long as people keep staring at me. "But they only...."

That's it! I jump up and yell at him, "I'm sick of this argument. I have been hearing it for more than two months now. I don't care what they want. I want to have my privacy. You think that because I'm white I have to accept everything. I have to give every drunk beggar a cigarette or some money. I have to smile when people follow me into the bushes because they have never seen a white arse. I have to accept that people charge me a higher price because of my colour. But I won't accept it any more. I'm sick of this terrible country."

He listens very calmly and then answers, "But you know, the people here have never seen...." He doesn't finish. I run to one of the staring women and lift her skirt. She laughs, but the priest is shocked. "She doesn't like it," I yell, "But I don't care. I only want to look - like your children. Do you understand now how I feel?"

Eventually I leave her alone. They probably think I'm completely insane now and it would be better not to provoke me any more. The children get chased away finally and the people from the mission go voluntarily. We have peace. After half an hour. we want to leave. The sister in charge comes and offers us lunch. "No, thank you we just want to get away from here."

No one follows us from the mission but down in the village it starts again. This time its adults, men mainly. They try to pull the horses' tails and chase them. Bucki is only shod on the front feet, Roland and Misty aren't shod at all any more. We are running out of shoes. The track is very stony and the horses can only cope on tiptoe. It hurts them.

Horst rides in front with Roland. Misty is packhorse and I follow on Bucki. I try to turn him around to chase the people away, but its hard to make him gallop. More and more people are joining meanwhile - now there are about 500. They come from all sides. The local Barbaic travel with long walking sticks. One of the men starts hitting Bucki with his stick. I try to defend him with the whip but it's not long enough. I can't hit the man. His stick is longer. Now he starts hitting me. I scream for Horst.

When he sees what happens he jumps off his horse and starts beating my attacker. That's the beginning of a war. Everything happens at the same time. 500 people start throwing stones at us. Some of them are as big as footballs. I'm hit by a few smaller ones Horst goes down. I scream in Swahili : "I'm a German journalist, I'm going to write about this." Two guys try to help us. They run in front of Horst and spread their arms to protect him and try to calm the people. The horses are just wonderful. During the whole time Roland and Misty were loose. When they were hit they just made a jump forward but didn't run away. Now Horst gets back on the horse and we go away.

When we have reached a distance of about 500 meters our two helpers follow us to ask questions. Not a good idea. The attackers start running again and follow us with war cries and stones. We must gallop. I'm afraid the luggage might fall but there is no alternative. These bastards keep following but the distance between us grows bigger. Then a curve in the road. They can't see us any more. We keep running but then the path goes steeply down between big rocks, and we have to slow down. After a little while the leader of our attackers comes around the corner. When he sees us he yells something over his shoulder and soon there are again more people. Most of them gave up but about 50 are still following with stones in their hands and the distance between us gets smaller and smaller.

Shortly before they reach us a pick-up comes from the other direction with a armed guy in uniform at the back. Our pursuers run away and I greet the policemen with overwhelming gratitude. I changed their mood without knowing it. It turns out they didn't come to rescue us but to arrest me because a had offended the woman in Tlawi by lifting her skirt. A second car comes with a German doctor. She had witnessed the stone attack and sent the police in the right direction. Now she comes to me and says in German "Oh you poor dear what happened to you?" Sympathy is so rare in Africa but it feels so good, I start crying again. She convinces the policemen to let us go to Mbulu mission first before further interrogation to let us unsaddle the horses. The police car escorts us.

At the mission are more Europeans - a German couple, Lukas and Carmen. Lukas is a water engineer. After the horses are taken care of we get tea. Finally the interrogation takes place in the living room of our German hosts. So many people have gathered outside the house that even the local policemen feel uneasy. Meanwhile the nun and the priest from Tlawi have arrived. After our papers are found in order and I've told my story, they and the leader of the police are still trying to find something against me. 3 other policemen seem to be sympathetic. Lukas has called the bishop's secretary who is senior to the nun and the priest from Tlawi, and with his help and the help of the Swahili-speaking Germans I remain free. What a day. Horst's leg hurts and I have a few minor bruises but besides that we are fine and our host invited us to a European dinner with real bread, cheese and sausages. We have a few more days to ride to Karatu. From there we can go by bus to Arusha and the first thing we buy will be a gas-gun or any other kind of weapon."

