Place name – Buturi hamlet
Number of villages – Six villages
District name – Rorya Distict
Region name – Mara
Country – Tanzania
Continent – Africa
Current time zone offset – UTC +3.0
Time zone – Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
Population – about 60,000
Altitude – (feet), 3907. Lat (DMS), 1° 25′.
Ethnicity – Luo-imbo
Main language – Luo
Primary trade – Agriculture
Hospital, Pharmacy –None
Nursery, or Pre Primary schools – None.
Community challenges –Clean water, poverty, starvation, drought, education, and health care (see tropical diseases).
Buturi area is situated in Rorya District, in Mara region, off the shore of Lake Victoria, in the North-West of Tanzania. The population is 52,000+. Buturi community comprises 6 villages with a population of up to 9,000 in each. We are based in one of these – Kasino.
The villagers are mainly Nilotic people (from the Nile region), who migrated from Egypt and Sudan some five hundred years ago. They have their own language; Luo, (also known as Luo-imbo) and also speak Swahili (Kiswahili), the only generic African language. English and Kiswahili are the national languages of Tanzania, but few speak English in the villages. They are fishermen and subsistence farmers, typically living in thatched mud huts, without electricity and water. There is no safety net provided by the State, only provided by the extended family, who are experiencing increasing pressure from poverty, starvation, drought and climate change. There has also been a significant loss of manpower.
Like many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Buturi has suffered from a three-fold disasters of Malaria, AIDS and drought. Twenty-five years of AIDS has decimated the community, so that we tend to see the very young and old with the stronger, more capable generation missing. The older generation struggle to bring up their orphaned grandchildren. Buturi is an area typical of this situation. The overriding impression for visitors to the area is one of struggle, sacrifice and hopelessness.
Although Buturi is a remote area in North-West Tanzania, it is surprisingly accessible. There are scheduled flights to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) from most major cities. The Kilimanjaro International Airport is close to the towns of Arusha and Moshi and the snow-capped mountain of Kilimanjaro. There are scheduled flights by Air Tanzania from Kilimanjaro Airport to Mwanza, or Musoma.
Musoma is a town on the shores of Lake Victoria, where there is a reasonable hotel. Buturi is about forty five minutes from Musoma by car. Alternatively, you can fly to Nairobi (Kenya), and travel by road, crossing the border into Tanzania at Isebania (approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Tarime). Accommodation can be provided in the village for the intrepid traveler and you will be made very welcome, but it is very basic.
Buturi is 18 miles from Lake Victoria, (Named after Queen Victoria). The lake is half the size of England and teems with Nile perch – huge, fearsome looking fish. To the south of the area is the Serengeti – one of the largest wildlife parks in the world. The official entrance to the park is at Bunda which is about 40 miles from Buturi where one can witness the migration of various animal species. The villages are surrounded by huge, strange-looking rocks: the home of baboons and monkeys. The rocks are glacial moraine. A great Geological site.