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Tanzania – Life in the “Ghetto”

Arusha, Nov 24, 2008 (Arusha Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) —
When sections of Arusha are improving and featuring characteristics of a modern town, larger parts of the urban area are fast deteriorating to sprawling filthy and stinking slums.

More and more people now find themselves living in mud shacks, without toilet facilities, water, electricity or even an access road to the shacks they call homes.

A survey by the Arusha Times has found out that if the Local Government does not intervene with basic planning activities now, in the next 10 years Arusha will be nothing but a mega slum with a small neat area east of Goliondoi and Afrika Mashariki roads to show visiting dignitaries and tourists.

Areas that are already unbearable with expansive slums, the like of Kibera in Nairobi, include Unga Limited, Ngarenaro, Kijenge, Majengo, Sanawari, Mianzini, Daraja Mbili Lemara, Sinon, Sombetini, Elerai and Mbauda. Arusha with an estimated population of 400,000 is surrounded by appalling slums in all directions unlike other cities which have shanty towns only in one or two sides of the main planned areas.

The worry of many people is that the scenic hills north of the municipality would soon be a densely populated labyrinth of shacks that will pose a threat to water sources. The trend according to John Mollel of Mianzini is that “you leave for work in the early morning and when you come back in the evening you find five shacks that have been built within hours and already occupied by families of no less than six people each.” The demand for shacks is high due to heavy migration to Arusha of people from other parts of the country seeking jobs.

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