Name ID 732

See also

Spear, Thomas Mountain Farmers, Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru
Page Number: 024

Rainfall and Topography of Mount Meru

Extract ID: 5647

See also

Mosley, Leonard Duel for Kilimanjaro. The East African Campaign 1914-1918
Page Number: 131
Extract Date: April 4, 1916

Southward from Arusha

The official history reported: 'He [Smuts] resolved accordingly while the greater part of his force would have to stand fast along the Ruvu River during the rains, to detach the new 2nd Division under Major-General van Deventer, which was to move southwards towards Kondoa-Irangi and the Central Railway.

This expedition, numbering 1,200 mounted men, plus 8600 artillery and infantry moved southward from Arusha on April 4, 1916, on the start of what was subsequently described as 'a hell of a journey'. Never have local Weather prophets been more wrong. It rained and it rained and it rained.

Extract ID: 4687

See also

Samler Brown , A and Gordon Brown, G (Editors) South and East African Year Book and Guide for 1920, 26th issue
Page Number: 527

Climate : Conquered East Africa

The remarks on the British East African climate apply in most instances equally well to the former German Colony, both countries running side by side from the East Coast to the great central lakes.

Major H.G. Lyons has contributed much valuable information hereon in the April issue of the "Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society". He divides the country, both from the standpoint of climate and productions into five regions :

(1) The coast belt, 15 to 40 miles wide, characterised by great heat and moisture;

(2) the hilly district of Usumbura in the N.W.;

(3) Mount Kilimanjaro and the adjacent country;

(4) the inland plateau, which is a continuation of the B.E.A. plateau; and

(5) the lake regions.

The coast belt is marked by its limited range of temperature, the mean monthly range being only 5-6 degrees F. The rainfall is heavy, but very uncertain, and the climate trying for Europeans.

Kondeland, N. & N.E. of Lake Nyasa, is spoken of by Sir Alfred Sharpe as a magnificent country, suitable for European settlement.

Extract ID: 3514

See also

Arusha: A Brochure of the Northern Province and its Capital Town
Page Number: 03
Extract Date: 1929

Geographical and other features

Arusha is situate approximately 3' South Lat. and 37' East Long. It is exactly midway between Cairo and Cape Town and is territorially the centre of Tanganyika, Kenya and Uganda.

The altitude of the township is 4,613 feet above sea level and the surrounding country varies between 3,000 and 4,000 feet. As a background to the township Mount Meru towers its 14,960 feet into-azure skies and-along its slopes are dotted plantations and the huts and. groves of the Warusha and Wameru tribes.

The maximum temperature ranges between 70 and 80 degrees fh. and the minimum between 50 and 60 degrees fh. The hotest months are January and February, and heat is dissipated by the monsoon or" bigrains" commencing about 25th of March. The coldest Weather is experienced from June to August, then follows a spell of mildly warm Weather which continue through the "small rains."

The rainfall is approximately 45 inches for the year, 75 per cent. of which fall during the" big rains."

Extract ID: 3397

See also

Longland, F. Field Engineering: A Handbook on simple construction
Page Number: Plate 6

Correction of Aneroid Barometer: Mean curve for Tanganyika Territory

Extract ID: 3441

See also

Huxley, Juliette Wild Lives of Africa
Extract Author: Julian Huxley


Part of our time [at the Arusha Conference] was devoted to finding out whether the terrible drought of 1961 was the final culmination of a long destructive process of habitat damage by the Masai, or a recurrent phenomenon of the Tanganyika climate. Both conclusions it appeared, were true. Eventually one elder recalled that the streams had failed once before in tribal memory, about forty-five years ago. On the other hand Professor Pearsall soon made it clear that there had also been a serious deterioration of the habitat.

I should recall that in 1956, as a result of the Tanganyika Government's inept handling of the problem, Pearsall had been commissioned by the Fauna Preservation Society in Britain to examine the entire problem of the Serengeti National Park area, including Ngorongoro and the rest of the Crater Highlands; and as a result the government was impelled to set up a high-powered Commission of Enquiry and eventually to establish the Conservation Authority. Here was a first class ecological mind, backed by first-hand local experience.

Extract ID: 75

See also

Turner, Kay Serengeti Home
Page Number: 096a
Extract Date: 1961


Severe drought in Serengeti

Extract ID: 210

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 180
Extract Date: 1961, November


In November, thirteen inches of rain fell on Seronera, and floods rose all over the Serengeti. ... the floods continued well into the following year.

