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Ruvuma Region is situated in the Southern part of Tanzania. It is located between latitude 90 35 and 110 south of the equator, longitudinal 340 31 and 38o 10 East Greenwhich. It shares borders with the Republic of Mozambique in the South, Lake Nyasa in the West and Iringa Region in the North and North East. It is also bordered by Mtwara Region to the East.
The Region lies in the Southern Highlands which rise from 300m to 2000m above Sea level. The Western part of the Region is covered by Lake Nyasa which lies within the Western arm of the Rift Valley. To the East of the Rift Valley there are Matengo Mountains ranges which rise up to 2000m. Similarly towards the North there are Lukumburu Mountains whose elevation lies up to 2000m above sea level. South of the Region runs through the lower plains which are dissected by Ruvuma river
Apart from being a Natural boundary between the Republic of Tanzania and Mozambique, Ruvuma River is also an important river in the Southern drainage system. The Ruvuma River drains into the Indian Ocean and it is constituted by several pinnacle tributaries such as Njuga, Likonde, Ngembambili and Lukimwa. Other rivers includes Luegu, Mbarang’andu, Lutukira, Ruhuhu and other many small streams also form the major drainage system for the Region.
Ruvuma Region covers a total area of 64,393 sq kms of which 2,978 sq kms are covered with water leaving a land area of 61,415 sq kms. Out of the land area 54,457 sq kms (89%) are arable land and 6,958 sq kms (11%) are under forest reserves.
1:3 Population Growth and Distribution
According to National census of 2002 the population increased to 1,117,166 (Male 545,547, Female 571,619) from that of 1988, with average annual growth rate of 2.5%. Population projection for the year 2010 (NBS) is estimated to be 1,375,017 people (Male 672,693 Female 702,324) as shown in the table 1.