The town of Bomang’ombe is a low density settlement which has grown round an old market on the main Moshi to Arusha road in Hai District, Kilimanjaro Region, in northern Tanzania. Its Swahili name means enclosure (boma) for cattle (ng’ombe). Boma also means village. It lies within 15 kilometres of Kilimanjaro International Airport.
It is the main commercial and administrative centre for Hai District and is growing rapidly: everywhere you look, land is being enclosed and new houses are being built. There is a new bank, a small hotel and a relocated market now operating on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Along the trunk road and on nearby streets, there is a variety of shops and businesses. The Hai local government offices are in Boma (as it is known in short) and there is a new hospital.
Despite this growth, most of the roads remain untarred and in poor condition. Much of the population in Hai District is still engaged in traditional agriculture, growing maize, millet, beans and vegetables, and herding cattle and goats. Household income remains very low.
The rapid growth of the town has led to a problem of water shortage. Previously there was a plentiful supply of good water from Mount Kilimanjaro, but increased demand has meant that availability is intermittent. As a result Aim Hai School has had to install a water storage tank. The Trust is exploring whether it can help the School and its neighbours with a more permanent water supply by means of a borehole.
The population of the urban area of Hai District was around 35,000 in 2012 of which half live in the town of Bomang’ombe itself. There are 117 primary schools in Hai District as a whole and about 30 in the urban area of which 11 are in the town of Bomang’ombe. Of these, 7 are state run and 4 are private or managed by Churches and NGOs. The District Authority Department of Education regulates all schools.
Aim Hai Primary School is one such school. It is located a mile from the main road in an area where many new houses are being built. A School bus helps with transport for those children who live too far away to walk.
Primary schools in Bomang’ombe do not have broadband internet access for use by teachers and pupils, and computer use in town is very low. The Trust and the School together with parents and the community have begun to investigate whether it would be possible to develop the infrastructure and long term management of a broadband internet network for schools in the area.