Extract ID: 1349

See also

Turner, Kay Serengeti Home
Page Number: 172
Extract Date: 1962

Cataclysmal rain

Cataclysmal rain in Serengeti

Extract ID: 921

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 183
Extract Date: 1963 December

torrential rains

The 1963 poaching season closed with torrential rains in December.

Extract ID: 1351

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 185
Extract Date: 1964

unusually dry weather

Aided by unusually dry Weather the 1965 poaching season began early

Extract ID: 1352

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 187
Extract Date: 1967

unusually hot, dry months

January and February 1967 were unusually hot, dry months in the Serengeti.

Extract ID: 1353

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 188
Extract Date: 1967 December

Exceptionally heavy short rains

Exceptionally heavy short rains fell in December 1967...

Extract ID: 1354

See also

Matthiessen, Peter The Tree Where Man Was Born
Page Number: 191
Extract Date: 1972

Southern Cross and the Pleiades

From the Crater Highlands rose the Southern Cross; the Pleiades, which the Maasai associate with rains, had waned in early June. July is the time of wind and quarrels, and now, in August, the grass was dry and dead. In August, September and October, called the Months of Hunger, the people pin grass to their clothes in hope of rain, for grass is a sign of prosperity and peace, but not until the Pleiades returned, and the south-east monsoon, would the white clouds come that bring the precious water.

Extract ID: 3668

See also

ELCA International Disaster Response--Tanzania
Extract Date: 1997 July 14


Like other Southern Sub-Saharan African countries, Tanzania has been facing serious Drought conditions which began in 1990, when the rains began to stray from their traditional pattern. In some areas, the rains have come too early or too late, while in some pockets they have simply been insufficient. This continued unreliability of rainfall has increased vulnerability in the Drought prone regions, districts and villages.

Current reports indicate that nearly 700,000 Tanzanians are facing acute food shortages due to the prolonged Drought and the figure is expected to rise further. Though there has been no report of loss of human life, the situation is getting worse and the rate of malnutrition severe. The rate of malnutrition among children under five is severe and there is evidence of children collapsing in classrooms as a result of hunger. In pastoralist areas all the communities who solely depend on the livestock sale, milk and meat products are affected regardless of age, gender or occupation. In farming communities it is mainly the poor who depend on annual and perennial crops which are severely affected.

With the situation worsening in 1997, various traditional coping mechanisms used before by the communities have now eroded to a minimal level as a result of cultural and economic transformation. The pastoralist movement in search of water and pasture has been restricted as a result of land allocation to big farms and wildlife conservation.

Cultivation of Drought-resistant crops (sorghum, millet and root crops) has now shifted into maize culture. In addition, in most of these Drought prone areas, subsistence farmers have lost traditional seed preservation knowledge and developed seasonal purchasing behavior. During prolonged Drought, purchasing power is low and they become dependent on external aid, which is erratic.

A total of 15 regions have been seriously affected by this year s Drought, with the level of severity varying from region to region In Pastoralists areas such as Monduli, Ngorongoro and Simanjiro, livestock conditions have improved, although many were lost as a result of extended Drought. In the crop producing areas, the crop condition is better in the lowland parts of Karatu, Arumeru, Mwanga and Rombo.

The current need is to supply seed, especially maize; provide transportation; rehabilitate water supply systems; and administer and monitor crops.

Drought, as a creeping disaster, takes time to cause damage. Deaths of livestock and wildlife have been reported. Water sources have dried up as a result of large herds of cattle, goats and sheep migrating to water points and people looking for water. Consequently, springs and wells have been overdrawn and the environment damaged.

Another Drought cycle is predicted for 1999-2004. The question now is whether this short-term relief phase is enough to regain normalcy, or whether more is required to link short-term action to a rehabilitation phase and, eventually, a long-term self-help support phase.

Contributions to ELCA International Disaster Response will help make Drought relief work in Tanzania possible.

Extract ID: 1433

See also

Financial Times (UK)
Extract Author: Gary Mead
Extract Date: 1997 December 9

Tanzania: Severe drought

Severe drought in the northern Coffee-growing areas around Kilimanjaro and Arusha - traditionally the areas for growing high-quality arabica beans - means the country's biggest foreign currency earner will be affected in 1997-98.

Total Coffee production in 1996-97 was 43,000 tonnes (worth about $95m); the northern crop was more than 16,500 tonnes, and is expected to see a 40 per cent decline in 1997-98.

