Singida Region

Singida is one of the regions of Tanzania. The regional capital is the municipality of Singida. The region is bordered to the north by Shinyanga Region, Simiyu Region and Arusha Region, to the northeast by Manyara Region, to the east by Dodoma Region, to the southeast by Iringa Region, to the southwest by Mbeya Region and to the west by Tabora Region.

Singida Region

Mkoa wa Singida  (Swahili)
Location in Tanzania
Coordinates: 05°30′S 34°30′E
  Regional CommissionerDr. Rehema Nchimbi
  Total49,340 km2 (19,050 sq mi)
  Land48,345 km2 (18,666 sq mi)
  Water95 km2 (37 sq mi)
  Density28/km2 (72/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)026
WebsiteRegional website

The region has seven districts, Singida Rural, Singida Urban, Manyoni District, Ikungi District, Itigi District, and Mkalama District.

Singida Region is accessible from Arusha through Babati and Katesh in Manyara Region. From Dar es salaam, Singida Region is reached through Morogoro and Dodoma. From Mwanza, the region is reached through Shinyanga and Nzega. All these roads are passable all year round with good quality tarmac.

Geographical location

Singida region is located below the equator between latitudes 3052’ and 7034’. Longitudinally the region is situated between 33027’ and 350 26’ east of Greenwich. To the north, it shares borders with Shinyanga Region; Arusha, Manyara and on the east borders Dodoma. To the south it shares borders with Iringa and Mbeya while on the west there is Tabora Region.

Singida region has a total surface area of 49,438 km2, out of which 95.5 km2 or 0.19 percent are covered by water bodies of Lake Eyasi, Kitangiri, Singidani, Kindai and Balengida. The remaining 49,342.5 km2 is land area. Singida region is deemed to be neither small nor big. It is the 13th in size and occupies about 5.6 percent of mainland Tanzania's total area of 881,289 km2.


In regard to climate there are two key features which are temperature and rainfall. The region forms part of the semi-arid central zone of Tanzania, which experiences low rainfall and short rainy seasons which are often erratic, with fairly widespread drought in one year out of four. Total rainfall ranges from 500 mm to 800 mm per annum, with high geographical, seasonal and annual variation. There are two rather well defined seasons, the short rainy season during the months of December to March or sometimes goes to April and the long dry season from April to November.

The wetter areas in Singida region are along the escarpment near Kiomboi in Iramba district and in the south-west of Manyoni district near Rungwa, where the long-term mean annual rainfall exceeds 800 mm. The mean annual rainfall is in the range of 600 mm to 800 mm over large areas of Iramba and Singida districts. On the eastern side of Manyoni district near the Bahi Swamp and the Rift Valley depression of Mgori and Shelui divisions lies the drier area in the region where the mean annual rainfall is less than 550 mm. The regional mean annual average rainfall is 700 mm.

The temperatures in the region vary according to altitude but generally range from about 15 °C in July to 30 °C during the month of October. Moreover, temperature differences are observed between day and night and may be very high, with hot afternoons going up to 35 °C and chilly nights going down to 10 °C.

Winds follow a monsoonal pattern being north-easterly during the months of November to March and south-easterly for the rest of the year (dry season). In May to October, the winds are usually dry and contribute to the semi-aridity of the region. The fact that maximum wind velocities coincide with the period of greatest water deficiency underlines the climatic impact of these winds on moisture losses and hence desertification.


The economy of Singida is based heavily on agriculture. Most of the population, including children, work extensively on the farms during the rainy season which is between December and March. [1] The region is mostly rural with 95% of the population being land production. Agriculture makes the region 60% of the total income. Besides Agriculture, other main productive sectors include, livestock, natural resources, mining industry and trade.[2]

The main food crops in Singida region include maize, millet, sorghum, paddy, cassava and sweet potatoes. These crops are cultivated during the rainy season.[1] Some of the cash crops include sunflower, cotton, tobacco, wheat, beans, groundnuts, peas, and onions.[2] The grazing area in Singida makes up 40% of the region however, 80% of the area is infected with Tse-tse fly, leaving only 20% grazeable.[2] Overgrazing is caused by small amount of land grazeable in the region which decreases livestock productivity.

Singida has a large number of livestock with around 1.4 million cattle, 0.7 million goats, 0.4 million sheep, 42,00 donkeys and 1.1 million chickens.[2]Livestock ranks 2nd as major resource for the economy.[2] This includes, livelihood, and beef export which is a major trade domestically and nationally. Other contributions for the economy are mining, commence, and natural resources consisting of agro-forestry, wildlife, bee keeping and fishing.[2] The region has a minimal contribution of Industrial production and commercial activity. However, research has shown potential growth in business and small scale industries with local skill from people. Singida has a progressive increase to the GDP income for the country of Tanzania. It contributes 3% to the government of Tanzania's GDP.[2]

The socio-economic status in Singida is decently well. In most cases, Singida positively exceeds national standards as far as infant mortality, health unit ratio to population, and maternal mortality rate.[2] The region has a under developed primary and secondary education. There are only 351 primary and secondary schools within the population.[2]