The Long Riders' Guild sent an urgent message to Esther and Horst, telling them to be even more on their guard in future, and suggesting that they either enlist the aid of the local authorities or get some native people to travel with them and guard them. After a few days' of worrying silence, we received the following reassuring message.

Extract ID: 4776

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The Long Riders' Guild
Extract Author: Esther Stein and Horst Hausleitner
Extract Date: 25 December 2003

An internet cafe called "Bytes"

"First the good news: we've got everything here, bread, butter, even turkey today. Karatu turned out to be a paradise. Hidden among the mud huts is a internet cafe called "Bytes" run by an English couple, Chris and Tanya [Sandy]. After only 2 minutes of knowing us Chris offered us the use of his ancient Range Rover while we are here. That means the horses can rest at Kudu Campsite where the owner, a local!!!! offered us a special price when he heard what we are doing and we are still mobile. The campsite is clean, has warm water and enough grass for the horses. The food in the internet cafe "Bytes" is excellent and affordable. We are going to have Christmas turkey today. And yesterday we drove to Plantation Lodge run by a German, spent the day at the swimming pool and had a wonderful 5 star Christmas dinner. When we wanted to pay Udo didn't charge us. Tanzania is a place of extremes. So don't worry too much about us. Right now we are in paradise and we won't go on before 2nd January.

Soon we will reach the Masai area. We've met other tribes likes the Sukuma who are somehow comparable to the Masai, they are nomads as well and live very traditional lives, and have been much more polite than the masses of mixed tribes. Besides, the Masai live in very scattered communities and so we don't expect to have groups of 1000 people following us.

But what will reassure you the most is that we are going to meet our Masai friend from Kenya and he'll guide us through the Masai area. I just got an email from him that he is not online right now but he will contact me on 1st January. That's why we are staying here in paradise at least until 2nd.

So don't worry, we have survived the hell and now enjoy Karatu and its wonderful people.

Merry Christmas to you all."

Extract ID: 4777

See also

Arusha Times
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

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Arusha Times
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

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: Samson Waigwa
Page Number: 471
Extract Date: 2 June 2007

Karatu, Longido reject hunters, Mbulu embraces them

‘They cheated Wananchi with countless promises’

Karatu district authorities have rejected a request by an Arab hunting firm from acquiring large tracts of land for hunting in Lake Eyasi basin after failing to meet conditions given to them.

Instead UAE Safaris from Abu Dhabi moved to neighbouring Mbulu district where it has been promised thousands of hectares of land for hunting, a move which has raised public outrage.

The Karatu district council chairman Lazaro T. Maasay said the councillors rejected the application because they were suspicious on the nature of hunting the firm intended to carry in the area.

According to him, UAE Safaris applied to the district council in 2005 to have Dumbechand, Matala and Laghangareri villages on the shores of the alkaline lake into their hunting bloc.

"We gave them conditions which they failed to fulfill. But instead of moving out, they went to the villages where they cheated the Wananchi with countless promises", he explained.

He said the firm, which moved to Karatu reportedly after their application for a hunting bloc in Longido district was turned down, did not specify if they intended to kill or harvest live animals.

Mr. Maasay, a councillor for the opposition Chadema party which has retained Karatu constituency since the first multi-party elections in 1995, cited other reasons why the Arab hunters were not granted a hunting bloc there.

He said one of the reasons they objected UAE Safaris to operate in Karatu was that the district authorities had no alternative place to resettle the people living in the villages earmarked as a hunting bloc.

"Most importantly we realised that the same area is occupied by the hunter-gatherer Hadzabe tribesmen who survive on hunting wild animals and fruit gathering" he told representatives of the marginalised communities living in the district.

The district council chairman added that the survival of the hunter-gatherer Hadzabe would be endangered if their land was leased to the Arab firm. He was speaking at a meeting in Karatu.

The firm later moved to neighbouring Mbulu district and is reported to have been promised 4,000 square kilometres of land at Yaeda Chini plains for hunting.

Recently residents in Mbulu, notably the Hadzabe hunter-gathers and nomadic pastoralists living in the area, called on the government to stop "the Arab investor" from taking their land.

The controversial deal is said to have divided the Mbulu district leadership with some opposing the leasing of the land to UAE Safaris and others openly blaming non-governmental organisations for "instigating" the villagers against the project.

Sources close to the district council told The Arusha Times over the weekend that leaders of at least six villages in Yaeda Chini area have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the hunting firm to allow it operate there.

The villages include Yaeda Chini itself, Mongo wa Mono and Eshkesh. The majority of people living in the villages are the hunter-gatherers and nomadic pastoralists.

