Many households in this area depend on maize, beans and vegetables supplemented by potatoes and bananas. Main cash crops are coffee, cut flowers, wheat and barley. Pyrethrum production potential in the area is great. Animal husbandry also has a good potential.|
Livestock production is dominated by the local Zebu cattle (308,000), goats (275,000), sheep (163,000), donkeys (20,000) and pigs (2,000). The large population of cattle and goats is attributed to the preference by Maasai community who are one of the predominant tribes in the region. The dairy sector is grossly under-developed with no clear estimates.
The potential of the dairy sector is great and would be more profitable in terms of improving the access to milk products. Other livestock related issues covered were: -
Fishing; Lake Duluti (crater) offers an abundant supply of fish and hence generate income to the council. Fish farming is further boosted by the presence of about 22 small ponds, which have been largely facilitated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Northern Tanzania (ELCT).
Beekeeping; There exists about 6,322 beehives comprising 3,869 indigenous and 2,453 modern ones. Most of the bees keeping activities are facilitated by women and youth groups in the district.
Environment and natural resources
Arumeru is one of the most devastated districts in Arusha region. This is attributed to the large population of livestock and increased deforestation for timber, fuel, farming and settlement. The district also experiences wildfires mainly as a result of honey harvesting activities, which has led to loss of property by families.
In addition, environmental degradation has also increased due to agricultural activities on the slopes of hills/mountains (uplands). To improve the situation, the district in the year 2002 embarked on a major re-afforestration programme, which involved establishing 2,000,000 tree seedlings out of which 786,000 were planted in various strategic sites.
This is an area where the UoA will have a comparative advantage to increase its tree population for various end uses.
Infrastructure development is a necessary condition for economic development. Roads, electricity, markets, public institutions such as schools, hospitals, industrial establishments and telecommunication networks among others, form essential support for the socio-economic development systems in the community. Following is a brief review of the status of some of these amenities available in the UoA region.
Roads: The road network in Arumeru district may be termed fair in terms of spread and makes upto 903.5Km, but only 41% of the total networks including bridges are maintained. The road from Momella junction to TAC is an example of such a road. The greatest problem is that most of these roads are impassable during the rains.
Cooperative societies & Markets; There are a total of 50 co-operatives in Arumeru district. These comprise of agricultural marketing cooperation (27), saving and credit (16), livestock and consumer co-operatives (2 each) while industrial and consumer co-operatives (1 each). On the other hand, marketing is done through the various markets established around the district.
Health sector; There are 3 public hospitals and 2 privately owned. Others include 6 health centers, 79 dispensaries comprising of 39 owned by religious groups, 34 public and 6 private ones. It is important to mention that TAC Bedded dispensary is one of the 39. Another 46 Maternal Child Health (MCH) clinics are also available. Various agencies run curative, preventive and promotional health services from both static and outreach points. Information on causes of morbidity and mortality in the district were not easily available due to limited documentation. However, interviews with a cross section of community members indicated malaria, typhoid, respiratory infections, skin diseases, diarrhoeal diseases and intestinal worms among others.
Education; Formal education in Arumeru follows the normal government procedures. The region has a total of 208 educational training facilities. The schools comprise 167 primary schools admitting about 97,277 pupils (47,838 boys and 49,439 girls), 3 technical schools and 35 secondary schools. However, information on number of students enrolling at various schools was not readily available.
Institutes of higher learning are 8 including Agricultural Institute Tengeru, Livestock Training Institutions Tengeru (LITU), Community Development Institute Tengeru (CDTI), Sokoine University (Faculty of Forest), Makumira University College, Proposed University of Arusha and Mt. Meru Baptist University. Although there is a good indication of proper catchments for student enrolment in the proposed University of Arusha, there is evident competition. The UoA must leave nothing to chance and need to establish and source adequate teaching-learning facilities to counter the competition.