Employment in Singida is generally undertaken upon the people themselves.[2] The youth and middle age group are considered the most economically active. Most occupations are dominated by men. Women predominantly work in the field with farming.[2] The majority of employed people are in the rural area of the region.[2]

Cultures and Ethnic Groups

Singida region is home to over one million residents. There are a number of different inhabitants that occupy this region. One ethnic group of this region is known as the Turu people, it is the most prominent ethnic group in the region as they currently have a world population of over 1,000,000 members with most of them residing in the Singida region.[3] This group mainly practices Christianity and also a form of animism as worship of the sun plays into their lives being heavily dependent on agriculture.[3] The Turu also rely heavily on grain production for the purposes of acquiring cattle, which is a very important commodity to the Turu.[4] They primarily produce crops like uwele, maize and matama and The Turu rely on wives in the community to harvest crops and they are huge component of the Turu economy, as such bride wealth via cattle is often arranged in order to obtain a bride.[4] Nyamwezi people are a tribe who's ancestral home are in certain parts of Singida. This tribe survives off of cereal agriculture producing primarily crops like sorghum, millet, and rice.[5] The Nyamwezi have matrilineal descent groups. Ancestral worship is also integral to the Nyamwezi and they also look to high gods and spirits for guidance.[5] The Isanzu people are based in the Iramba district of Singida region. The Isanzu speak a Bantu language called Kinyihanzu and the population is approximately 87,000 people.[6] The Isanzu are also farmers who survive off of sorghum, millet, and maize.[6] Some Isanzu are also migrant laborers in other parts of the country; and they also have matrilineal descent. The Datooga people also live in certain parts of the Singida region and as of 1996 there are approximately 100,000 Datooga people.[7] They mainly practice Christianity but have strong adherence to traditional practices rooted in animist beliefs. This entails relying on rainmaking, and sorcery, and strong respect and deference for ancestors who are looked to for spiritual guidance.[7] The Datooga primarily speak the language Datooga and are a formerly nomadic people, now many rely on agriculture and farm crops like maize, beans and millet. This group also practice polygamy and rank wives based on order of marriage.[7]


The two main political parties representing the Tanzanian government are the TANU (Tanganyika African National Union) [8] and CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi)[9], which the presidents have five year terms and can be reelected once. Singida Region is run by a town council led by a regional commsioner. The education system in Tanzania is government-based and has three levels of education starting with primary (seven years), secondary (4-6 years), and college. Tanzania government considers Singida as "bushest of the bush" as no development occurs here. It has low education, the rain is unreliable with poor soil which creates droughts and flooding.


The region is administratively divided into six of the Districts of Tanzania (note: the regions changed between the 2002 census and the 2012 census so the figures are not directly comparable):

Districts of Singida Region
Map with main roads in green District Population (2012) [10] Population (2002) [11]

Iramba 236,282 368,131
Ikungi 272,959 -
Manyoni 296,763 205,423
Mkalama 188,733 -
Singida District 225,521 401,850
Singida Municipality 150,379 115,354
Total 1,370,637 1,090,758


In Singida town (i.e. Singida municipal district) and Singida Rural District, the main tribe is the Nyaturu. The town is also home to immigrants from different parts of Tanzania. Iramba district belongs to Nyiramba tribe and Manyoni district belongs to Gogo and a few of Nyaturu tribes.

The photo below features one of the Chief Saidi Gwau's wife Bibi Nyamwagele of Samumba. Gwau was chief of Singida South around the 1940s, after he died his brother Chief Mange Gwau took over the crown until after Tanzania's independence, when chief leadership was abolished. The Gwau family is well known in Singida for the Nyaturu tribe development. Bibi Nyamwagele died in 2004.



Singida has a railway station on a branch off the Central Railway of Tanzanian Railways. It is a branch terminal. The railway from Singida joins the Central line at Manyoni.


Most roads in Singida Region are unpaved. As of 2012 a new asphalt road was completed between Singida and Dodoma. There is also an asphalt road built between Singida and Mwanza.[12]


Singida has a public airstrip located west of the town named HTSD airport. [13]

See also


  1. Philips, Kristin (2018). Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun.
  2. Tume and Arusha, Ya Mipango and Region (1997). Socio-economic profile. Regional Commissioner's Office.
  3. Project, Joshua. "Turu, Nyaturu in Tanzania". Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  4. Liebenow, J. Gus (1961). "Legitimacy of Alien Relationship: The Nyaturu of Tanganyika". The Western Political Quarterly. 14 (1): 64–86. doi:10.2307/443932. ISSN 0043-4078.
  5. "Nyamwezi | people". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  6. Project, Joshua. "Isanzu in Tanzania". Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  7. "Cultural Profile of the Datooga People of Tanzania". Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  8. "Tanganyika African National Union", Wikipedia, 2019-10-13, retrieved 2019-12-02
  9. "Chama Cha Mapinduzi", Wikipedia, 2019-11-05, retrieved 2019-12-02
  10. National Bureau of Statistics 2012 Census
  11. National Bureau of Statistics 2002 Census
  12. "Singida Roads Network" (PDF). Tanroads. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  13. "Singida Airstrip", Wikipedia, 2018-07-28, retrieved 2019-12-02
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