The purpose of this paper is to provide the community profile of Mwanga District. The profile is an overview of the district in all important social economic and geographical aspects which can be used as a road map for identifying natural resources and exploitation thereof for development. The report will also explain what nature has not provided to the district and economical effects thereof. The profile will include, historical background of Mwanga, indigenous people living in the area, location of the district, area, population/demography and topographic features of the place. The profile will also include climate and vegetation of the district, agriculture production and livestock, fisheries activities, beekeeping, economic infrastructure and social services. The profile will also provide details of financial Institutions (FI) and Microfinance institutions MFIs available
2.0 Historical background of the district.
Mwanga district was established in 1976 after splitting Pare District into Same and Mwanga. The reason behind splitting the district is not clearly known but some people say that it was a way of attracting more resources to the people of Pare after having two districts instead of one, therefore the split enhanced resources allocation for the Pare people. Others ague that former pare district was too big as compared to the size of Kilimanjaro Region.
2.1 Indigenous people
Majority of people living in Mwanga district are known as Pare people also known as Vaasu. Historically, it is believed that they came from Taita mountains in Kenya more than 300 years ago. Also some Chagga clans came and settled in some parts of the mountains, in Ugweno division more than 100 years ago. However people from other tribes migrated to Mwanga during colonial error as laborers in Kisangara sisal estates and some few years ago, fishermen from Nyasa / Songea came to settle along lake Jipe and Nyumba ya Mungu Dam.
3.0 Location of the District and Area
Mwanga District is one of the five Administrative Districts in Kilimanjaro Region. It boarders with Moshi Rural in the North, Republic of Kenya in the East sharing lake Jipe, Same District in the south and Simanjiro District of Manyara Region in the west. The District covers an area of 2,641 Square kilometers, which is divided into five divisions, 16 Wards, 60 Villages and 270 Sub Villages. ( See Appendix 001, Mwanga district map)
According to year 2002 Population Census, there were 115,145 people living in the District. Males were 55,666 and Females 59,954. Total households were 24,326. Furthermore, children under 5 years were 15,286. School aged children were 17,053 and workforce counted to 57,807 whereas those unable to work e.g. Old people, crippled ones and the like were 6,664. Using annual growth rate of 3%, the estimated number of people up to year 2007 will be 132,417.
The District is characterized by Eastern and Western Lowlands and in the middle there are table mountains on which Usangi and Ugweno divisions are located, forming one of the Eastern Arc Mountains. In the Eastern low lands lies lake Jipe which is also one of the sources of River Pangani which meanders down to the west where the Nyumba ya Mungu Dam was constructed.
6.0 Climate and vegetation
The District is one of the semi-arid areas in Kilimanjaro Region. It experiences 500 – 600 mm of rainfall per annum in the low lands and between 800 – 1,250mm in the highlands. There are two distinct rainy seasons, short rainfall (Vuli) from October to December and long rainfall (Masika) from March to June.
The District experiences some strong and dry winds blowing normally from the East to the West. The temperatures range between an average of 14 °C during June – July and 32 °C during other months.
The land area is covered by shrubs of Acacia type especially in both Eastern and Western Lowlands. Short grass exists in the highlands and forests around the mountains. Some of these forests were preserved by the people long time ago for ritual ceremonies.
7.0 Agriculture production
The main Economic Activities performed by the Mwanga Community is Agriculture, Livestock keeping and Fishing. Despite the fact that rainfall is unreliable, coffee and Bananas are cultivated in the table mountains/Highland areas. Production of the crops is at substance level.
Nevertheless, Irrigation in the Eastern, Northern and Western lowlands is popular for Maize, Beans and Paddy production. Also there is a special type of irrigation in the highlands popularly known as “Ndiva” (Water catchments across the rivers and valleys) in order to get water for irrigation.
Food crops production in the District include: Maize, Leguminous crops, Paddy, Bananas, fruits and Vegetables. However production level is not enough to support food security of the district. Therefore the district depends on food crops supplied from other areas. Cash crops including, Coffee, Cotton and Sisal whose level of production is low.
The majority of the community use hand hoe in Agricultural activities. There are only 30 tractors in the District and 123 ploughs.
8.1 Heard count
Large herds of cattle, goats and sheep are kept in both Western and Eastern lowlands.
The District estimates that there are 76,085 cattle out of which 8262 are improved breed. There are also 98,902 goats out of which 207 are improved breed, 34,950 sheep and 180,334 chickens.
Common diseases to cattle include:- ECF which attacked 308 cattle and 14 died.
Anaplasmosis attacked 682 cattle and 140 died. Tryponosomiasis attacked 914 cattle and 18 died.
590 Goats were attacked by CCPP in which 12 died and 136 goats were attacked by pneumonia and 30 died other disease are foot rot. Sheep are attacked by pneumonia foot rot and (Hs) Lung fever “Homa ya Mapafu”. Poultry suffer from New Caste, Fowl typhoid and Fowl Pox.
8.3 Livestock Services
These include cattle dips whereby the district has 13 cattle dips and all of them are not working. Also there are 27 slaughter slabs, all of them are working, 6 Chaco dams, 4 of them are in good condition. There are also 3 cattle markets but only one is being used.
