Karatu District Council is one of the seven Councils in Arusha Region. It became an administrative council in 1997. The Council was officially registered in 2000 after general election. The District headquarter is located at Karatu town which is 150 km from Arusha city. The road from Arusha via Karatu to Mwanza and Musoma passes through the town which makes Karatu town active business centre.
The district is located South of the Equator between Latitudes 3º10'4º00'Sand Longitudes 34º47'E-35º56'E. The district is bordered by Mbulu District to the South, Iramba and Meatu Districts to the North West, Ngorongoro to the North and Monduli District and Babati District to the South East.
1.2. Land area
The District is estimated to have an area of approximately 3,300 square kilometers, with Lake Eyasi occupying about 10.6 square kilometers.
1.3 Administrative Structure
Karatu District is divided into four divisions (Mbulumbulu, Eyasi, Karatu and Endabash) with 14 wards, 58 registered villages. 5 Villages are allocated within the Karatu Town Authority
The mandate, roles and functions of the KDC
Karatu District Council was established with effect from the 2000 vide a certificate of establishment under the terms of the provisions of sections 8 sub-section (7) of the Local Government Act, 1982. The KDC functions as provided by the Local Government Act No. 8 of 1982 are:
i.To maintain and facilitate the maintenance of peace, order and good government within its area of jurisdiction
ii.To promote the social welfare and economic well-being for all persons within its area of jurisdiction
iii.Subject to the national policy and plans for rural and urban development; to further the social and economic development of its area of jurisdiction
iv.To take necessary measures to protect and enhance the environment in order to promote sustainable development
v.To give effect to the meaningful decentralization in political, financial and administrative matters relating to the functions, powers, Development Plan (FYDP) possibilities and services of all levels of local government authorities
vi.To promote and ensure democratic participation in and control of decision making by people concerned; and
vii.To establish and maintain reliable sources of revenue and other resources enabling local government authorities to perform other functions effectively and to enhance financial accountability of local government authorities, their members and employees.
Karatu District is divided into four divisions (Mbulumbulu, Eyasi, Karatu and Endabash) , 14 wards and 58 registered villages. The Council is currently having a population of 256,838 of which 131,417 being males and 125,422 females and 48,345 households as per 2012 Census. The District birth rate stands at 3.1%. The average population density is 73.4 persons/km2 with low densities in the western zone along Lake Eyasi (7-10 person/km2) and higher densities (100 persons/km2) in Karatu and Mbulumbulu Division. The District is mostly populated by “Iraqw tribe” being the dominant, Barbaigs being the minor tribe who are pastoralists and Hadzabe who are hunters and gatherers. It is believed that in the long run, Karatu Township will be the second largest tourist town after Arusha city on the Northern circuit.
The climate varies from one area to another in the district. In Eyasi basin the annual rainfall received is between 300mm/ and 400mm/per annum while in Karatu town it ranges between 900mm/ and 1000mm/ per year. In April the rain intensity can be very high enough to cause great erosion. In most places short and long rain are separated by one or two months of slightly less rainfall. The District experiences four seasons which are short rainy-extended from November to December, short and hot dry period from January to March and mid May while the long and cold seasons occurs from June to October
1.6. Agro – ecological zones
Karatu District is divided into three agro-ecological zones namely Highland bordering Ngorongoro, Midland bordering Marang forest and Low lands bordering Lake Eyasi Basin.
It covers Lositete, Upper Kitete, Slahhamo, Kambi ya Simba, Kilimatembo, Rhotia Kati, Kainam Rhotia, Ayalabe, Tloma, Oldeani, Getamock, Buger, Ayalalio, Endonyawe and Makhoromba. Highland zone lies between 1400–2000m above sea level with rainfall range between 600 – 800mm per anuum. It has a clay loam type of soil which allows wheat, barley, coffee; cut flowers, Artemisia, maize, beans and chick peas to grow well.
This zone lies at Chemchem, Kilimamoja, Gyekrum Lambo, Gyekrum Arusha, Gongali, Bashay Qurus, Endashangwet, Changarawe, Bassodawish, Endamarariek, Khusmayi, Endallah, Qaru, Endabash, Kambi ya Faru, Laja and Ngaibara.The zone has an altitude of between 900 – 1400m above sea level, with rainfall of more than 600mm per annum. It has a clay loam sand soil which suits crops like maize, beans, pigeon peas, finger millet, sunflower, sorghum, safflower, and cassava and dolicus lablab to grow well.
Low land Zone
The zone covers the land of Matala, Dumbechand, Jobaj, Mbuga Nyekundu, Qangdend, Endamaghan, Maleckchand, Mang’ola Barazani and Laghangarer. It gets rainfall of more than 300mm. Soil type is that of sand slit loam which allows crops like onions, paddy, maize, sweet potatoes, vegetables and sorghum to grow well.