A district official, speaking on condition of anonimyty, said UAE Safaris intended to enhance conservation of the semi-arid area by re-opening the wildlife corridor that links Lake Eyasi and Marang forests on the edge of Lake Manyara.

"This firm would not go into hunting immediately. It would enhance conservation so that the animal population can increase and at the same time involve Wananchi in fighting poachers" he said.

At least five game posts would be established, according to him. The firm, which has already set up a big camp in the area, has also promised to support Mbulu people in water, school and health projects.

But Mr. Maasay said by rejecting the offer by the Abu Dhabi-based hunting firm, Karatu district had avoided land crisis that would have pittied the Wananchi and the government.

He was speaking at a training seminar organised by TAPHGO, an Arusha-based NGO for pastoralists, hunterer-gatherers and other marginalised communities in the country.

The seminar brought together representatives of mainly the Datoga/Barbaig and Hadzabe tribes and local leaders from several wards and villages within the Lake Eyasi basin in Karatu and Mbulu districts.

A team of Arusha-based journalists which visited the area recently wondered if Yaeda Chini could ever be attractive to international hunting firms. The wild animal population has dwindled over the years.

Researchers and human rights organisations have often warned that the Hadzabe, one of the last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes in Tanzania,may become extinct in the next few years because of pressure on their dwindling traditional habitat.

A just-concluded study by Oxfam says the tiny tribe, whose population does not exceed 3,000, is threatened by dwindlig wild animal population which they depended for food.

They are scattered in the hills surrounding Lake Eyasi, hunting the wild animals and gathering wild fruits and tubers for their daily survival in a harsh environment often hit by severe droughts.

Five districts in four regions have Hadzabe people.These are Meatu in Shinyanga region, Iramba (Singida),Mbulu (Manyara) and Karatu and Ngorongoro in Arusha region.

Extract ID: 5400

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: Richard Kipuyo
Page Number: 495
Extract Date: 17 Nov 2007

Conservationists take action to ensure Lake Manyara’s survival

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), is funding an agro-forestry program in Karatu that will among other things ensure Lake Manyara and its environs survival.

The programme implemented by Karatu district under the banner Mazingira Bora Karatu (MBK) is aimed at reducing environmental degradation through tree planting and contour farming practices on the Karatu highlands.

It focuses on improving vegetation cover along river banks and encourages locals to plant trees as a sustainable source of fuel wood as well as beekeeping projects that will help improve their livelihoods.

The MBK program is facilitated by AWF under its five- year USAID-funded project launched two years ago entitled; "Investing in livelihoods through resource management in Manyara and Tarangire" or in short ILRAMAT.

The programme which is part of an overall national strategy objective of the USAID and Tanzania Government on natural resources management and economic growth by conserving bio-diversity through livelihoods driven approaches.

Beside the MBK programme, according to it’s officials, to-date ILRAMAT has spent over US Dollars 700,000 to address issues of conservation of wildlife corridors in Kwakuchinja area at the border of Monduli and Babati districts, as well as rangeland conservation in wildlife dispersal areas of Manyara ranch and Simanjiro plains.

Karatu hills lay on the upper escarpment where many rivers that drain into the Lake Manyara National Park pass through and unchecked soil erosion is threatening the existence of the lake and the park itself.

Lake Manyara which is the lifeline of Lake Manyara National Park has been experiencing occasional declining levels and potential threats of drying up. This has been attributed to siltation from soil erosion caused by poor farming practices on Karatu highlands.

Lake Manyara National Park receives over 140,000 tourists annually who inject into the park an income of over US Dollars 3 million annually.

On the community side, a lot of income generating activities around Mto-wa-Mbu and Karatu area also have a bearing on the existence of Lake Manyara National Park.. Many local residents have developed curio shops and tourist products that help them improve their livelihoods. The park commits about 10 per cent of its income to support small community initiative programs (SCIP) including construction of schools, water-systems, health centres and village offices.

Thus the agro-forestry program on the Karatu hills has multiple benefits including: improving the water retention and the soils on the highlands, reduction of soil erosion, improved agricultural productivity, beekeeping and also filtering water and reduce siltation of downward streams leading to Lake Manyara.

MBK has been working in the area for 10 years. Previous USAID assistance helped them to build capacity in terms of human resources to carry out agro-forestry tasks. This time around, the program aims to re-launch and rejuvenate the activities started 10 years ago and give momentum for an expansion of the program throughout Karatu highlands’ villages and popularize it among all the communities.

