Kyela is one of Mbeya Region’s seven districts. Kyela District Council was re-established in 1984 after a series of events that led to the enacting of the Local Governments Act No. 7
(District Authorities) of 1982. It is one of the 8 Councils in Mbeya Region (7 District Councils and 1 Municipal Council).
Kyela District is located in Mbeya Region’s southern end. Mbeya itself is located in southwestern Tanzania. The district lies between 35º 41º and
30º longitudes East of Greenwich meridian and 9º 25º and 9º 40º latitudes south of Equator. Kyela borders with Makete district of Mbeya and the Ludewa
district of Iringa region in the east, with Ileje district in the west, and with Rungwe district in the North. On the south of the district, Kyela borders with Lake Nyasa and the republic of
Climate and Vegetation
Kyela lies in the flood plains of Lake Nyasa and receives heavy rains of about 2000-3000mm per annum. The main rainy season is between November and June, with the heaviest rainfalls usually
occuring in April and May.
The district has a warm and humid climate, with mean daily temperature of 23ºC. The natural vegetation is of tropical savannah forest and grass, with lagoon vegetation on swamps and the
mouths where the rivers feed the lakes.
Kyela District has a total population of 174,470: 47.7% (83,342) male and 52.3% (91,128) female.
Lake Nyasa is the largest water body in the district. It is shared by Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique. The district also posseses four large rivers, namely Songwe, Mbaka, Lufilyo, and
Kiwira, and many streams, namely Mkalizi, Kampala, Mgaya, Chiji, Kandete, Masukila, Njisi, and Kubanga. Kingili Crater Lake and Kilambo Hot Springs are other water sources in the district.
Forest reserves cover 29,433 hectares in the district. The areas under government reserves include Busale, Ikomelo, Kabulo, Kasumulu, the Livingstone Mountain Ranges, Lugela, Nakaba,
Kigalimu and Masukulu, Masoko. Woodland and grass land covers an area of 16,450 Ha.
Kyela is famous for its quality rice. Market vendors all over the country often advertise their rice as coming from Kyela (even
when it doesn’t).
Cocoa is another one of Kyela’s main agricultural products. There is also a wide variety and abundance of fruit in the district: mangoes, oranges,
bananas, pineapples, avocadoes, coconuts, and guavas.
Although there are currently no manufacturing industries in Kyela, the district is growing rapidly, and these may soon appear. In particular, the red palm oil processing industry is in its
last stages before opening. Other industries with potential for the district include cocoa processing (heat-treating, roasting, and oil extraction) and fruit processing (eg. canning, drying,
wine-making, power generation etc.).
The presence of Lake Nyasa means the existence of many beaches, including Matema, Kafyofoyo, Kajunjumele, Ngonga, Bujonde, and Mwaya. These are reputed to be the most beautiful beaches in
For the artistically-minded tourist, Ikombe Village and the Lyulilo Pottery Market boast of pottery of a quality rarely seen in other areas of Tanzania or East Africa.
Traditions and culture
Historically, traditional beliefs in the district subjected women to do more work in a day than men. Women still contribute a large amount to the welfare of the family. It is an unfortunate
fact that they are deprived of their rights and mistreated in many ways. For instance, although women contribute a lion’s share in agricultural activities, their participation in deciding on
the use of family income is negligible