1.7. Socio-Economic Status
The main economic activities carried in Karatu are Agriculture and livestock keeping which occupies more than 85%.There are no industries. Some people are doing petty business-employed in retail shops that exist in Manyara and Karatu towns, Endabash, Oldeani and Mang’ola trading centers.
1.8. Social and Economic Development
The district per capita income is still estimated to be TSh. 800,000/= per annum, we expecting changes in a short time after the exercise of data and relevant information collected and been calculated for GDP. Other important indicators of development are as follow; literacy rate is 64, population growth rate 3.1, dependency ratio 97, employment in agriculture 61%, livestock keeping 7.49%, office 3.14%, elementary occupation 21.33%, plant operations/assemble 0.37%, Business operation 3%, hand hoes as owned by most people is 79%, while sex ratio is 108, energy consumption (electricity) is 4% and firewood is 96%.
1.9. Infrastructure/ Communication
The District has road networks with total length of 713 km, of which the regional road occupies 253 km. 52km of 253km is tarmac road while 460km are District roads in which 76.3km is gravel and 383.7km are earth roads.
There are 5 airstrips-Manyara, Qurus, Matala, Qangdend and Buger. Only Manyara is the commercial airstrip. There are 548 telephone lines (TTCL) and cellular network operated by Vodacom, Tigo, Zain and Zantel.
The District has an area of 102,573 ha arable land for cultivation. The main cash crops are coffee, onion, wheat, barley, pigeon peas and sunflower while food crops comprise of maize, beans, finger millet and sorghum. The main crops diseases are gray leaf spot, coffee berry, maize leathel necrotic diseases (MLND) and wheat leaf rust. In 2015/2016 the District actual hectors cultivated were 48,197.1 ha for food crops and 27,782.5 ha of cash crops. Production for maize was 81,112.8 tonnes in 2015/16. However the District strategy is to increase production per unit area e.g. maize from the present 8-10 bags per acre up to 15 – 20 bags per acre. Reaching this target, food will be sufficient in the district. The District is putting emphasis on “Kilimo Kwanza” spirit.
1.10.1 Agriculture potentials
The total arable land in the district is 1,025.75 square kilometers which constitutes 31.1% of the total area. The potential land for irrigation agriculture is 6,231ha and the area under irrigation is about 4,050ha.The source of water are Qang’nded, Manyara (Chemchem) and Endashangwet springs. The large area under agriculture is very productive and connected well with rough road (gravel road)
1.10.2. Farm inputs
In the district farmers are advanced in agriculture since 65% of them use the hybrid seeds, industrial fertilizers and tractors in farm preparation. The average production for maize per hector is 3 tonnes in rain fed areas, 5.75tonnes under irrigation areas. This awareness makes Karatu to be the most productive area in agriculture produce in Arusha region.
Trading and Market opportunities
Karatu District is well connected to the road from Arusha via Karatu to Mwanza and Musoma passes through the town which makes Karatu town to be an active business centre. Furthermore the Karatu town is the nearest lodging center for the tourists who visit Ngorongoro Crater and Serenget National park; this environment resulted to high rate of investment in International Hotels and high circulation of money due to arrival of many foreigners.
1.11. Trade and Industries
Trade and Industries activities are growing rapidly due to the fact that the District is in the outskirt of national major commercial city of Arusha as such; both local and foreign investors are attracted by the potential economic opportunities available in Karatu.
Currently, significant number of Karatu residents engaged in trading where as more 2,000 trading entities are in place ranging from retail and wholesale shops; hospitality industries such as kiosks, restaurants and hotels; apartments, boarding houses, lodging and guest houses as well as liquors bars; transport business; banking; bookshops, stationeries and printing; beauty salon and barber shops; professional consultancies; farm implements; butchers; pharmacies; mobile phone shops etc
Industrialization is taking good slow move especially, in small scale industries establishment comparing to medium and large scale establishment. There is 5 small scale industries mainly in processing agricultural and livestock’s produce; 1 medium industry processing and canning milk ( Ayalabe Diary milk industry) . Small scale industries mostly are agricultural produce processors while others use other types of inputs such as coffee.
2.0 Why Investing In Karatu District
Karatu District Council is charged with providing social and economic services to the people in the district.
Our Vision is “sustainability of social and economic Development of people of Karatu”. Our Mission is “To provide social and economic service to the community through efficient and effective use of available resources and contribution of other stakeholders for the wellbeing of the people”.
To reach the above goals the council has set the following top priorities:
2. Water supply
4. Revenue improvement
4. Social and economic infrastructure
5. Employment Creation