PROFILE OF UoA IN THE CONTEXT OF ARUMERU DISTRICT|
Physical Description of Location and Size
The University of Arusha is located 7Km away from Usa River Town of Arumeru District of the Arusha Region. Arumeru district borders Monduli on the Western side and Hai and Simanjiro districts to the East and South respectively. In terms of ecological zones, UoA is situated in the upper zone towards the snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro. The geographical coverage of the Arumeru district is 2,966 Km2 land surface.
Being so close to the Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, an equatorial climate would be expected but instead this has been greatly modified by effects of altitude. Westerly winds from the Mt. Meru combine with Easterly winds from Mt. Kilimanjaro causing humid air masses to rise leading to inland heavy downpours during the wet seasons. The effects of the winds however leave the region dry except in the months of March to May when there are rains through most of the district.
Rainfall ranges between 500 ? 1,000 mm per year. Generally, first rains begin in March, second rains in October but there are variations. Mean annual temperature ranges between 110C ? 250C. The rainfall pattern and temperatures together with rich volcanic soils make it suitable for farming especially for horticultural products and fruit farming.
Soil and Vegetation
The soils found in the UoA region are predominately dark volcanic type, deep, well drained and rich in organic matter. Soils on foot slopes of the mountains are mostly undeveloped and often occur with rock out-crops and stones.
Arumeru district comprises of 59,272 hectares of forest out of which Mt. Meru forest accounts for as much as 26,444 hectares while the Arusha National Park cover 16,650 hectares. Most of these are surviving natural forest reserves and are being depleted through exploitation, settlement and cultivation.
The leading water sources in the Arumeru district where UoA is located are springs and streams from Mt. Meru. These are inadequate for the districts large population. Most of the piped schemes are operational but are sometimes faced with problems of management, maintenance and repair. Safe domestic water is not assured due to high fluoride contents.
Rainwater harvesting particularly in UoA is underdeveloped. The institution ought to maximise on this since they normally have large rainwater catchment sites
According to the year 2002 census, the population of Arumeru district was found to be 516,814 people living in approximately 113,002 households. This gives an average of 4.5 persons per household. This comprised of 253,143 males and 263,671 females. Against the land size, the population density is estimated at 174 people per Km2. The population data was not available across various age groups to help determine the dependency ratio.
However, informal interviews revealed that the youth, up to 14 years of age made up 49.6%. The aged, 59 years and above, made up an average of 3.75% all totalling to 53.4%. This gives a dependency ratio of 100:115. The economically productive population is therefore comparatively low. According to the district profile, life expectancy is low at 45-55 years. This was however, observed to have been reduced drastically due to effects of HIV/AIDS pandemic
Socio - Economic Profile Introduction
This socio - economic profile describes the interaction between the people in the UoA region and the productive resources found therein.
For economic production to be possible the producers need to be able to do productive work, implying a state of well being. They need expertise, time and opportunity to engage in the same, and productive resources. The basic factors of production as defined in economic terms are land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. Well-being, a prerequisite to productive occupation, may be reflected in the health status of the community, the level to which they are able to meet their basic requirements for food, clothing and shelter, and to attend to other welfare activities at household and community level. The components of socio-economic profile are broad. They include: -
Social systems that deal with social groupings, family, clan, tribal and community organisations, wealth and power strata and age groupings among others. Alongside the social fabric is the cultural background of the community that embodies cultural practices, rites and rituals, beliefs and customs that influence sharing of roles and responsibilities, positions of leadership and authority in the community. Traditional knowledge particularly with regard to community survival and sustenance within the prevailing circumstances is normally well advanced in traditional communities.
Economic production systems that deal with productive resources, income generation, markets and marketing systems, savings and investments, credit, wealth (or poverty) and its distribution and property ownership among others.
The human resource as the key factor in production and consumption of goods and services. Population analysis in terms of character, size, age groups, gender composition, migration, skills and technological aptitude are factors that influence the population's effect and impact on its own socio - economic situation. Community welfare aspects that deal with food security, access to adequate safe water and sanitation, health, education, housing and security issues.
Supportive infrastructure deals with communication network with regard to roads and transport facilities, postal and telephone networks, electricity and physical establishments such as schools, educational, training and other development oriented institutions, hospitals/dispensaries, buildings and settlements that house businesses, industries and offices are all essential investments that accelerate socio-economic development.
Politics deals with the legislative and policy framework within which development efforts are channelled towards defined national goals and objectives while safeguarding and sustaining peace and stability, a pre-requisite for development. Bearing in mind the needs of the 'whole person', the UoA wishes to support both welfare and productive activities besides spiritual concerns within the community. It is in this context that various aspects of production and welfare in the area covered by the UoA are analysed.
The agriculture sector objectives in the Arumeru district are one, to produce a wide range of food crops for local consumption and surplus for local and export markets, and secondly, to support agro-industrial development through enhanced production of raw materials for local industries.
The district has a total of 296,600 hectares, which is sub divided into different land use Table 1 Arable land accounts for as much as 51,575 hectares while the grazing land is 58,762 hectares. Area under forest is estimated to be 7,876 hectares while the Arusha National Park comprises 16,650 hectares. A reasonably large proportion of land (16,180 hactares) is considered not suitable. This adds to about 102,840 hectares of hilltop and gullies. Water resources make upto 40,717 hectares.
A performance analysis of 2002/2003 showed varied degree of achievements. Production of different crops is considerably low with maize and beans realizing 44% and 30% achievement respectively. This is attributed to very short rain season in the period.