Mount Kilimanjaro (2018) by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the main source of water for the 40km2 wide area of the Pangani river basin in Tanzania. Known for its incredible biodiversity, Kilimanjaro is also an important source of food, fuel, and building material, as well as a place of great significance for locals.
Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this natural wonder is under threat. Summers are getting hotter and dryer. Winters colder. The level of rainfall on the mountain is decreasing, as is the amount of water flowing down to nearby villages.
LIFE Photo Collection
Mount Kilimanjaro in 1930
Between 1912 (Klute, 1920) and 2000 (Thompson et al., 2002), the snow cap of Mount Kilimanjaro lost 82% of its volume, It has continued to shrink ever since. According to recent scientific studies, you may no longer be able to see the cap of Africa’s highest mountain by 2033.
Kilimanjaro map by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
Sunrise in Shimbwe - aerial view by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
At sunrise, the village wakes up as daylight gradually reveals houses immersed in dense vegetation.
Aerial view of Shimbwe fields by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
A fertile land
Local tribes have been taking advantage of the favorable microclimate to work the land for centuries.
Shimbwe's main street by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
Just after sunrise, the main road bustles. The dusty drive connects the regional capital of Moshi to the National Park’s southern border.
Moto taxi in Shimbwe by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
At the bus station, young drivers wait for the day’s first riders.. Cheap motorcycles from China have made it easier for them to start their moto-taxi businesses.
Woman from Shimbwe by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
Shimbwe is home to the Chagga tribe. Their life depends on the mountain.
Breakfast at Mama Clara's (2018) by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
Mama Clara and her family are having breakfast. The Chagga live a simple life centered around taking care of their land and household.
Chagga song by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
A group of Chagga women and men sing while celebrating a marriage.
Materuni Waterfalls by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
The water problem
The Chagga lifestyle embodies the relative abundance of water they have compared to other parts of the region. Access to water in the village has traditionally been managed by canal committees, but this has become a difficult task as the population increases and water becomes scarce.
Assessing water streams on Kilimanjaro by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
Local institutions organize regular expeditions into the Park to assess water resources and plan for improvements.
Bertin (2018) by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
A night in Shimbwe by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
The night brings calm. After a simple meal, everyone retires to bed, as they will be up again at sunrise.
Shimbwe primary school by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
The education of new generations plays an important role in civic life. At Shimbwe primary schools, students learn as much about math as they do about agriculture and the environment. These children provide hope for the future of this fascinating and endangered region.
Terra by Angelo ChiacchioEphemera documentary
To learn more about Tanzania tribes, see also the story about "The last Maasai in Maji Moto"
This story was created with the support of Art Works for Change, a nonprofit organization that creates contemporary art exhibitions and storytelling projects to address critical social and environmental issues.