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The Mt. Meru Region

Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,562.13 metres (14,968 ft), it is the fifth highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition.  Mount Meru is located just north of the city of Arusha, in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. It is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, after Mount Kilimanjaro. 

What Life is Like on Mt. Meru

Housing: Housing ranges from houses built of cement blocks to those constructed out of mud and tree branches. 


General Living Conditions: Very few houses have electricity and even then, power is unreliable.  People rely on kerosene lamps or candles for lighting.   Cooking is often done outside in a cooking shed, using wood or charcoal.

The main source of energy for cooking is fuel wood (90%) followed by gas cookers (0.5%).  Only 15% of Tanzanians had access to electric power in 2011, but this rate is increasing.  The electrical supply varies, particularly when drought disrupts hydropower electric generation. 


Most of the women wear the traditional Kangas or variations of that style of dress.  They wrap their babies with the material and carrying them on their backs. Washing clothes is done by hand and left outside to dry.  

On the slopes of Mt. Meru, easy access to water still remains a problem in 2017, although thanks to generous contributions from supporters of the Mt. Meru Tumaini Health Clinic in the United States, 2 wells have been constructed in the area and a new water tank was created in 2016 to allow water collection from a natural spring and then distribution via gravity to people living downhill from the water tank.  Prior to these wells and water tank,  residents had to walk to the river and carry water up to their houses.  

Bananas, coffee beans, avocados and potatoes are common crops you will find being grown on Mt. Meru. To access food and other household and clothing supplies—or to bring crops or other items to sell-- the people in the Ndoombo region of Mt. Meru must travel quite a distance.  Stores are usually located along the main highways along side the road.  

Transportation around the slopes of Mt. Meru and the Dispensary are varied.  Many people walk or push carts, having no other means of transportation.  Motorcycles and trucks of all sizes can be found tearing up/down the main road in front of the Dispensary.  It is a dirt road, so there is a lot of dust flying around when people go by.


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