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How to turn the northern zone to be a real paradise for tourists in Africa

WHILE addressing one of political rallies in the last election, the President made a special appeal to scientists to come up with plans which will enable the country to collect and use millions of gallons of water that flow through streams and rivers into the Indian Ocean during rainy seasons.

While on his way from the northern highlands to Dodoma, the president made it clear that the presence of bridges in different parts of the country is a clear evidence of this unutilized resource which may boost the economy of this country and its people in different ways.

Meanwhile as the government is working very hard to boost the tourism industry in the country the role of the northern highlands is very important because the circuit attracts more tourists than other tourist circuits in Tanzania mainland. The importance of the northern circuit cannot be mentioned without taking into consideration the presence of mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro which towers the sky of Africa at 5, 985 metres from the sea level.

The ecosystem between the two volcanic mountains is uniquely made by grasslands, woodlands and tropical rain forests which surround these mountains to form a good source of water for hundreds of springs and streams which joint together to form Kikuletwa river which flow into Nyumba ya Mungu, on the other side is Lumi river which originate from Mawenzi peak and flow around lake Chala to lake Jipe before forming Ruvu river which joins with Rau to flow southward and empty millions of gallons of water into Nyumba ya Mungu dam which was constructed in 1965. Please don’t be confused, the name Ruvu is used for two separate rivers one in Kilimanjaro and another in Pwani region and has its source from Uluguru mountains. 

With their main sources in the tropical rain forest, the water runs down the slopes of Kilimanjaro in the deep valleys as both Kikuletwa and Ruvu flow into Nyumba ya Mungu dam after collecting water from springs, streams and rivers such as Himo, Weruweru, Kikafu, Muraini, Nduruma, Tengeru, Sanya, Malala in the catchment area which covers about 7,500 square kilometres consisting of forests, woodlands, bushland, along with grassland thicket and plantation forest.

Nyumba ya Mungu is an 8 megawatts hydroelectric dam located in Mwanga district where lake Jipe is also found, covering about 30 square kilometres lake Jipe receives its water from Lumi river which descends from Mount Kilimanjaro and some streams from the north Pare mountains, due to its lake-edge swamps which can extend for about 2 kilometers, lake Jipe plays a big role in the hydrology and drainage pattern of Mkomazi national park and the northern highlands because its outlet forms Ruvu river which pour its water into Nyumba ya Mungu.

From lake Jipe water flows into a deep valley which forms Nyumba ya Mungu before flowing out to form Pangani river which flows for about 500 kilometers to pour millions of gallons of water into the Indian ocean, on the other side the story of lake Jipe is a living example of what the president suggested to scientists to build dams and small reservoirs along the networks of seasonal rivers which pass through different parts of the country including the northern highlands which is formed by Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara region.

Taking an example of Kiwalani area in Dar es Salaam where the amount of rainfall is higher than the rest of the city, water vapors from the sea are pushed inland by winds, then these clouds which contain water vapors are stopped by Pugu Hills and other small mountain in Kisarawe then they bounced back to be heated by Sunrays to form rainfalls on areas like Kiwalani, Kipunguni and Gongolamboto. 

Through what scientist called hydrological cycle which involve different process such as evaporation and condensation, this is done naturally without intervention, but on the other hand, the same formula can be applied artificially in an area around Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in Arusha.

It is possible because during rainy season millions of liters of water are poured into the Indian Ocean while from Arusha, Manyara, Tanga and Kilimanjaro regions lowest laying areas are left in a struggle of copping with the harsh situation of a long dry season. This is due to the fact that the absence of enough rainfall in these areas cause famers to lose most of their harvests, pastoralists become poor as their livestock die from thirsty and hunger while inside national parks wild animals die due to lack of water in streams and rivers.

This happens in the northern highlands and other parts of the country because most of seasonal rivers become dry after a long dry season. While the lack of rain is a catastrophe, it is known that during rainy season all rivers are full of water with some of them overflowing their banks to cause havocs in communities which are found  in the neighbouring areas.     

As the president said we can do one good thing to the nation and ourselves by harvesting rain water from the family, village, districts up to regional levels. This can be done by digging water reservoir in our house, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and hospitals. Village and district may set up a large network of small dams in lower laying areas which together will form a huge water reservoir system.

This will cause tremendous changes on the weather of Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions by increasing the amount of rainfall in the area and increase ice sheets on top of Kibo and creating ice on Mawenzi peak and the Mount Meru which accumulate ice once a year.

This will happen because the Sun will heat and evaporate some amount of water from these artificial water bodies into the sky then dry winds from the Indian Ocean will push the water vapors to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru where they will be blocked from going on to another side and returned to the opposite direction where it will be condensed and turned into rain which will obvious fall back into different areas of Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions.

Not only that, while on top of Kibo and Mawenzi, some amount of water vapor will create a cooling condition for creation of more ice on the highest mountain in Africa. Mount Meru towers the sky of Arusha national park while Mount Kilimanjaro stands inside Mount Kilimanjaro national park where different animals such as elephants, leopards, monkeys, elands, serval cats and others. The presence of ice on top of Mount Kilimanjaro contribute positively to the life of animals inside national parks such as Mkomazi where rivers and streams come from the highlands.

From the slopes of Usambara mountains and on the banks of Pangani river in Muheza Tanga region through Pare mountains and lake Chala in Kilimanjaro region to Mererani, Oldonyosambu and Ngaramtoni in Manyara and Arusha regions the creation of manmade water bodies such as dams and lakes open doors for tourist sites such as Kinukamori in Mshiri village of Marangu Kilimanjaro region where the waterfalls attract a good number of tourists from all parts of the world.

As the government is making changes in gemstone market in the country, the presence of Tanzanite mining in Mirerani can be combined by the creation of manmade water bodies in around the area where mining activities are found, the water bodies will be used as tourist attraction in fishing and games. 

The manmade waterbodies will attract water birds such as storks, egrets, pelicans, spur-winged plovers, ducks, and Egyptian geese, others are lesser jacana, purple gallinule and flamingos which needs special environment which is found in lake Natron but the shores of these manmade waterbodies may create a favorite environment for these beautiful birds.

On the other side, the name Marangu in Chagga is pronounced Morangu and stands for a land with waterbodies, the northern highland is made by mountains and hills which forms more than 100 beautiful waterfalls such as Shengena, Kinukamori, Kwamteshane, Kwandoro, Kilasia, Kidia, Kikafu and others along Nduruma river. These are beautiful scenarios surrounded by colorful bush flowers and zebra rocks of different size.

The above account shows that the president says about creating artificial waterbodies in the country is possible and we appeal to scientists and government officials in Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions to work together, it is possible let us play our part!

Contact:  HYPERLINK "mailto:rstanslaus@yahoo.com" rstanslaus@yahoo.com

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Author:  Reginald Stanislaus Matillya

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