Book ID 964
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: (Photo by Raymond John)
Page Number: 504
Extract Date: 8 Feb 2008
The tortoise at the Arusha School is reported to have been there since 1930s. Here it "Poses" for a
picture with some of the school's pupils. (Photo by Raymond John)
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 506
Extract Date: 18 Feb 2008
Normally on every February 18, America celebrates ‘President’s Day.’ This year, Arusha residents unwittingly found themselves celebrating the holiday, they are hardly aware of, when American President George W. Bush made scene here last Monday.
Monday February 18 became an unofficial holiday here when all activities stopped and people lined up streets to cheer speeding American State cars. Commercially, it was a ‘Blue Monday’ in the whole of Arusha.
With only one main road, part of which was forced into closure for 8 hours, Arusha town faced a major transport freeze on Monday after practically all vehicles were grounded to clear the way for visiting American president, George Bush.
Most of business centers remained closed because the majority of workers could not afford to make it to workplaces as all town commuter vans and taxi-cabs ceased to operate as early as 7:00 am to pave the way for the US president's entourage.
Last time such a situation occurred in Arusha was coincidentally on another ‘blue Monday’ of August 28, 2000 when the immediate retired US president, Bill Clinton visited the town to witness the Burundi peace accord signing ceremony.
During Clinton's brief visit which lasted not more than 12 hours the 'whole world' in Arusha came to a standstill. By comparison, there was more preparation during Bill’s ‘drop in’ tour than Bush’s extended visit. On the other hand Bush enjoyed more fanfare at his state visit.
For Bush, there were huge crowds of people that could be seen lining up on either sides of Arusha-Moshi road all the way from Philips to Mianzini suburb and along Namanga road from Col. Middleton road junction to the Sakina-TCA crossroads.
Others lined up from Kambi-ya-Fisi suburb, along Nairobi road to Ngarenaro villa corner, then onto Mbauda-Majengo section along Dodoma road, all the way to Burka.
The section of Dodoma road from the so called Nairobi corner all the way to Makuyuni area at the border of Arusha and Manyara regions was put ‘under siege’, but residents filled the roadsides.
Primary schools suspended lessons that day, while non-boarding secondary schools released their students much earlier. In other parts of town saved from Bush’s entourage, juvenile drivers seized the opportunity to put either their family cars or ‘borrowed vehicles’ to test, comfortably knowing that traffic police were busy with Bush to bother about checking ‘driving licenses!’
Majority of Arusha residents apparently believed that President George W. Bush would greet them by holding their hands as it was the case in Dar-es-salaam, but their hopes turned into nightmares when the American state motorcade simply sped past them as local police officers pushed the enthusiastic crowd back.
There was a sudden scarcity of fresh milk in town because hawkers who normally bring the commodity to town, from Arumeru hills could not find their way to town. Reason? Their bicycles were refused to cross the road with huge containers.
With the 45- kilometer road stretch from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha town closed, newspapers could not get to town in time and the hunger for news especially about Bush himself, intensified.
It was until about 2.00 pm that the papers reached town, add another hour for distribution and people here got their morning newspapers in the evening.
An agent of Kilimanjaro Express Bus services, Victoria Obeid said the US President Bush tour of Arusha forced them to cancel one of their bus scheduled trips to Dar-es-Salaam as the highway was cordoned off as early as 8:00 AM at the time when their second vehicle was to leave Arusha.
Kilimanjaro Express is among nearly 60 passenger buses plying between Dar and Arusha, these together with about 100 minibuses ferrying passengers between Arusha and Moshi townships that were grounded for the whole day to clear-the-coast for George Walker Bush.
Passengers traveling from Nairobi Kenya, to Dar-es-Salaam, were forced to pitch temporary camp in Arusha because the about 10 buses traveling from the neighboring country were forced to stop here for hours before resuming their journey.
With Dar located 600 kilometer from here it is not known when did the buses, most of which left here long past 2pm, managed to get to the City taking into consideration that traffic laws in Tanzania do not allow passenger vehicle to be on the road after 10pm.
The security measures also never spared Tour operators as they have to abide by the no go zone declaration.
Only scheduled airlines were allowed to land at between 10:00-18:00 hrs, according to an e-mail message from the Tanzania Tour Operators Association Executive Secretary Mustafa Akuunay circulated to all tour operators.