Extract ID: 5464

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On-line Newspaper
Extract Author: Meredith May
Extract Date: May 4, 2008

Doctor finds higher calling when death knocks

SFGate the home of the San Francisco Chronicle

Dr. Frank Artress looked down at his fingers. His nail beds were turning blue. He was running out of oxygen near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

A cardiac anesthesiologist, Artress knew the signs of high altitude pulmonary edema. He knew there was a 75 percent chance that he would perish on Africa's highest peak.

Artress led his wife to a rock, and they sat together above the clouds. Then it hit him. He wasn't afraid to die; he was ashamed. He had lived only for himself - practicing medicine in a Modesto hospital, traveling with his wife, purchasing luxury vacation homes and collecting art. He felt as if he had nothing to show for his 50 years. He felt as if his life had been a waste.

In that moment, Artress and his wife realized they were living for the wrong reasons. In that moment, everything changed.

Some people dream of giving up the trappings of success and starting life anew, with a purpose, with a social conscience. For Artress and his wife, the idea suddenly seemed real.

That day on Mount Kilimanjaro would lead the Modesto doctor and his wife to leave their comfortable life in California to become bush doctors, dedicated to easing the heartbreak of Africa.

##The mistake##

Their lives might never have changed if Artress had simply followed mountain guide Kapanya Kitaba's instructions and thawed out his drinking water.

Instead, on the fifth day of their six-day Kilimanjaro climb in 2002, Artress awoke early at Arrow Glacier Camp. His wife, Susan Gustafson, was still cocooned in her sleeping bag. The 22 African porters were just beginning to stir.

Artress had wanted to do something big for his 50th birthday. An amateur photographer, he had a new Nikon, and began photographing the sun rising over the snow at 16,000 feet.

He knew his drinking water was frozen but figured it would melt during the all-day hike up the steep rocky face to Crater Camp at 18,500 feet, where they would spend the night and acclimate before summiting at 19,340 feet the next morning.

The group trekked all day, but Artress' water didn't thaw. Embarrassed at his gaffe, he didn't tell anyone how thirsty he was.

After a stop for lunch, Artress began to lose his breath. His lungs were slowly filling with fluid. It felt as if someone was squeezing his throat. He turned to his wife.

"We are in a really, really bad place," he began. He explained what was going on, and that the only cure was to descend.

But that was out of the question, Kitaba said. The climb up Shira Route's Western Breach they had taken that day was too rocky and dangerous to descend, especially at night. To make matters worse, the temperature was falling, and that increased the chance of a rockslide.

The only option was to make the 840-foot climb to the top and go back down the other side. Husband and wife held each other and sobbed.

"I thought how stupid it would be to die without ever giving anything back to society," Artress said.

By midnight, Artress worried he wasn't going to make it. Shivering under a pile of blankets, he turned to his wife: "We've got to do something, or I'm going to be dead by morning."

Gustafson rousted the camp, and they set off in the freezing darkness for the summit.

Kitaba and the porters took turns wrapping an arm around Artress and singing Swahili songs of encouragement in his ear. They sang about the mighty mountain and about resilience, and stopped with Artress every time he had to bend over and take deep breaths to get his heart rate below 200.

In case his heart gave out, Artress taught the crew how to give him a precordial thump - a closed-fist smack to the chest that simulates an emergency adrenaline shot.

After eight hours, they crested the summit. Kitaba sent a porter racing ahead to the Kilimanjaro National Park ranger station to ready a stretcher.

Artress made it down the other side to the ranger station at 14,700 feet, where he promptly passed out.

When he awoke, he was in his sleeping bag, strapped to a military cot with a motorcycle tire under it. Four porters were each holding a corner and running down the mountain, still singing Swahili prayer songs. These men who barely knew Artress had risked their own lives, climbing in the darkness, to save his. Artress was overwhelmed with gratitude.

Kitaba got Artress to a doctor in a clinic in nearby Arusha the next day. The doctor saw no heart damage.

On his way out, the doctor, a U.S.-trained Australian, planted a seed: "You know, Dr. Frank, we need doctors here in Africa way more than they need them in California."

Artress turned back.

"It's been a rough couple of days. Could I have a night to think about it?"

##The decision##

The next morning, Artress and Gustafson met the doctor for lunch. They had been up all night talking about how to live a life of purpose. What better way to thank the people who had saved Artress' life by returning to their medically deprived village so he could save theirs? The next morning, they were ready with an answer for the doctor.

