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Strategies Launched to Rescue Tribe From Extinction

By John Haule, TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 3 August 2001

Dar Es Salaam - The government of Tanzania has embarked on a special program to rescue Hadzabe tribe from extinction. Hadzabe is the only remaining community in the country living in bushes and the government will among others, be proving free social services.

With current population standing at around 1,500 living in northern and northeast Tanzania, Hadzabe, are the only tribe in Tanzania which has not transformed their economic activities and ways of living. They gather fruits and live in bushes.

The tribe is on the verge of extinction as their number has been reducing over time due to among others, natural calamities and lack of social services. The situation has prompted the government to provide free services and apparently registering special villages for them in Arusha Region northeast Tanzania.

The Deputy Minister for Regional Administration and Local Government, Mizengo Pinda, said that already the Mbulu District Council has started the registration of the villages. He was responding to the supplementary question at the ongoing Assembly in Dodoma central Tanzania.

The Member of Parliament, Dr Wilbroad Slaa (CHADEMA), wanted to know government efforts to establish villages for the Hadzabe community who for many years have been living in the bush.

Hadzabe community is believed to have a population of between 1,300 and 1,5000 but lags behind in development because of their life styles. The intention of the government was to educate the Hadzabe community so that they realized the importance of farming and livestock keeping, he said.

According to Pindu, the only way to ensure continuity of the tribe was to provide them with social services and encourage them to build durable houses, to keep cattle and engage in farming. The Hadzabe still practice nomadic way of living and live into caves mostly eating meats and fruits.

The Minister could not say when a program was expected to start, but he said plans were in place to rescue them.

The tribe is however, already getting assistance from other organizations including the Canadian Universities Services Overseas (CUSO) which has supported 15 secondary school pupils in the Hadzabe community.