A Brief Overview of the Kilombero District. BACKGROUND Kilombero District is one of five Districts of Morogoro Region, other districts are Morogoro Rural, Morogoro Urban, Ulanga, and Kilosahas The Kilombero District has 400,000 hectares of a plain land suitable for agriculture activities such as farming , fishing, and animal husbandry. Location The District extends from the middle to far south-west of Morogoro Region. It is bordered with Morogoro Rural to the east and Kilosa to north-east. The north and west borders are shaped by Mufindi and Njombe Districts of Iringa Region while at its south and south-east it shares the border with Songea - Rural (Ruvuma Region) and Ulanga District respectively.
Most of the District lies along Kilombero Valley a part of Rufiji Basin which extends below the Udzungwa mountains from its east towards the south-west.
The current population is estimated to be 174,920 people with a birth rate of 3% p.a. The District's workforce is about 70,000 people excluding children, disabled and old people.Topography The greater part of the Kilombero Valley consists of large alluvial plains situated at an elevation of slightly less than 300 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.).
On the basis of topography and the consequent flooding regime the valley may further be divided into "the alluvial lowlands", which are mostly swampy and subject to flooding, and the "alluvial uplands", which form a strip of 6 Km. wide on either side of the alluvial lowlands. These areas are out of reach of yearly floods, and parts of these areas therefore correspond to the most extensively cultivated zones of the farming area. Further up, marked by an escarpment, the sequence continues with the characteristic, humid Savannah consisting of the Miombo Forest. The higher the elevation of the hill sides rise between 700m and 1,700m extending in an east-west direction.
Kilombero District is not a windy area. Winds are generally calm. Only during October and November do some strong winds occur. There is little risks of crop damage.
The alluvial lowlands are covered mostly by heavy clays, which as a result of periodical / permanent flooding, show hydro-morphic characteristics. The development of these areas would require construction of extensive flood protection works and sub-surface drainage therefore these areas are avoided for farming projects.
The alluvial uplands, on the other hand are covered by soil of silt-clay sand. The physical and chemical properties of the alluvial uplands, in which the farm areas are favorable for irrigated crop production. The soil particularly has good water retention capacity and favorable aeration and soil fertility can be expected to be good to excellent.
There exists a 33Kva transmission line from Kidatu Hydro-power station to Ifakara town. Electricity consumption at Ifakara is confined largely to domestic use, small scale enterprises and pumping station. The electricity is reasonably reliable, with very few surges however due to storms in the region electricity failures are common, it could be a precaution by the hydro electric company to shut down during heavy lightning and rain storms. There is a surplus of more than 4,000KW of electricity which can be made available to projects. There is no transmission Line to Ruipa 25Km (Near Kilombero Farms) or Mofu or Mngeta 55Km from Ifakara and other places.
District communication basically is telephone and in the Ifakara area a new new telephone service spread spectrum wireless system is in place, eliminating the need for telephone lines etc. Otherwise most rural communities have no communications, some have HF radio or satellite. Satellite television is available at some guest houses and restaurant / bars, however individual television is seldom available. E-mail services are available in Morogoro and in Ifakara at the Malaria Research Center.
There is 300 Km. of good highway from Dar Es Salaam to Mikumi, from Mikumi to Ifakara there is an 110 km. all weather gravel road. The road from Ifakara to other villages and hamlets need work, presently the government is developing the road to Mofu near Kilombero Farms. There is also a railway line in the area. The rail goes from Dar Es Salaam to Zambia with railways stations along the way in Msolwa, Mang'ula, Kibelege, Ifakara, Ruipa, and within 15 km. of Kilombero farms, Mbingu, Mngeta.
The Kilombero river is filled by more than 10 tributaries. The water flow of the Kilombero river is high and not suitable for irrigation purposes due to vast low plains of the river banks. However the rivers Lumemo, Idete, Ruipa (near Kilombero farms) Mngeta, Kihansi and Mpanga can be effectively utilized if reservoirs are constructed.
The rivers all have large water volume flow rates despite the seasonal differences. The hydrological index of each river in the area is between 4.4 q / meters / per sec. to 23.9 q / meters / per sec.
The climate in Kilombero can be described as tropical to sub-humid favorable for human living. A summary of climate data is presented below.
Four main seasons can be distinguished:
There are fluctuations between day and night temperatures as between seasons. The high temperatures are in the November and December months. The low temp. are observed during the cool dry season, particularly in June when temperature may fall as low as 12ĚC. On the other hand 38 C can be recorded in November.
It is relatively constant during the wet seasons when it generally remains between 70% and 90%. During the hot dry season it may drop as low as 25%.
Annual rainfall in the district is from 1,200 - 1,400 mm. and rainfall in the highlands is 1600 mm. seldom is the rainfall throughout the year in Kilombero district less than 1100 mm.
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