The word Mto wa Mbu literally means “Mosquito River“. We visited here on our return to Arusha. Leaving the lands that are plagued by drought behind, Mosquito River looks like a desert. Not so however, as this area gets its name from the large number of mosquitos that breed here and sadly the resulting deaths from malaria. There is hope however as people are given access to mosquito nets and taught how to use them. Its encouraging to learn that new mothers are given nets by the clinics they visit before their babies are born. This why we donate to protect them.
There are 120 different tribes living here in this small area. They’ve arrived for various reasons, some from countries that are war torn, while others arrive seeking land as cities swallow their small farms. Its an education to us, as we had no idea there were this many tribes in existence in Africa.,
For the most part ,it seems, the people are self sufficient, raising crops, animals for food and building their modest homes from mud and straw. When a drought comes however, as it does now, their harmony changes. Food is short for themselves and their animals. Many starve and the poverty they face each day worsens. We see aid arriving in the form of maize, all very well organized. Village leaders check the recipients name off a list. No grabbing or pushing here.
Our guide’s name is Sunday. He explains that he is named for the day he was born. He’s very knowledgeable and speaks good English.. He tells us he was sponsored by an Italian couple as a child and has had 15 years of education. Sunday is from the Tatoga Tribe. His tribe lives a solitary life, in a very old and traditional way. They speak only in clicks. Women are very subservient to men, kneeling to present food or just to speak.