Within radius of 60km from Arusha Airport some 8km west of Arusha town, no training, Aerobatics, Hand Gliders, Hot Air Balloons parachuting, and Flights etc were allowed.
The road from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) via Mianzani, corner of Nairobi road, down to Tanzania National Parks Authority Headquarters, Arusha Airport to A to Z Textile Mills factory in Kisongo was closed between 8.00 -15.00 hrs.
Bush landed here, in sight of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, and was greeted by Maasai women dancers who wore purple robes and white discs around their necks. The president joined their line and enjoyed himself. He also tried to dance away the afternoon.
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: George Bush
Page Number: 507
Extract Date: 7 March 2008
(Extract of address to American people after tour of Africa)
Our next stop was Tanzania. We were met by President Kikwete and Mrs. Kikwete, as well as Tanzanians -- they were dancing and they were playing great music. And there was also some unexpected fashion. (Laughter and applause.) I thought the dresses were pretty stylish. (Laughter and applause.) But my good wife reminded me that I shouldn't expect to see them flying off the shelves in American stores anytime soon. (Laughter.)
As we drove from the airport to our hotel, there were tens of thousands of people who lined the motorcade route to show their gratitude to the American people -- and many of them were smiling and they were waving and they were holding flags. It was an unbelievable -- unbelievable sight.
Sunday morning began with a meeting with President Kikwete at the State House. The President told me that relations between our nations are the best they have ever been. He said that America's support is helping Tanzania improve education, and fight HIV/AIDS, and dramatically reduce malaria. He gave me a memorable gift. Laura said we probably need another pet -- (laughter) -- I'm worried that Barney might be slightly intimidated. (Applause.)
Following our meeting, we signed the largest Millennium Challenge Compact in the history of the program. The $698 million agreement will support Tanzania's efforts to improve transportation and energy and water supply. At a news conference, I again called for Congress to reauthorize the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to maintain the principles that have made it a success, and to double our initial commitment to $30 billion over the next five years. (Applause.) Then President Kikwete jumped in to say -- and I want to quote him on this -- "If this program is discontinued or disrupted, there would be so many people who lose hope; certainly there will be death. My passionate appeal is for PEPFAR to continue." I couldn't agree more with the President. And I hope every member of the United States Congress hears that appeal.
They should also hear about the HIV/AIDS clinic at the Amana District Hospital, where Laura and I visited with the President and Mrs. Kikwete on Sunday afternoon. The clinic opened in 2004 with support from PEPFAR. And two thoughts struck me on the visit -- first, this program is saving lives, there are tangible results. When I visited sub-Saharan Africa in 2003, 50,000 people were receiving medicine to treat HIV/AIDS. When I visited again last week, the number had grown to more than 1.3 million. (Applause.)
At the clinic, we visited with a man and woman who learned they had HIV while they were dating -- but went on to get treatment, get married, and have a little baby boy who is HIV-free. (Applause.) We saw many others who have new hope because of PEPFAR -- including a 9-year-old girl who is HIV-positive. She was smiling at the clinic with her grandmother, because -- sitting at the clinic with her grandmother because her mom and dad had died of AIDS. For the past year, Catholic Relief Services has been paying for the girl to receive treatment at the clinic. And I want to tell you what her grandmother said: "As a Muslim, I never imagined that a Catholic group would help me like that. I am so grateful to the American people."
The second important point is that PEPFAR is allowing African nations to lay the foundation for a health system that does more than treat HIV/AIDS. When patients report to the clinic, they are given a series of tests, they get results quickly from a laboratory on site, and they can receive treatment in the same place. I was struck by the devotion and the professionalism of the clinic's staff. They spoke proudly about the rigorous training they received, and the meticulous way they instruct patients on how to take their medicine. One nurse said PEPFAR funds are helping them to treat more patients while providing more privacy. This is helping extend lives, reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS, and build the health infrastructure that will save many more lives in the future.
On Monday, we traveled to the northern part of Tanzania. We passed Mount Kilimanjaro, and drove past a lot of people who were lining the street on the way to the city of Arusha. Of course, that's where the Sullivan Foundation is going to have its next meeting. You'll like it up there. (Laughter.) And the people will like seeing you. It's also on the frontlines of Tanzania's fight against malaria.
Laura and I visited the Meru District Hospital, and we saw moms and babies that were overcoming this disease. When new mothers bring their babies, the hospital immediately tests them for malaria and HIV. Nurses distribute bed net vouchers, which mothers can use to buy insecticide-treated bed nets from local retailers at a 75 percent discount. I was concerned about the 75 percent discount, and so I announced a new effort -- and that is to distribute an additional 5.2 million bed nets free of charge. (Applause.) And that would be enough for every child in Tanzania between the ages of one and five. It is irresponsible to sit on the sidelines knowing that young babies are needlessly dying across the continent of Africa and elsewhere. And I was really pleased to be able to kickoff this new initiative by handing out bed nets to this young mother. (Applause.)
So it made sense to go to the local factory where the bed nets are produced -- called A to Z Textiles. On the floor of the newly opened facility, we saw the nets produced in a clean, safe working environment. The owner explained that the factory employs 1,200 local workers. If we're helping projects in Africa, we want those projects to employ people from the country in which we're helping. (Applause.) And the vast majority of those workers are women. He takes great pride in supplying bed nets to Zanzibar, where the percentage of infants -- I want you to hear this -- where the percentage of infants infected with malaria has dropped from about 20 percent to less than 1 percent in two years. (Applause.) He called America -- the American people's efforts to fight malaria "a Godsend." And I agree. I thanked him for his good work, and was honored to see stacks of these life-saving nets bearing the name of the United States of America. (Applause.)
In the afternoon, we visited a Maasai girls' school, where we received an unbelievably stirring welcome from the students. This school is led by a Catholic nun, who was on my left, empowers girls who have long lacked education. The girls receive scholarships from our Africa Education Initiative. The girls sang these lyrics: "Look at us. Listen to our voices. Today we can study because of the American people." It was a stirring anthem. We also met a group of Maasai men -- these guys can flag jump. (Laughter.) Unbelievably powerful experience for Laura and me -- and it was a great way to close our visit to Tanzania.
Early Tuesday morning, we headed to Rwanda. After flying over Lake Victoria, we touched down in the beautiful city of Kigali. We were greeted by Rwanda's thoughtful and effective leader, President Paul Kagame, along with Mrs. Kagame.
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 509
Extract Date: 15 March 2008
Arusha is becoming an ‘Orange’ town. Nothing to do with the Orange Democratic Movement in Kenya. Most buildings in the precinct are either painted Orange or in the process acquiring a coat of the color. Already whole streets such as Goliondoi and Boma have all adopted the peachy orange finishing.. ...
… others remind that the term ‘Arusha’ means ‘Rising sun’ in Hindi language. However a teacher who has been studying Maasai culture say Arusha came from the word La’ Arusa, Meaning a place of ‘Grey’ cows.
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: George W. Bush
Page Number: 509
Extract Date: 15 March 2008
Dear Wananchi of Tanzania,
Laura and I wanted to express our sincere thanks for hosting us recently in your beautiful country.
Tanzania is famous for its warm hospitality, and our visit proves that your reputation is well deserved! From the tens of thousands of you who lined the streets to welcome us, to the children who sang and performed at places like Karimjee Hall, the WAMA Foundation and Arusha’s Maasai Girls School, you have touched our hearts so deeply!
I know that hosting a presidential visit is a big undertaking, and I understand there were a few times when our visit brought on some traffic problems and other inconveniences.
I want to sincerely thank you all for your patience during our stay.
As you may know, this was the first official visit to Tanzania by a sitting U.S. President. Not only was it productive and successful in terms of our government-to-government discussions, but it was a great opportunity for everyday Americans to learn more about your nation. Through the images sent back to the U.S., they got to see a beautiful country filled with wonderful people. They saw Tanzanians from all walks of life working hard to build a brighter, more prosperous future. They saw young people determined to carry on Mwalimu Nyerere’s vision of a peaceful, unified Tanzania. I look forward to continue working with President Kikwete and other leaders to help Tanzania take on its challenges.
We’re grateful for his friendship and yours, and we’ll continue to offer our assistance as all of you move forward. I hope Laura and I can visit you again in the years ahead. Until then, thanks again for your friendship and kind hospitality.
