Name ID 2047

See also

Independent / Independent on Sunday
Extract Date: 1995 November 12

Camel Camp

also in FT 16 Dec 95

Just south of the Kenyan border town of Namanga, the [Camel] camp is the brainchild of Brian Hartley, a livestock expert in his 80's. Together with his son Kim, he hopes to crown his career by convincing the Maasai, one of Africa's most romanticised but impoverished tribes, of the Camel's superior qualities.

Extract ID: 312

See also

Extract Date: March 14, 2005

Camels for the Maasai

The East African (Nairobi)

Once unknown south of Namanga, Camel keeping is now a fast expanding activity in Arusha and Namanga

Unitl Global Partners began a Camel project with Heifer Project International (HPI) in 1995, there were no camels in the whole of Tanzania, compared with the hundreds of thousands of camels in neighbouring Kenya.

This is no longer the case, as now many families are reaping the benefits of a fast growing Camel business, benefiting from milk, transportation of water, passengers, firewood, market goods, and tourism income.

It all started when HPI hired consultants Piers Simpkin from FARM Africa Kenya, Mohamed Haji from ASAL project of Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture in Kajiado district, Beppe di Giulio from Italy and Proches Buretta - HPI's monitoring and evaluation co-ordinator. They jointly produced a report strongly recommending the introduction of Kenyan camels in the semi-arid areas of northern Tanzania.

Now Camel keeping is a fast expanding industry in the area, says Dr Alison Lyimo, the expert overseeing the HPI project.

With malnutrition, impoverishment, and marginalisation increasing among the rural Maasai communities, the Camel project has provided an opportunity to sustain their pastoral way of life by using fodder and land resources that have been underutilised.

The initial consignment from Kenya involved 279 camels, which were distributed to 20 groups in four districts of Arusha and Manyara Regions.

Now vast herds of camels can be seen as one approaches the sprawling border post of Namanga.

The nomadic livestock keepers of Longido now get both milk and income from keeping camels. They and groups around Namanga also use their camels as tourist attractions.

Being prolific producers of milk - 8-10 litres a day - camels have rapidly improved the nutritional status of the Maasai, for whom milk has always been a staple food. Dr Lyimo says plans are underway to expand the project into other communities in Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.

Same District, one of the semi-arid areas of Kilimanjaro, has been chosen for the latest introduction of camels. The camels will be distributed to Kirinjiko, Mkanyani, Ruvu Mferejini and Nyumba ya Mungu villages and already the earmarked recipients have received the basic two-week Camel husbandry course that was conducted in Namanga recently.

The project is supported and funded by two overseas organisations - the Global Partners of the US and World Runners of Japan.

Erwin Kinsey, an HPI (Africa) official, says the project represents a long-term solution to malnutrition among the Maasai. The Kenyan camels seem to have responded fairly well to their new Tanzanian homes and climate, although, Dr Lyimo says, "There have been a few deaths due to fractures when camels fall into trenches, poisoning when they eat poisonous plants and pneumonia in calves." Reproduction in general has been slow.

Extract ID: 5036