KARATU DISTRICT COUNCIL
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Karatu District is one of the six districts in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. It is bordered by the Ngorongoro District to the north, the Shinyanga Region to the west, the Monduli District to the east, and the Manyara Region to the south and southeast. According to the 2002 Tanzania National Census, the population of the Karatu District was 178,434
The Karatu District is administratively divided into thirteen wards;
The economy of the district depends mainly on agriculture. Most of the people are employed by the agriculture industry and livestock keeping. The district grows agricultural crops for cash and food. Cash crops grown are barley, coffee, onion and pigeon pea, and food crops are mainly maize, beans and millet. More than half of the land is farmed with the help of tractors, the rest cultivate using by hand hoe and ox plough. For livestock keeping mainly cattle and goats are used, less also sheep.
The District is borderd on the Northern side by Ngorongoro forest Conservation Area and on the South-eastern side by the Marang’i forest and the Lake Manyara National Park, which have rich natural resources, but also within the district you can find many valuable natural resources.
Lake Eyasi is a shallow endorheic soda lake within the Great Rift Valley. Seasonal water level fluctuations in the lake are dramatic, during the dry season the lake may dry up almost entirely. The principal and only permanent inflow is the Sibiti River; the other inflows are all seasonal. The second largest inflow is the Baray. The water carried by the Baray has increased in recent years due to deforestation of the Crater Highlands.
Even Lake Eyasi has no protected area - just the land at the northern waterside belongs to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area - the lake offers a multitude of wildlife. During their seasonal migration stop here large flocks of flamingo can be discovered.
Large areas of the southern part of Karatu District are covered by Miombo Forest. This forest area is of great importance to many people as it provides many much needed resources, like firewood, charcoal, timber, honey, to them. But the population is increasing rapidly and so the deforestation. Without a regulation of use, increase the awareness of people and introduction of new, sustainable technologies this forest will disappear in a foreseeable future.
In the north-eastern parts you can find forest areas as well as crops in the higher altitudes. The most limiting factor for agriculture in lowlands is low rainfall. Here is dominating pastoralist.