President George W. Bush
United States of America
THE WHITE HOUSE
March 6, 2008
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: Arusha Times Correspondent
Page Number: 510
Extract Date: 22 March 2008
Human crisis seen as inevitable
In the past they defied orders from the government to evacuate from areas surrounding Oldonyo Lengai on grounds that for generations they were familiar with volcanic ash from the vents atop the mountain.
But, nine months after the mountain has continuously been emitting smoke into the sky and molten rock on its slopes, many residents need not to be told by anyone to move away for safety reasons.
Reports from the area, one of the most inhospitable terrains due to scorching temperatures and remote as well, say many people who have lived around the 'mountain of God" are now calling it quits.
Government authorities in Ngorongoro district have confirmed that many residents are now moving away to settle in other villages which are a safe distance from the active volcano.
Ngorongoro MP Saning'o Ole Telele told reporters last weekend that up to 5,000 people may have moved out of the area for fear of being affected by the volcanic ash and hot lava.
He said some of those who have fled include those who have lived around Oldonyo Lengai for many years. They are reported to have relocated from the area with their livestock herds.
Many of them have re-settled in Ebwati, Nainokanoka, Ekipisu and Malambo villages in Ngorongoro district and Silalei and Mto-wa- Mbu villages in neighbouring Monduli villages.
Others have gone to Gelai, Gelaibombwa na Chumvini villages which are a safe distance from the "smoking mountain'' and east of Lake Natron.
Those fleeing, says, Mr. Ole Telele, did so fearing the effects of the mountain behaviour, having spewed smoke almost continuously since July last year.
According to the Ngorongoro legislator, himself born there, the revered mountain on the Great Rift Valley bed has not behaved the way it did this time around.
"This is the first time for many years that we have seen the mountain spewing ash and lava continuously for such long time. The situation has been compounded by the earthquakes" he added.
The eruption of the mountain, believed to have been triggered by a series of earthquakes, that battered northen regions since last July, may appear a natural phenomenon but can lead to humanitarian crisis.
It has led to, among other things, food crisis because those displaced had to be supported by relatives in their villages of destination.
Many men have also abandoned their homesteads to seek jobs in towns and trading centres.The mountain and the adjacent Lake Natron are about 250 kilometres north west of Arusha.
The displacement due to volcanic eruption has come at a particularly unfavourable time. Oldonyo Lengai area and the entire Maasailand is reeling under prolonged dry spell this year.
The government has not been quiet all along since the crisis began last year.
First it advised people to keep away from the mountain especially during the height of the earthquakes and when it started erupting.
Several teams of officials, including those responsible for disaster management under the Prime Minister's Office, have been there many times trying to assess the situation.
Those told to keep away included the tourists who are fond of being to the area, Oldonyo Lengai being the only active volcano in East Africa.
Those who spoke to journalists who visited the area after first reports of eruption, played down dangers from the mountain, maintaining that the phenomenon was common.
Those who opposed what they called "alarmist" calls criticised the authorities of making statements in order to scare away tourists. The industry supports a handful of people there.
But it did not take long before a tour guide who was taking tourists atop the mountain on fire was himself severely burnt by the hot magma flowing from high on the mountain.
Few weeks later, it was the turn of the pastoralists. Their livestock were affected by volcanic ash and dust. Some are reported to have fallen sick or died.
For the nomadic pastoralists, that was enough excuse to stick to the tradition; looking for greener pastures for the animals when something has gone wrong around their living spot.
As if that was not enough, towards the end of last year there were reports of people suffering from the effects of volcanic ash and continued to be worried by a spate of earth tremors.
The 2,951 metre ( 9,440 feet) high mountain, one of the highest in Tanzania, simply refused to stop emitting smoke and lava, something never experienced before, at least in "recent" geological times.
Only two weeks ago, two high level government delegations visited the area to get first hand information on the situation.
One team was led by the minister of state in the Vice President's Office responsible for Environment Dr. Batilda Buriani and another by Phillip Marmo, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office (Paliamentary Affairs).
Upon return to Arusha, Dr. Buriani, who took over the environment portfolio during the recent cabinet reshuffle, admitted that the sitatution on Oldonyo Lengai was still disturbing.
This is the first time the mountain was emitting smoke and hot lava continuoulsy for a long time. The last time it did so was in 1966 and 1967 but lasted for only six months.
"Experts must establish as to why the mountain behaved this way unlike in the past," she said after spending the whole day near the mountain and Lake Natron, whose highly alkaline waters is attributed to ash spewed from Oldonyo Lengai.
