The Arusha Albino Society (AAS) is asking for donations of mobile phones to allow its members to call for help following a spate of killings of albinos in Tanzania in recent months. An estimated 260 registered albinos live in the Arusha and Manyara regions in northern Tanzania and although so far there have been no killings in either area people affected by albinism still fear for their lives, according to AAS secretary Edward Kivuyo.
Thirty-eight albinos have been killed in Tanzania in the last year according to official sources, although the Tanzania Albino Society (TAS) says the actual figure is probably much higher. Many of the victims are children.
Albinos, who have a congenital lack of pigment in the skin and hair, which are white, and in the eyes, which are normally pink, are widely held by traditional healers to bring good fortune and have recently been targeted for their body parts for use in potions as a result. The problem is particularly acute in the Lake Victoria regions of Shinyanga, Mwanza, Kagera and Mara, where witchdoctors