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The diocese of the Rift Valley, whose area was once covered by the diocese of Central Tanganyika was formed on 30th June 1991. It covers the administrative area of Singida region, with its headquarters in Manyoni.

It is part of the Anglican church of Tanzania. The diocese has a population of 955,000 of which 61,407 are members of the Anglican church, and includes nine deaneries and 42 parishes.

 

Profile of the Region

The region of Singida is located in the semi-arid central zone of Tanzania, lying between 3.5o and 7.3latitude South and 33.3o and 35.3o longitude East, with an altitude ranging from 900m above sea level in the Rift Valley, to 1500m above sea level on the Rift Valley escarpment.

The region is comprised of four government districts - Iramba, Manyoni, Singida Rural and Singida Town. The whole region has 346 villages, an area of 49,341 square km and a population of around 955,000 (1996 estimate). The area of the diocese of the Rift Valley roughly corresponds to that of the Singida region.

The majority of people in the area are engaged in agriculture and livestock rearing as their main economic activity and means of livelihood. Bullrush Millet and sorghum are the main staple crops, though maize is grown in many areas despite low yields, due to taste preference. There is very low agricultural production in the region, mainly due to low and erratic rainfall, which ranges between 500 and 800mm per annum.There are just two seasons in this part of Tanzania, the long dry season from April to November and the short rainy season from December to April. The region experiences recurrent famine due to low yields in years when there is a severe lack of rainfall and drought conditions. Some cash crops are grown in the region; mainly sunflower and sesame for oil. Some tobacco and cotton are also grown.

The region consists mainly of flat plains, rising to the East and West in the Rift Valley escarpment. Much of the area is covered by Savannah - type vegetation of scattered trees and short grass on poor "mbuga" soil, though in some areas natural, thick miombo woodlands can be found. Over 58% of the region is covered by very poor sandy soil with low fertility and binding properties.Livestock rearing is also widely practiced in the region. There is a total ruminant population of 4.939,100 (1992) including 930,553 cattle, 473,190 goats, 485,297 sheep and 24,068 donkeys. Chickens are also kept by many households. Livestock are kept mainly for cultural reasons and food security.



There are no permanent rivers in the region and only a few lakes which often dry up in drought conditions. Two lakes, lake Eyasi and lake Kitangari contain water all year round.

 

 


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