The Haydom area offers a lot more than just the hospital itself. Ever since the HLH was founded, the hospital has been working on developing the local area. These development programs include agriculture, water supplies, security of food, education and improving of infrastructure. From being an uninhabited area in the 50’s, Haydom village has today become a center for the inhabitants of the region. Today there are about 20.000 inhabitants in the Haydom village, and it is the largest growing and most modern town in the Highlands with an annual increase of 3,8% (census 2002).
The locals sell their self-produce in small stores and bigger markets. HLH’s visitors can also buy imported products here, as many of the small stores in Haydom village offers this.
Every 15th and 29th or 30th (one day before last day of the month) there is a market in Haydom village. You can buy all kinds of things like tools, kibanda’s, household articles, clothes etcetera for modest prices.
The population of the Haydom area consists of different tribes. Some of the tribes have been living in the area for hundreds of years and are still living their traditional lifestyle. Today, most of the tribes are cooperating and are doing business with each other. In addition to the traditional tribes of the Haydom area that are mentioned here, there are also people from other tribes that have moved to Haydom during the last years. You could read more about the tribes and their culture under 4CCP (Four Corners Cultural Programme).
The Datoga tribe is a tribe that always has been moving around. They are pastoralists.
The Iraqw tribe is settled in big parts of the regions Manyara and Arusha. They are agro-pastoralists.
The Hadzabe tribe moves around, and they live in the northern and central part of Tanzania. They are hunters and gatherers, and survive by eating roots, fruits and wild animals.
The Iramba tribe is an ethnic group that lives in northern part of Tanzania. They are agriculturalists.
All Tanzanian will learn the Swahili language at school, but there are still quite a few patients in the hospital that will have problems expressing themselves in Kiswahili and therefore need health care in their own tribal language. Haydom is the only place in Africa where the four major language groups of the continent meet in one place. In the context of language – Haydom is the center of Africa.