"We're in. We'll come work in your hospital."

They knew their decision was the right one when they returned to their creekside ranch home in Modesto. The things they normally missed when they were away - the matching silver sports cars, the signed Mirós and Picassos, the full-throttle espresso machine and the swimming pool - no longer had any charm.

"It looked like we were at someone else's garage sale, looking at all their junk," Artress said.

That week, Artress quit his job at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto and Gustafson gave notice as an educational psychologist for the public schools. Then they sold everything - the Montana ranch, the condos in Colorado and Palm Springs, the $40,000 garden sculptures - and made plans to return to the foot of Kilimanjaro to administer medical care as a way of repaying the community that saved Artress' life.

##A new life##

Their new African home was a tiny apartment on one of the noisiest streets in Arusha - with a Maasai market selling chickens, goats and cows, a boisterous nightclub, and a mosque with predawn calls to prayer. Their electricity was intermittent, their tap water brown and they had no radio or television. They learned to appreciate cold showers and goat meat.

And they were at peace.

"It was as if this Buddhist cloud has passed over us," Gustafson said.

But the job offer hashed out over lunch never materialized. The doctor who had promised them work in his clinic had returned to the United States.

Artress found work with another clinic in Arusha, where he ended up in what amounted to a crash course in tropical diseases.

On his first day, a patient with a neck abscess the size of a baseball came in. The resident doctor handed Artress a scalpel.

"I am an anesthesiologist. I don't do this," Artress protested.

"You do now."

It was like being in a residency program all over again. Everything that walked in the door was foreign to him. The girl who fell in a fire and had her arm welded to her chest, like she was permanently saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Another patient had a foot overtaken by a fungal infection. Artress saw children with bugs in their ears, foot-long worms in their intestines and infected witch-doctor burns on their bodies.

Many of his patients walked for days to see him. They had been living with their pains for years, in some cases all their lives.

"They don't know what it feels like to feel good," Artress said.

Such is the state of medical care in northern Tanzania, where the patient-to-doctor ratio is as high as 60,000 to 1 in some of the more remote areas. Poverty, isolation and lack of dependable medical care mean most adults have never seen a doctor. Most don't live past 40, succumbing most often to malaria, tuberculosis and routine infections from drinking dirty water. A quarter of Tanzanian adults are HIV-positive, and the majority has no access to antiretroviral medicines that keep the virus from escalating to AIDS. Half of all Tanzanian children are malnourished.

With an 80 percent unemployment rate, and the other 20 percent earning the equivalent of $1 a day, many can't afford bus fare, let alone a doctor bill. The lucky ones who get into a clinic often walk out with painkillers but no diagnosis.

"You can save someone here with $1.50 worth of antibiotics - but the heartbreak of Africa is that people don't have access to that most basic care, so they are dying of completely preventable diseases," Artress said.

Unless Dr. Frank can save them.

He relies on a well-thumbed reference book, "Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases," and the Internet, which allows him to research and e-mail with experts in the United States about how to handle the bizarre cases - such as the man with a 5-inch horn protruding from his neck. About the shape and texture of a pumpkin stalk, it was some type of accelerated bone growth. After a few e-mails with former medical colleagues in Modesto, Frank had the patient come to his house and lie down on the dining room table, where he surgically removed it.

After two years at the clinic, Artress and Gustafson were ready to branch out on their own. They stocked their beat-up Land Rover with donated medicine and headed into the bush.

##The bush##

They began conducting outdoor clinics at orphanages and tribal villages, where they passed out antibiotics, vitamins and bandages. From the back of their truck, they gave malaria tests and sewed up cuts. In 2005, they bought a 20-foot Mitsubishi bus, with four-wheel drive, running water and oxygen. They added solar electricity.

In mid-November, Artress and Gustafson, their interpreter, a visiting doctor and several volunteers drove to a Maasai village in Mdori to check on the villagers. They headed for an open plain, near a boma - a constellation of mud huts with weed roofs.

Artress and Gustafson spotted a lone acacia tree and parked in the shade. The bus doubles as the pharmacy and needs to stay cool so Gustafson can be inside to fill prescriptions.

A crowd started forming before they could finish brewing their coffee over a portable propane burner. First to arrive was a young boy with swollen, watery eyes, wearing a red shuka robe and carrying a spear.

