Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Hadzabe community living in a remote Eyasi valley in Karatu district, Arusha region is facing a serious food crisis, frightening the survival of a rare ethnic group.
An indigenous hunter-gatherers community depends on wild fruits; roots, honey and wild meats as its staple food, but farming, tree felling for charcoal and mining activities in Eyasi valley have robbed them natural forestry, a key source for their foodstuff

Now the hadzabe says that the situation has worsened food insecurity in the community as sometimes they go to bed up to three days without eating.

The hadzabe  boma leader Kankono Mkanga said that the farmers and miners have reduced their forestry, keeping the fruits and wild animals out of their reach.

“We are close to starving because no one is care about our situation. We normally used to get food aid from various churches and tourists but this year we haven’t seen anyone” says Kankono

According to a hadzabe woman Ngake Mtawona ,their ancestors land alienation by farmers, miners and livestock keepers has reduced the community to a permanent beggar.

"We are starving, all the animals have disappeared and we Hadzabe only feed on meat."  an old man who was making arrows from sticks explained through an interpreter. His wife, Ntale Nzale was keeping a tin of maize flour in their grass hut

She explained that at the moment they are forced to go begging as far as Mang’ola barazani and  Endamaga villages where they end up getting onions, which do not constitute their traditional foodstuff.

“So we are compelled to eat onions as a staple food rather than dying of hunger. We call upon government and any other well wishers to come up and rescue our community from being perished of famine” she noted. 

Eyasi Division officer, Laanyun Ole Supuk admitted that the hadzabe population  is under threat due to food insecurity, appealing to the government to supply the community with emergency food as soon as possible.

Supuuk said that the major problem of Hadzabe is their traditional lifestyle, which does not encourage keeping food stock.

“I think if they get eighty tones of maize it will help the until the high tourism season starts few weeks, normaly when tourists visits them they donate some money for their survival “Supuk  added.

 The Hadzabe, who live in small groups are believed to be less than 1,500 in total in Tanzania. This unique community is the closest cultural relative to the San Bushmen of the Kalahari in Botswana.
Naftal Zengu Kitandu, 58, a Hadzabe and Eshkesh  Ward civic leader, said the Hadzabe bush people's population has dwindled from 5,000 in 1990s to as few as 1,500 this time around.
"Invasion by other tribes from Mwanza, Karatu and Shinyanga who bring along herds of cattle and introduce farming in the valley has been threatening the survival of Hadza people who only depend on fruits, roots, honey and small animals for survival," Mr. Kitandu explained.
 Aliens' invasion, according to the Mongo-wa-Mono Ward representative, Mr. Bryson Magombe, has been destructive to the environment leading to the disappearance of most wild animal species, natural vegetation and water sources thus endangering the lives of the Hadza.


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