(Xinhua) -- There was panic in parts
of western Tanzania’s region of Rukwa and Katavi as a 5.7
Richter Scale earthquake jolted the region around Lake
Tanganyika, with tremors being felt deep into Zambia, Tanzania,
Burundi, Congo and beyond.
In Sumbawanga Municipality,
witnesses said the tremors caused lots of fears amongst
residents in the area as some dashed out thinking their houses
were about to collapse.
Maria Kayanda, a resident of Sumbawanga, the headquarters of
Rukwa Region said the tremors were experienced at around 3 a.m.
local time when she was asleep.
"Then suddenly I noticed the house was shaking.
"I quickly rushed out, but I realized that I left my child
inside the house.
"I quickly grabbed my son. Everyone was in a panic," she
Philipo Siulapwa of Kasanga Township, located along Lake
Tanganyika shores said he couldn’t sleep after realizing that it
was an earthquake.
He said that people’s fear were based on what had happened in
north-western Tanzania’s region of Kagera when an earthquake
struck the area, killing more than 100 people, injuring many and
displacing dozens last year.
George Kyando, Rukwa Regional Police Commander, said that the
tremors were highly experienced in areas close to Lake
Tanganyika, though no causalities were reported in relation to
He said that fears were due to bad experiences they have on
what happened in Kagera last September.
Kyando said that it happened at around 3:30 a.m. local time
and people in the area were forced to come outside their houses
as they feared that it would come again.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, early on Friday, a
5.7-magnitude earthquake hit near the Africa’s deepest lake-Lake
Tanganyika, with the epicenter in northern Zambia.
Birds destroy 600 ha of
paddy in northern Tanzania
ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Quelea birds have destroyed
more than 600 hectares of paddy in Tanzania’s northern region of
Kilimanjaro, authorities confirmed Thursday.
Rosemary Sitaki, Same District Commissioner, confirmed the
"We are aware of the new challenge; and we’ve consulted the
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries for the
provision of expertise and pesticides to kill the destructive
birds in the area."
Sitaki said that farmers in Ndung’u Irrigation Scheme located
on the slopes of Pare mountain ranges are highly affected by the
invasive bird species in the district.
She said that the invasive birds threaten food security in
the area located some kilometers from Africa’s highest peak,
The official said that Ndung’u Irrigation Scheme has a total
of 680 hectares, with more than 2,500 small-holder farmers who
are involving in paddy farming.
"The affected area is one of the important areas for
producing quality rice in Kilimanjaro and the country at large,"
the official said, disclosing that the scheme offers employment
to many people in the area.
Halima Shabaan, one of the affected paddy growers in the
area, who said that in just three weeks, the destructive birds
have destroyed almost all farms in the irrigation scheme, posing
a serious food security concerns.
"We are forced to guard the farms throughout the day...we are
not sure if we are going to harvest enough food since the birds
have eaten all the rice," Halima said.
Kapongo Juma, chairman of Ndung’u Irrigation Scheme,
described the birds’ invasion as a "deadly" challenge taking
into account that rice is farming is a live line for many
farmers in the area.
He said that farmers have been deploying a number of workers
to rescue their farms, "but I think they are becoming
overwhelmed with the challenge as these birds are in big
Experts have said that although they prefer the seeds of wild
grasses to those of cultivated crops, their huge numbers make
them a constant threat to fields of sorghum, wheat, barley,
millet, and rice.
The average quelea bird eats around 10 grams of grain per day
- roughly half its body weight - so a flock of 2 million can
devour as much as 20 tons of grain in a single day.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the
agricultural losses attributable to the quelea in excess of 50
million U.S. dollars annually.
Tanzania arrests 13
Ethiopians for illegal entry
ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian police on Tuesday announced to
have arrested 13 Ethiopian nationals for illegal entry.
Wilbroad Mutafungwa, Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander,
said that the illegal immigrants had no relevant documents and
were also said to have established a temporary camp in an area
that is close to the Tanzania-Kenya boarder.
He said the Ethiopian migrants were arrested on Monday, after
the police were informed of their presence at Minoa area, Mwanga
"A good number of police officers had been deployed at the
areas to ensure that non-Tanzanians do not get access to the
country with the exception of those with permits," the regional
police chief said.
Ebrosy Mwanguku, head of the region’s immigration department,
said his office had launched a search for Kenyans who are said
to have crossed into the country through illegal routes in Rombo
He said some of the Kenyan immigrants are working in private
"These teachers cross the boarders every day after classes
were over for fears of being arrested since they do not have
resident and work permits", said Mwanguku.
Statistics from the immigration office in Kilimanjaro Region
showed that to date, more than 259 illegal migrants have been
repatriated after they had entered into the country without
A number of Ethiopian migrants have been using Tanzania as a
gateway to South Africa where they to look for "greener
Tanzania’s northern region
launches 7.5 mln USD HIV/AIDS campaign
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Shinyanga region authorities in northern Tanzania
on Thursday announced a 7.5 million U.S. dollars campaign to
fight new HIV/AIDS infections.
The Shinyanga region authorities will team up with Doctors
with Africa, an international non-profit organization from Italy
and the Shinyanga Catholic Church towards implementation of the
Ariana Bortolani, Doctors with Africa Project Manager, said
more than 300,000 people will be reached through education,
testing and treatment by the time the campaign is completed in
"At least 20,000 patients who will be found infected with the
disease will receive medical care and antiretroviral drugs for
their entire lives," said Bortolani.
Bortolani said initially the project will be implemented in
the Shinyanga municipality, and Kishapu district and other
He said apart from testing and treatment, districts in this
project will also benefit by getting medical supplies and
infrastructure improvement at their health centers and
Shinyanga regional commissioner Zainab Terrack called on
Shinyanga region residents to turn out in big numbers for
HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and treatment during the campaign.
Statistics by the Tanzania National Aids Commission (TACAIDS)
show that Shinyanga region, with 7.4 percent infections, is
fourth in the east African nation’s 30 regions for being
infected by HIV/AIDS.
Njombe region in southern highlands is leading by 14 percent
infections of the disease followed by Iringa region with 9.1
percent and Mbeya region by 9.0 percent.
Tanzania targets 40 per
cent increase in sugar production
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian sugar authorities said on Thursday that
the east African nation planned to increase sugar production
from the current 300,000 tonnes annually to 420,000 tonnes by
Henry Semwaza, Director General of Sugar Board of Tanzania,
said the government has directed sugar factories in the east
African country to increase production of the commodity.
Semwaza was speaking at a meeting that brought together
stakeholders in the sugar industry held in Morogoro region, home
to two major sugar industries.
"We want our sugar factories to expand and construct new
industries in order to increase production to at least to
420,000 tonnes by 2020/2021," he said.
Semwaza added: "Owners of sugar factories will be required to
support small-scale sugarcane growers in order to increase
Tanzania is a sugar deficit country, with four large
factories producing about 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar annually,
leaving a shortfall of 220,000 tonnes that is met by imports.
Currently, there are four sugar factories in Tanzania,
including Kilombero, TPC, Mtibwa and Kagera with a total of
31,000 hectares under plantation management. Combined production
reaches about 2.1 million tonnes, with an average yield of
approximately 68 tonnes per hectare.
Three of the four factories have cane outgrowers with a total
of 27,000 hectares producing about 710,000 tonnes of cane, at an
average yield of about 27 tonnes per hectare.