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Tribesmen condition monkey meat on Tanzania's census

08-25-2012 04:55 BJT

DAR ES SALAAM, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Hadza Bushmen, a tribe living in north Tanzania, has conditioned monkey meat on the upcoming nationwide population and housing census which will begin this Sunday and last for a week.

The census, which is going to be the fifth since Tanzania's independence, has been prepared to kick off and the enumerators have been put in respective places, the Coordinator of National Population and Housing Census, E. Yusobio, told the press on Friday.

However, the Hadzabe community, which lives in some parts of Lake Eyasi basin, in Karatu District, Arusha Region, has demanded monkey meat and illegal brew called "Gongo" as a condition for them to take part in the census.

Officials in the district said they were not going to hunt monkeys or baboons and give to the Hadza people, but were willing to look for zebras instead.

"Under hunting regulations, some wildlife species can not be killed. These include monkeys," the Karatu District Commissioner Daudi Ntibenda said, adding that the government will send a hunting team to get Hadza people Zebra meat for their special census treat on Sunday.

During a meeting between the Bushmen and district officials, members of the Hadzabe community insisted that being small scale subsistence hunters, monkeys have always been their main source of meat.

They were, however, happy with the proposal to get zebra meat.

"We have earmarked 12 counting stations in the area resided by the Bushmen," said Margaret Martin, the Arusha Regional Chief Statistician and Area Census Coordinator.

She said the only way to gather the Bushmen at one location is to provide them with something interesting to eat and use the occasion to collect their data.

Living deep in the forests, the Hadza Bushmen have for years been avoiding enumeration conducted by the government.

In 1975, the number of Hadzabe people in Yaeda was estimated to be around 5,000. But in recent years, according to local researchers, the population has dropped to hardly 1,000.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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