Extract ID: 1460

See also

Source Unknown

el nino rains

Extract ID: 924

external link

See also

Washington Post
Extract Date: 1999

Arusha Weather

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

 Average High Temperature
  Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
°F 77 84 84 81 77 72 70 69 72 76 80 81 81
°C 25 28 28 27 25 22 21 20 22 24 26 27 27
Years Charted: 16 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0
 Average Low Temperature
  Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
°F 51 50 51 53 57 52 48 49 48 47 51 51 50
°C 10 10 10 11 13 11 8 9 8 8 10 10 10
Years Charted: 16 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0
 Highest Recorded Temperature
  Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
°F 102 97 99 96 92 86 82 81 84 91 94 102 95
°C 38 36 37 35 33 30 27 27 28 32 34 38 35
Years Charted: 16 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0
 Lowest Recorded Temperature
  Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
°F 45 50 48 48 52 51 46 45 46 47 49 51 50
°C 7 10 8 8 11 10 7 7 7 8 9 10 10
Years Charted: 16 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0
 Mean No. of Days Below 32°F/0°C
  Total Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Days 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Years Charted: 16 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0
 Average Precipitation
  Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
in. 48.6 2.29 3.25 6.99 14.52 8.33 1.30 0.56 0.77 0.79 1.41 4.39 4.01
mm 1234 58 82 177 368 211 33 14 19 20 35 111 101
Years Charted: 32 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0
 Average Relative Humidity
  Total Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
% 82 84 95 95 94 98 91
Years Charted: 11 Source: International Station Meteorological Climate Summary, Version 4.0

Extract ID: 3550

See also

Turner, Mark You can't blame it all on the weather
Extract Author: Mark Turner
Extract Date: 2000 Oct 14

You can't blame it all on the weather

It was a journey from Nairobi, Kenya's capital, to the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha that drove it home.

The familiar five-hour drive is usually a pleasant sojourn through some of the region's most touristic countryside. Peaceful agricultural scenes are framed by green, gentle hills and, on a clear day, you can see magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.

But as East Africa's worst drought in decades grew deeper, the birthplace of mankind was less evocative of the Garden of Eden than the Oklahoma dust bowl.

Rickety wooden shacks in one-street villages loomed straight out of a Sergio Leone western, creaking amid swirling dust devils. Masai herdsmen drove long lines of cattle through parched moonscapes, their red cloaks the only colour in an ocean of brown dust.

Cacti were perched in empty gullies against a backdrop of singed and eroded hills. Crops crackled with dryness, trucks kicked up trails of choking clouds, jagged trees lay fallen and blanched like skulls.

As Kenya, Ethiopia, Som-alia and many other countries faced their third year of drought in a row - the worst in 50 years - there was no shortage of such images. With 14m people at risk of severe malnutrition, and aid agencies appealing daily for funds, the all-too familiar scenes of famine were once again on television screens.

But seeing them on the way to Arusha was deeply shocking. In other parts of the region, such as dry northern Kenya, such scenes are not entirely unexpected: more easily dismissed as a short-term disaster. In northern Tanzania they appeared as a symptom of something profoundly wrong.

The discussion in the car inevitably turned to ecology. Was this the sign of a permanent shift in the climate? Were western aid efforts missing a bigger picture - sustaining populations in parts of the world where human settlements are no longer viable?

Even as the rains appear at last to be returning, these are difficult questions. There is growing evidence that parts of a country such as Kenya are fast exceeding their capacity to support the population, raising the pos-sibility of a people permanently dependent on hand- outs.

The United Nations' Global Environment Outlook, says African land degradation, exacerbated by recurrent droughts, 'is threatening economic and physical survival'. By 2025, 25 African countries will be subject to water scarcity or water stress. Wars may be fought over access to fresh water.

But the trends disguise two elements. The first is the possibility of long-term climate change, brought on by global warming; the second is human interaction with the environment.

The question of permanent change is highly contentious. Certainly, there are indications that the planet is heating up and the temptation is to conclude that East Africa is seeing the beginning of perennial drought.

The 1990s saw an unusual concentration of droughts - and some experts suggest that if the rains fail again this year, it will begin to look like a major shift.

The evidence, however, especially in countries such as Kenya, where statistics are incomplete, is far from clear. Peter Usher, a climate expert who has worked for years in East Africa, says he is not convinced and suggests the Weather may always have been this way.

'In 1949-50 there was a drought worse than this,' he says, and points to another severe dry spell from 1975 to 1976. He adds that in the 1920s - long before today's talk of global warming - there were fears surrounding melting ice on Mount Kenya.

Markus Walsh, an ecologist from the Nairobi-based International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, says ground samples do not suggest today's extremes necessarily fall outside historical norms.