Then came the women, of all ages, in bright blue robes with elaborate beaded jewelry on their necks, wrists, ankles and ears, making a soft clinking noise in the breeze. Many carried babies, who drank milk from gourds decorated with leather and small white beads.

Almost 100 people gathered on the ground before Artress. It seemed as if everyone was sick. Children had distended bellies. A few had malaria. Women had strained necks from carrying buckets of water on their heads, and high fevers. Several were sent to Gustafson inside the bus to receive an antibiotic shot in the buttocks to treat sexually transmitted diseases. It's likely they caught diseases from their husbands, who frequent prostitutes while working in tanzanite mining towns for months at a time.

Many of the women had ulcers. Artress treats about 20 ulcers a day in Tanzania, which he said is the result of so much worrying about where the next meal is coming from.

"When I first got here, and so many patients had ulcers, I thought something must be wrong - that's an American disease," Artress said. "But as I came to learn the culture, it made sense. Every day is a fight to get water, a fight to stay warm at night, a fight to find food for your kids. That's got to be more stressful than worrying about getting a promotion."

##Breaking ground##

Artress and Gustafson's friends back home began to realize their trip was not a midlife crisis. It was a mission. They pooled their resources and helped form a charity so they could raise money to build a permanent hospital in Karatu. One friend began collecting castoff hospital supplies and shipping them to Tanzania. Williams and Paddon Architects in Roseville (Placer County) designed the hospital. A volunteer created a Web site. Artress' sister agreed to be accountant. FAME - the Foundation for African Medicine and Education - was born in 2004.

They raised enough to buy 18 acres on a gently rising slope with panoramic views of the terraced coffee plantations, lush jungles and purple jacaranda trees ringing the Ngorongoro Crater, a national conservation area. The air is soft, and the sound of songbirds quiets only when the sun goes down.

First, they planted a perimeter of trees and hired a guard, an askari, to help shoo the elephants that come down from the jungle.

The property will include cabana huts for patients' family members and visiting medical volunteers. Artress and Gustafson will live in a small house. They will add a medical training program, so Tanzanians can learn how to administer Western medicine.

At the newly built dispensary, patients can come for checkups and surgeries, and construction has begun on the 40-room hospital.

Rotary clubs and the Medical Relief Foundation in Modesto are paying for a well to serve the hospital and neighboring village. It will be Karatu's first freshwater well.

When completed, the FAME hospital will be the first in Karatu, a city of 180,000.

"The medical need here is simply overwhelming," said Artress, leading The Chronicle on a tour of the construction site.

Karatu has three doctors, with varying degrees of training. They are all generalists who are more known for handing out painkillers than actually treating patients. Back in Modesto, about the same size as Karatu, Artress was one of 20 cardiac anesthesiologists at his hospital. Karatu has no medical specialists of any kind.

##Keeping his promise##

One of the first, and now a regular, stop on Artress' rounds is the village where his Kilimanjaro mountain guide, Kapanya Kitaba, lives.

"Dr. Franki! Dr. Franki!"

Children are running alongside his Land Rover, waving and banging on the side, as Artress pulls into Kapanya's village. Artress slows so as to not run them over.

He waves back at them like a beauty queen on a float, turning slightly red but liking the attention.

Once Artress has parked in Kitaba's driveway, the kids know the car is theirs for the evening. More than a dozen pile in, and take imaginary trips to faraway places.

"For a mzungu - a white person - to come here and care so much is a really amazing thing," Kitaba said. "When he comes, people ask me how much it will cost them and they can't believe it when I tell them it's free."

Artress' arrival inspires a feast - chicken cooked over a charcoal fire, rice and cooked bananas.

Before dinner, Kitaba has a few patients waiting. First up is Abraham, a man in his 30s who looks 20 years older - gaunt, tired and listless. He has been suffering from an ulcer for three years. He has never seen a white person before and is a little reticent, but lets Artress touch him.

Artress pushes on his chest in various places, asking in Swahili where he feels the pain. Artress hits the right spot and the man sucks in air and closes his eyes. Artress pulls some pills from his black bag and prescribes them to Abraham. Kitaba runs into his house and returns with a digital camera.

"He thinks you are an angel who came with medicine," Kitaba explains. "He wants a picture to prove it was true, because nobody will believe it. He will put it on his wall and remember you forever."

Artress hugs Abraham, overcome by the compliment. This is what doctoring was supposed to feel like. This is the moment he would think about, the next time death comes knocking.

Extract ID: 5634
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