Hale in Tansania
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Hale is a municipality in the northeast of Tanzania and is part of the Diocese of Tanga. The Catholic parish has approximately 5,000 members from Hale, as well as 17 outlying areas. Thomas Msagati, 50, is the pastor. Approximately 40% of the residents of Hale are Catholics, 40% are Muslims, and the rest are various indigenous religions.
Hale is situated in a valley about 80km southwest of Tanga (port city on the Indian Ocean, seat of the bishop, and provincial capital) and approximately 400km northwest of Dar es Salam, the capital of Tanzania. In the north of Hale are the Usambara Mountains. The next large city is Korogwe.
Hale is located on a main road (in relatively good condition), whereas the outlying towns can only be reached with four-wheel drive vehicles on dirt roads and trails.
The climate is characterized by rainy and dry seasons. In the dry season (November to March) the daytime temperatures are around 40°C. At night it cools down to about 25°C. In the long rainy season, which generally begins in March, there are strong rains, however the temperatures do not go below 20°C. In September and October there may be another, shorter, rainy season, which sometimes does not happen and which has a big impact on a second harvest.
The soil is relatively fertile in Hale (sandy loam) if enough moisture is present. Large parts of the region are quite arid and are covered with scrub and low bushes. Only a small portion is cultivated. The main source of food and also the main crop is maize, which brings good returns in good years, but is highly dependent on rainfall. Other fruits are sunflower, mountain rice, coconuts, and pineapple. Grains, vegetables, and potatoes do not grow in this region.
Infrastructure of the Region:
Hale is bisected by a small river, the Pangani. It provides non-potable water and is partially delivered through an ailing water system. There is also a deep well near the river, where water can be drawn by hand. Drinking water must always be boiled.
The power grid, to which a few houses are connected, is also ailing.
Several hours of daily power outages are commonplace.
A fixed telephone network does not exist.
Communication is through cell phones, which are widespread.
Tanzania in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzania