is a Biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site. For generations it
has been a major source of the sweet drinking water, traditional small holder
irrigation and power generation for the National Grid. The Pangani Water
Basin Development System also depends on water from Kilimanjaro's rivers
and springs as a major source. Acting as the major climate modifier of the
weather in her neighbourhood, the mountain has attracted many visitors for
various reasons including tourism and has therefore become an important source
of foreign earnings for the Nation. Between 1989/90 and 1996/97 we have had
an influx of between 10,000 and 13,000 tourists annually.
Apart from Mt Kilimanjaro, there are the sister Pare Mountains which are
characterized as the Eastern Arc Mountains; these mountainss are truly ancient
over geoligical time and compared with them, mountains such as Kilimanjaro
are young. These are very old and have had a very stable climate; this has
led to them having a high diversity of species in terms of flora and fauna.
In the Pare Mountains there are a number of forest reserves particularly
for Soil Conservation and Catchment Values.
These Mountains are among the 25 most important "biodiversity hotspots" in
the world for the conservation of animals and plants. The "Hotspot" analysis
recognises concentrations of species and high level of threats.
The Eastern Arc are therefore defined as those ancient crystalline mountains
which are influenced by the climate of the Indian Ocean. The value of the
Eastern Arc Mountains are very high for our nation and globally. They provide
water to a significant geographical area for several major towns, and the
Eastern Arc rivers are used for energy generation. The mountain soil generated
from both the forests and the parent rock are very productive and provide
significant food resources. They provide a pleasant and relatively disease-free
environment for humans and support high human population
The inhabitants of Kilimanjaro and Pare Mountains have now realized, with
deep concern, that the daily activities for their livelihoods have a negative
and deplorable effect on the life of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Pare Mountains.
Their flora and fauna, the catchment area and the potential wetlands on the
foothills of these mountains, are impacted on by agricultural production.
Seven major categories of environmental problems in the Kilimanjaro Region
have been identified. These problems include :
The problems impact negatively
on the economy and well being of the people of Kilimanjaro and the nation
The process of land degradation varies and may not be easily detected or
measured. Its severity can be gauged from the red-brown colour of streams
and infloods as the vital top-soil is washed away from upland areas due to
bad cultivation habits - such as cultivating on slopes of a gradient of more
than 50% without terraces. In other areas, silting of dams and reservoirs
and the barenness of the top soil in many fields are a manifestation of land
degradation. The productivity of soil has been considerably reduced in
many parts of the highland and middle ecological zones of the Kilimanjaro
Region. In lowland areas, overgrazing contributes to land degradation.
Land degradation also results from the removal of woody vegetation, especially
when the removal rate is higher than the rate of regeneration. The closed
dense forests cover is only 14.3 percent of the Kilimanjaro
The remainder of forests comprises mainly household wood lots, coffee farm
tree sheds, street decorations and some areas of thorn-bush. The need for
more land for agriculture, increasing demand on fuel wood and charcoal and
the increased demand for wood for rural and urban industries has created
an unsustainable demand and supply situation.
Environmental pollution in agriculture is mainly due to the use of
agrochemicals and inorganic fertilizers. The pollution arises out of
improper handling and overuse of agrochemicals, use of banned chemicals,
chemical control of migratory pests, etc. The water hyacinth (Eichlora Crasipes)
invasion in Lake Jipe is becoming a threat in the Kifaru River course and
is a serious environmental problem.
Uncontrolled tree felling for firewood and construction, encroachment on
arable agricultural land on the steep slopes of the foothills of the Mountain
and the Upare Ranges, pollution of water supply sources and destruction of
the water catchment systems have deprived many inhabitants in the region
of the benefit of the continued supply of clean and safe water.
From this sequential realisation, we, the people of Kilimanjaro, have decided
to form a Non-Governmental Organistion (NGO) called KILIMANJARO ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT TRUST FUND. This organ shall be executed under
the guidance of the Government, shall involve Government and non-Government
organisations; the Regional Administrative Secretary shall be the Chief Executive