THE CENSUS

The Express reported on 24th August that the ‘National Population and Household Census’ which took place in August had had to be extended by a few days in order to give time for all returns to be completed.

Census officers faced a variety of unexpected problems. In Mbulu District the hunter-gatherer Hadzabe people requested the provision of bhang, illicit brew, monkey meat and cigarettes before they agreed to be counted. The local Council offered to provide zebra meat but the Hadzabe refused to accept this saying they were not used to it. Eventually the Council provided them with monkey meat also. About 100 Hadzabe thanked the Government for considering their request and said the gesture had succeeded in bringing them together to be counted. Their request for bhang and illicit brew was not acted upon. Clan leader Salbogo Dofu asked the Government to allocate them special areas in order to avoid interference with the regular livestock and farming activities which destroyed their natural food. The reserved area should contain the fruits, roots and animals that they normally ate. According to the 1988 census there were 1,000 Hadzabe in the area but the number had since been reduced to about 800. They lived mostly in caves and were found in Karatu, Mbulu, and Ngorongoro districts in Arusha Region.

Some Maasai people maintained that being counted was against their customs and ten Italian tourists in Zanzibar refused to be counted on grounds that they were foreigners and were just travelling in the country. It took the hotel management half an hour to persuade them to comply with the rules.

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