Manyara Region in Tanzania
Manyara Region in Tanzania: Manyara region was formed from the former Arusha region in 2002. The formation of this new region was announced in the official Gazette No. 367 on 27th July 2002. The regional headquarters is located in Babati Town which is 167 Kilometers from Arusha, 157 Kilometers fromSingida and 248 Kilometers from Dodoma.
Border Regions and Locations: Manyara region is bordered by Arusha region to the north, Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions to the east, Dodoma region to the south and Singida and Shinyanga regions to the west. The region lies between latitudes 3040’ and 60’S and Longitudes 330 and 380 E.
Size: Manyara region has an area of 50,921 square kilometres which include 49,576 square kilometres ofdryland and 1,260 kilometres covered with water.
Climate Conditions: Manyara region receives an average rainfall between 450mm and 1,200mm per year, with two rainy seasons. The short rain begins in October and ends in December while the Long rainy season starts in February and ends May. Also the region has an average temperature 13 degrees centigrades during the cool and dry season. June to September , and an average of 330C during rainy season (October to April). Some areas along the rift valley has sub- temperate climate.
District of Manyara Region
Distinctive indigenous Groups: The Iraqw ofMbulu and their cousins the Gorowa of Babati, Mbungu of Lushoto as well as the Alawa and Burunge of Kondoa form unique groups in Tanzania. The only similar ethnic groups are found far away in Ethiopia and Eritrea among the Oromo as well as Tutsi of Rwanda and Burundi.
The Hadzabe/Hadza of Yaeda valley in Mbulu District who number only about 1,500 are also distinctive in that as a group they have the smallest stature in Tanzania. They still live on hunting and collecting wild honey, wild fruits and roots. The only similar ethnic group is the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Nambia. The region is also home to the mainland’s greatest concentration of the Nilotic tribes the Barbaig, Ndorobo/ Akea and Maasai who are historically known to be warrier ethnic groups.
The Akea are neither livestock keepers no farmers. Their home is the forest where they engage in hunting and gathering of wild honey, wild fruits and wild roots. Their culture is diminishing due to assimilation into the Maasai ethnic group. They currently, number about 500 in the whole of Manyara Region. Another 2,500 Ndorobo/Akea are found in Arusha Region. Part of the reason for in the diminishing numbers is that their life style-which is similar to that of the Hadzabe, is now no longer sustainable within the ever changing environment.