Monday, 12 November 2012
Details about Tanzania and Mpwapwa District
The United Republic of Tanzania was formed out of the union of two sovereign states namely Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika became a sovereign state on 9th December 1961 and became a Republic the following year. Zanzibar became independent on 10th December 1963 and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar was established after the revolution of 12th January 1964. The two sovereign republics formed the United Republic of Tanzania on 26th April 1964. However, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic consisting of the Union of Government and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government.
Tanzania is in East Africa, just 6 degrees South of the Equator. It is famous for Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa), the Serengeti national park, the Masai people, and the idyllic beaches on Zanzibar.
Tanzania is around 8 times the land area of the UK (or half the land area of Western Europe) and has just over half the population (36 million) of UK. About half the population of Tanzania are under 15 years old.
Most people in Tanzania speak two languages, Swahili (the language of business, schools, TV, Radio etc.) and their own tribal language (which they speak at home). There are more than 120 different tribes in Tanzania. About 1/3 of the people are Moslem, 1/3 Christian and 1/3 follow traditional religions. Tanzania has been a multiparty democracy since 1995.
Some areas of Tanzania grow coffee, sisal (to make sacking and ropes) for export. Other exports are gold, diamonds, cloves and other spices (from Zanzibar and Pemba). Near Mpwapwa area it is too dry to grow crops to sell. Most people are subsistence farmers – they have no paid employment, but depend on growing enough food to feed their families. Some work as tailors, carpenters or run corner shops to try and make money to live. Average income in Mpwapwa is
about £60 per annum.
Only 1 in 10 children will get the change to go to Secondary school. Many parents cannot afford the £50 annual fee. Secondary education is in English. One in five children who are born safely will die before their 5th birthday, mainly from Malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles, with malnutrition making this more likely. One in 20 women will die from complications of one of their pregnancies. One in 9 people are infected with HIV which causes AIDS. These people will almost all die in the next 5 – 10 years. There are already many orphans and also many skilled people such as teachers have died, leaving the work force short of trained people. Many groups are working on trying to help people avoid being infected by the virus.
The Diocese takes in the administrative boundaries of the Mpwapwa and Kongwa Districts (approximately 4144 square kilometres (1600 square miles) in area), which were created before the First World War by the German Colonial Authorities. It is almost centrally located on the Tanzanian mainland, lying between the 5º 30' and 7º latitudes and straddles the 36º longitude line. Its dominant physical features include semi-arid scrubland formed at around 3000ft ~ 4000ft above sea level, and a mountainous belt across the centre with peaks upwards of 7000ft.
Climatically Mpwapwa is relatively cool at night and warm and sunny during the day. The average temperature is 21ºC with average rainfall of 700mm per annum. In good years the rainy season starts from mid-November until the end of April, but about one in every five years it is prone to fail completely. When it rains it should rain almost every day quite heavily for 2 to 3 hours. It is cold enough 17° C to need a blanket at night from February to June and hot enough +45° C to make air conditioning desirable (but usually not available!) from October to February. It is a fairly mountainous area and takes 2 days to travel by car from north to south due to poor road conditions. Most people live on the plateau at about 3,500ft above sea level, though others mainly from the minority Wahehe tribe live atop the 7,000ft mountains which benefit from better rainfall. Traditional ways abound with the fabric of society still enriched by a strong embodiment of the predominant Wagogo Culture as typified by the sound of gourd lutes and ‘Morris’ leg bells.
Mpwapwa is a market town and is situated in the centre of the Mpwapwa district, with a population of about 30,000 serving an area about the size of Wales. It is rather like a Western film set minus the horses (bicycles instead!). It acts as the administrative centre for the district, with facilities such as a bank, a post office, a court house, a veterinary research centre, a secondary school and a teacher training college. It lies nestled into the edge of the hills, approximately 80km (about 2½ hours drive) from Dodoma.
St Luke's Hospital is situated in the village of Ving'hawe, on the outskirts of Mpwapwa town. The village has a population of approximately 5000, covering a fairly widespread area. About half this number are under 15, and about a quarter are under 5.
Chitemo Village lie south west of Mpwapwa town. It is part of a parish of 8 small churches lead by Pastor Festo Kizuzu. They have a church committee to help vulnerable children and have in their care 157 orphans aged between 1 and 14. This care started in 2008 with just a few children with numbers steadily increasing. There are 3 volunteers who try to give the children activities and some education. They face many challenges one is that there is no building for the children to use, the volunteers are not trained, they have inadequate teaching materials, and insufficient water. The water supply is 6 kilometres away. In the village of Nyhinila which is close to Chetimo there are 165 orphaned children, two volunteers and the same challenges.
The congregation and village people of the villages have been contributing by giving some foods and money to help the development of the orphans. Three times a year they usually have fundraising days. They contribute things such as food, clothes, soaps, exercise books, pencils, pens, and money and other materials, to assist the children with school fees, health assistance and other pressing needs. They usually have the fundraising days at the beginning of the first and second school terms and at the end of the year. Some years due to drought it is difficult for the villagers to contribute to the needs of the orhpans because of their own lack of food and funds. However they don’t lose hope they are doing it using little resource they have. This is where SEEDS4Tanzania hopes to make a difference in the lives of these children and the people of the villages.
I hope you have found these details of interest and if you are able to support us in any way I shall be most grateful. Rev Canon Yolande Marcussen, Chairman