Ancient records certainly show no shortage of problems similar to today's drought. An Ethiopian text, for example, called the 'Mashafa Seneskar', talks of 'great tribulation' as far back as the 800s, where 'God restrained the heavens so they cannot rain upon the land'. And as documentation becomes more consis-tent, so does evidence of regular disasters - with Arab and religious texts charting a series of droughts from the 15th century onwards.

What scientists do agree on, however, is the second element: even if the region's climate has not altered, the way humans interact with the land has.

Fifty years ago, Kenya had 5m people. Today, there are 30m. In 50 years that number could double. The land has never known such pressures - and settled agriculture has, over the past 50 to 100 years, spread apace to marginal areas that can ill cope with the demands.

Most Kenyan farmers - predominantly smallholders - cannot afford fertilisers, so phosphorus and potassium levels in the soil are quickly depleted.

Herders have expanded their livestock numbers exponentially, leading to overgrazing in areas that, according to many wildlife experts, are not suited to the moisture-hungry cattle.

At the same time, Kenya's forests have been and continue to be raped, often by corrupt and politically connected people - with profound implications for water catchment and soil protection. The scenes around Mt Kenya are dramatic, with rows and rows of trees felled, and little evidence of sufficient replanting.

ICRAF sees some hope that deforestation might be reversed as global trading in pollution quotas develops - with northern companies which seek to emit more carbon dioxide paying for new planting. But with today's political uncertainties that seems some way off.

In the short-term, say critics, East African governments must grapple with a largely rural and uneducated population - and look closely at agricultural support services, rural marketing, credit facilities and sustainable agriculture policies. Land security, undermined by corruption or misguided laws, must be guaranteed.

The message is that with the right approach, much of today's calamity could be mitigated. But while Daniel arap Moi, the Kenyan president, continues to blame God for Kenya's tribulations, that is simply not happening fast enough, and the aid appeals continue.

Extract ID: 1535

See also

McNaughton, Samuel J. A General Tour of the Serengeti National Park

Because of the altitude, the temperature is always pleasant.

Daytime high temperatures average a balmy 28o C (81o F), so you can work up a sweat in the sun, and nights are a cool 14o C (57o F), so you sleep under a blanket most nights. Because the humidity is low, seeking shade can rapidly cool off daytime sweat.

But there are strong seasons here. Seasons are not temperature-dependent. Seasons here are rainfall-dependent; a rainy season, and a dry season. The rainy season is normally from November through May, the dry season from June through October. This seasonality is due to the movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure system that oscillates over the Equator. When it is directly over the region, rainfall is heavy. However, the strength of seasonality is greatest in the SE, where the Serengeti Plains lie, and least in the NW, where the Isuria Escarpment rises above the plains. There is a rainfall gradient from below 400 mm (16 inches) annually in the SE to above 1100 mm (43") in the NW.

This rainfall gradient is accompanied by a gradient in length of the growing season, around 70 days in the arid SE, while it is near year round in the subhumid NW. Rainstorms are typically due to convective clouds that begin forming in late morning, then condense to a level leading to rain, often resulting in violent downpours in mid-afternoon, then dissipating afterward, leading to sunny evenings.

The map shows isolines of rainfall in centimeters (an inch = roughly two and -Serengeti Rainfall Gradients a half cm) and the annual movements of the migratory herds in relation to the rain gradient. The migrants spend the rainy season, when most young are born, at the lowest end of the gradient. They move toward the west and north between seasons, and spend the peak of the dry season in the far NW, the wettest part of the region.

Extract ID: 3924

external link

See also

Extract Date: 2000-12-02


DAR ES SALAAM, Dec 2 (Reuters)

Flash floods caused by heavy rains have killed at least 26 people and injured 17 others in northwest Tanzania, police said on Saturday.

Regional Commissioner Elia Kihengu told Reuters the freak rains occurred on Friday afternoon, flooding the Mirongo river on the eastern side of the town of Mwanza near Lake Victoria.

The flood waters swept away houses and people.

'We have been getting normal short rains but yesterday's rains were extraordinary. Mirongo overflowed and people were drowned. Passers-by were swept away. We have confirmed 26 people dead up to now,' Kihengu said.

He added the floods had destroyed at least 20 homes.

Seasonal short rains are usually between October and December. Rains have been poor over the past two years. Tanzania began rationing power a week ago.

Extract ID: 1543

See also

Map and Guide to Tanzania
Page Number: 13b


Situated just south of the Equator, temperatures average between 25 and 30 C.

Long 'masika' rains last from March to May, short 'mvuli' rains from October to December with some heavy showers in the South from December to April.

The best period to visit the country is from May to October.

Extract ID: 4048