Catholic Diocese of Kigoma


  1. Geographical location and Demography

The Catholic Diocese of Kigoma, which was created in 1953 is found in Kigoma region, in the Western part of Tanzania, along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world (1,470m. deep) after Lake Baiker in Russia. The Diocese covers some 45,066 sq. km, of which 8,029 is covered by water (Lake Tanganyika ) and has over 2,127,930 inhabitants (URT 2012) of whom 524,713 are Catholics. The rest divide among Christians of Protestant and Pentecostal denominations, Moslems and adherents of African Tradition Religions.

Besides the fact that Kigoma growth rate is very high in relation to most regions in Tanzania, there is an added fact that the influx of refugees from the neighboring countries that took place in the early 1990’s especially from DR Congo and Burundi add to the already high growth rate of the population in the region. Currently, Kigoma region has approximately 100,000 refugees who are accommodated in one camps of Nyarugusu.

For the work of evangelization, the diocese is blessed with a number of pastoral agents, working in the parishes, various departments and related institutions. These will include 70 priests, 119 religious women and 29 religious men and about 618 catechists. We also have 54 major seminarians in the various formation houses, inside and outside the country.

District Population Area (Sq. Km)
Males Females Total Land Water Total Area
Kibondo 215,999 229,394 445,393 15,722 336 16,058
Kasulu 350,913 326,409 677,322 9,128 187 9,315
Kigoma (R) 255,631 266,581 522,212 11,545 8,029 19,574
Kigoma Ujiji Municipality 159,725 166,680 326,405 120 0 128
TOTAL 982,268 989,064 1,971,332 36,515 8,552 45,075
  1. Climate.

The climate of Kigoma region is tropical modified by the existence of Lake Tanganyika and topography of the region. The meteorological statistics reveal that the mean daily temperatures range from 15-30⁰C that varies inversely with latitude. The region experiences an average annual rainfall of 600mm as minimum in low altitude along Lake Tanganyika shores and 1600mm as maximum in the forested highlands per year. The distinct wet season begins late October to May with a short dry spell of 2 to 3 weeks in January and February, followed by a prolonged dry season. The heavy rainfall covers 120 days between March and June every year and spreads throughout the region. The light rainfall is received for 60 days and is common from October to December each year. The heavy rainfalls are used for cultivating crops that require more moisture such as paddy and maize. On the other hand short rainfalls are used by smallholder-farmers to cultivate crops that require less moisture and they contribute about 15% of the cereal production.