There are 9 livestock health centers and all of them are working.
9.0 Financial Institutions and Cooperatives
9.1. Financial Institutions
The district has 3 financial Institutions, Mwanga rural community Bank Ltd (MRCB), Tanzania Postal Bank operating through district Postal office and National Microfinance Bank (NMB). Therefore banking, financial services are available in the district.
9.2 Primary Co-operative Societies
The district has a total of 13 Primary Cooperative Societies with a total of 3,488 members. One primary cooperative society is not operating while others are operating below capacity due to low production in coffee and competition with private coffee buying companies with a lot of financial resources. Cooperatives are under the supervision of district cooperative officer.
There are 21 Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) out of which 2 are employment based SACCOS. 13 SACCOS are already linked to Financial Institutions. The SACCOS are playing a very important role in linking the people especially in the rural area, to the financial services. Through SACCOS microenterprises are able to obtain micro credit for production in agriculture and trading. SACCOS in the district are provided with technical support, and capacity building by Rural Financial Services Program financed by the Government and IFAD.
10.0 Natural Resources Forest and Environmental Protection
Mwanga District, like many other districts in the Region, is facing a threat of loosing its natural beauty due to unauthorized collection, and harvesting of natural resources especially in activities of charcoal production in which natural tree are harvested in the low lands and timber production in the mountains and other domestic uses. Likewise poor agricultural practices including livestock keeping are responsible for land degradation.
Main fishing activity is carried out at Nyumba ya Mungu Dam. Fishing at Lake Jipe has almost stopped due to its shores being covered by water reeds and other plants.
Beekeeping is not largely practiced and therefore reliable data is not readily available. But in 2007 an NGO was established to promote application of modern bee hives.
13.0 Industries and Minerals
There are no investments in industrial production and mining in Mwanga district. Only small craftsman businesses for local consumption are available. However gypsum has been discovered recently by one businessman and is currently under low production. Sandy stones, as building material are mined in the district for supply within the district, Moshi and Rombo. Granite stones for building houses are available in many parts of the district.
14.0 Economic Infrastructure
The District is lucky to have a trunk road from Dar es Salaam and Tanga to Arusha, which is 50 Km passing through the District headquarter and other big trading centers of Kisangara and Kifaru.
Mwanga district have gravel roads covering 121 km, Earth road covering 438 km, which are maintained by road funds of TANROADS and District council’s own sources of funds and village communities.
14. 2 Railways
There is a Railway line passing through the district from Dar es Salaam and Tanga to Moshi, Arusha and Mombasa in Kenya. However few good are transported using the railway due to availability of light trucks transporting goods faster and cheaper as compared to railway transport. Furthermore passenger trains ceased to operate long time ago.
15.0 Social Services
Mwanga District has 62 pre-Primary schools out of which the government owns 54 and 8 by the private sector. There are 108 Primary schools owned by the government. Also there are 35 secondary schools out of which, 13 are privately owned. Education industry has expanded substantially in Mwanga recently employing a lot of people. This is a source of cash inflow to the district. (Refer to appendix 002)
16.1 Government Health Services
The District has 46 dispensaries, 5 Health Centers and one District Hospital; also there are 8 Dispensaries owned by Private Sector.
16.2 Top ten diseases include:
4. Eye diseases
6. Skin Diseases
8. Heart diseases
10. HIV/AIDS Diseases
17. 0 Water supply
Availability of clean and safe water in the District is still a problem. Only 47% of the population is supplied with clean water. The list below shows various sources of water:-
1. Shallow wells with hand pumps are 56
2. Deep wells using diesel pumps are 4 and those using electrical pumps are 6.
3. The district have 9 Gravity schemes
18.0 Land use plans
· Area under food coop production is 18,000 Ha
· Area under cash crop production is 2,454 Ha
· Area for livestock keeping is 118,115 Ha
· Area covered by Natural forests is 8,469.6 Ha
· Area planted with trees is 2,640Ha
19.0 Sports and Entertainment
There are 2 hand ball grounds, 15 foot ball grounds and 6 athletics grounds, and one hall for indoor entertainments. There are also 7 teams of various sports and games.
From the foregoing we can conclude that Mwanga economy is predominantly subsistence with few cash crops produced at low output/yield. There are no investments in industries and minerals. Only small craftsman businesses for local consumption are available. Commercial sector on the other hand recorded remarkable growth in recent years however its performance depends on other sectors like agriculture, industries and mining which are not performing well.
However the district is potential for agriculture production in horticulture crops like Flowers and vegetables in the Table Mountains. Also irrigation, which is underutilized, could increase production in the dry lowlands of the district. We also believe that the district is endowed with minerals including gypsum, which is currently under production. Furthermore the district has advantage of transport and petrol station business as it has a share of about 50 Kms of Dar es Salaam- Arusha highway. Also the District’s high number of primary and Secondary schools and one Teachers Training College, contribute to cash inflow to the district.
From the foregoing we can conclude that income-generating activities of the district are expected to improve after efficient utilization of available resources.
Source: Planning Department of the Local Government, Mwanga