The minister witnessed for herself the mountain emitting smoke and lava and was told the phenomenon followed an eruption which released gas and ash into the sky.
The last major eruption on Oldonyo Lengai was in August 1966. The incident was captured by the local and international media and flashed around the world, especially the scientific institutions.
Since then there had not been an eruption of such magnitude, although notable onces were recorded in 1983, 1993, 2002 and as late as 2006.
However, some experts say much as there had not been such scary eruption, a series of earth tremors and continuous smoke and lava for such long period is something not to be ignored.
Dr. Buriani agreed with the experts' advice that scientists should be sent to Oldonyo Lengai area to study the impact of volcanic ash emissions from the mountain.
The 1996 and 1967 incidents, according to accounts, followed a major eruption which sent the local residents fleeing the area in their hundreds.
That period's eruption was the strongest to be recorded on the volcanic mountain in recent decades and killed wildlife and livestock.
"Smoke emission from the mountain lasted for only six months during 1966/67. This is not the case now. Since July last year, this has happened almost continuously" she said.
During her day long visit to the area, she was told that livestock were much affected by the volcanic dust and some died after licking it.
"As government, we are yet to establish the impact of volcanic eruptions around Oldonyo Lengai and its impact to livestock and people" she affirmed.
According to her, the matter would be dealt by the Disaster Management Unit under PMO and the Geology Survey of Tanzania.
The mountain of God, which the Maasai used to perform some traditional rituals became hostile to its neighbours from July last year when it started emitting hot lava and smoke from its vents following a series of earth tremors in the northern regions.
Until then, the mountain and Lake Natron, an alkaline water body near the Kenyan border, used to attract about 8,000 tourists annually.
These included scientists going to study geomorphology of the landscapes.
Several families of nomadic pastoralists living there are reported to have relocated to other villages which are farther from the mountain.
No major casualities have been reported but people living there have complained of chest problems and coughing excessively due to exposure to toxic materials emitted by the mountain.
Arusha Times, 2008
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame and Happy Lazaro
Page Number: 522
Extract Date: 14 June 2008
Relatives and friends of the six people who died in a Helicopter crash, including hundred of Arusha residents, on Tuesday flocked the Mount Meru Hospital mortuary where a solemn exercise to identify bodies of the departed loved ones took place.
The victims, whose bodies were badly burnt but still could be identified, included four army personnel and two civilians. They were identified as Col. Wakete (pilot); major Sinda (co-pilot); and Lt. Kirunga and private Maande (technicians). The two civilians were identified as Mrs Irene Nkamba Jitenga, wife of Brigadier General Jitenga, and 14-year- old Tamary Mziray, a secondary school student.
A Helicopter belonging to the Tanzania People’s Defense Force crashed in the Matevesi village of Kisongo at noon killing all its six occupants on the spot.
The Helicopter is said to have lost balance while in air, swerved before plunging at high speed. It went down at Matevesi area, in the outskirts of Arusha town a few kilometers from the Arusha airport. Upon hitting the ground the chopper exploded into flames.
Eyewitnesses said they heard a deafening bang before the chopper went down and caught fire.
The chopper was one of two deployed here to help oversee security during the just-ended five-day Leon H. Sullivan Summit.
According to Arusha’s Regional Police Commander Basilio Matei the Helicopter was flying from Arusha town heading to Dodoma when the accident occurred shortly after the journey started. The cause of the crash is yet to be established.
It is yet another army chopper to crash in the region in a period of six month after another TPDF Helicopter, an Agusta Bell model 412 EP valued at Tsh. 12 billion, crashed in the Enkare-sero parts of the shallow Lake Natron basin, last December 2007. However the eight passengers onboard had survived.
It was then reported that the military Helicopter carried a crew of four television documentary makers from Australia, Canada, the United States and Britain who were said to have been on a mission to film the pink flamingos over Lake Natron.
The December crash survivors were named as Jeffrey Sibbery (Canada), Forest Sowyer (US), Ben Herberston (Australia) and Mark Berker (UK). Tanzanians who survived the crash were identified as Lt. Col. Mayenga, the TPDF pilot; Lt. Edward (his co-pilot), Helicopter technician Gabriel Majala, and the crew’s tour guide Issaya ole Poruo.