People we serve

Projected from the 2002 national census, in 2008 Ngorongoro District was populated by 186,464 people divided over roughly 32 thousand households. This means on average 13 people per square kilometre. The annual growth was estimated at 4.5% (roughly twice as high as country average).

There is no data known about the age distribution and life expectancy of our population. Also key indicators for the health care are not know on district level. As reference we shall therefore mention the Tanzanian averages (data from WHO statistics from 2007):

Age structure:  <14 years: 43%; 15-64 years: 54.1%; > 65 years: 2.9%. The median age is 18 years. Total life expectancy at birth is 50.5 years for males and for female 53.3 years.

The total fertility rate is 4.5 children born/woman. An estimated 43% of all births is attended by skilled personnel. The maternal death rate is reported to be 578 per 100,000 but estimated by WHO at 950 per 100,000. The under-5 mortality rate in rural areas is 138 per 1000 live newborns.


We expect that the age distribution is even lower in our district, and likewise also the life expectancy. The fertility rate is likely higher, the non-medically supervised deliveries is certainly higher, and therefore the maternal death rate will also likely be higher. Also the under five mortality rate is expected to be higher.

The main and indigenous inhabitants of the district are the Maasai (±80%) and the Watemi (also called Sonjos). The Maasai are mainly pastoralists who depend on cattle herding. The Watemi sustain themselves mainly with agricultural activities and are living in Sonjo valley (the area around Digodigo Dispensary). Both groups are therefore extremely vulnerable to periods of long drought. In more recent times there is a big influx of job looking non-indigenous ethnic groups to the area around Wasso and Loliondo. The Maasai and Watemi have quite distinct cultural differences. Language problems are still a serious problem in our district where especially people with a Maasai background have often difficulties expressing themselves in Swahili. Also the districts literacy rate is estimated to be far below the countries average.

On average, the people in our district have little financial means. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in Ngorongoro district was according to the 1998 Arusha Region Socio-Economic Profile one third of the countries average. Extrapolating this ratio to 2008 would mean an average income in Ngorongoro of around 317 euro per capita per year. Financial reserves are within the Maasai population mainly invested in cattle. Periods of drought in which many cattle will die will therefore directly influence their means for living.



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