Chekereni is a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Moshi Town Tanzania. Chekereni-Weruweru Village is in the lower Moshi part of the Moshi Rural district. This is part of the lowland stretching from the foot of the Kilimanjaro mountain to the south.
To date only 20% of all primary school leavers find places in the available secondary schools. Although Moshi, on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro is well developed agriculturally and has had many educational possibilities since the arrival of the missionaries, Chekereni has not benefitted from them. In the past Chekereni was not peopled, almost unknown. The farming families on the slopes of Kilimanjaro used these plains for seasonal farming. Since the 1970’s, as people increased on the mountain, they moved down to settle permanently. Educational and health facilities have come to existence only gradually.
Economic Situation : Kilimanjaro region’s economy and that of Moshi district in particular (with the exception of Moshi urban) is dominated by agriculture. With a land area of 1713 sq. km. and a total population of 504,287 (2002 census), the district’s average population density is 294.4 per sq. km. This is the highest density in the country compared to the national average density of about 30 per sq. km. From these figures it is quite clear that there is scarcity of land in an agriculture based economy. The kind of agriculture practiced as a result, is small holder farming in plots of up to 2 hectares per family owned under freehold lease system. The agriculture and therefore the economy itself is basically subsistence. The main crops grown in the project area are maize, beans, ground nuts and a few fruit trees, especially mangoes and citrus types. In the upper Moshi on the slopes of the mountain, bananas and coffee are grown.
People also keep a small number of livestock, i.e. a few traditional cows, goats, sheep and freely-feeding poultry. Productivity of all these activities however, only suffices subsistence needs of the population. Most of the people and families therefore belong to the low income earning class.
Health and sanitation conditions : There is only one clinic which has very limited facilities and human resources. There is a lack of water with only a small tap with a trickle of water providing water for the area. On inquiry with the Moshi Urban Water supply and Sewerage Authority, they do not have any plan for the providing water in the near future. The Chekereni Weruweru Water Trust is not in a position to supply the amount of water needed as they are having water shortage crisis at present. Thus, the single tap in the whole area with only the trickle of water that it can provide.
Educational situation : In the Chekereni area there is only one primary school. For secondary education, the children have to cross a river and walk a long distance into the town, leaving home very early in the morning, when it is still dark, and getting home at sunset. When the river rises during the rainy season, it is impossible for them to get to school. The need is therefore urgent for a local secondary school.
Although St. Marie Eugenie Secondary School is a boarding school to accommodate the girls who live outside of the area, it is open to day-school students of the surrounding villages. Interviewing the primary school children in the area, they already look forward to one day studying in the new school.