Musoma sits on the eastern edge of Lake Victoria not far from the Kenyan border. It lies around 1,200 meters above sea level. Musoma (which means peninsula) was started in the 19th century by German as a fortification post. After independence Musoma was declared as regional headquarter of the newly–formed Mara region. The population is about 115,000, although estimates vary widely.
A tarmac road links Musoma to the city of Mwanza in the south as well as to Sirari at the Kenyan boarder. By water you can also reach the Kenyan and Ugandan shore and there are regular flights to Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.
Mara is one of the 26 regions of Tanzania. Musoma serves as the Region's capital. The population of the Mara Region is about 1.4 million in 250,000 Households over 29,000 km² (⅓ Lake Victoria, ⅓ Serengeti). 90% of the population work in agriculture and produce 60% of the GDP (gross domestic product), which consists of is cotton, coffee, tobacco, and peanuts as well a very high cattle density.
Nearly the entire population depend on fuel wood for domestic use.
Almost 50% of these people are living below the poverty line. Most people in the region survive by means of small scale primitive farming and fishing.
Mara's population has one of the highest Malaria and HIV/AIDS rates in Tanzania as well as mortality rates for infants and children under five years old.
Only 1 % of national investment in Tanzania reach Mara region.
At 68,870 km² Lake Victoria is the second largest sweet water lake of the world. It is located 1,134 meters above sea level, but is only 82m deep.
In Lake Victoria 550 different fish species can be found, mostly varieties of perch.
1960 the Nile perch was introduced in Lake Victoria as a species to support the local fish economy. The problem is that this predatory fish eats many other fish leading to a dramatic decrease in the variety of fish species.
The water hyacinth also covers a large area of Lake Victoria's surface, the very dense population around Lake Victoria causes a lot of water pollution and the lake suffers under poverty of oxygen. All of these factors lead the Global Nature Fund to declare Lake Victoria the most menaced lake in the world in 2006.