When the first explorers came to Zaramo country, they found it sparsely populated. In some areas, villages were few, and there were vast open plains with abundant wildlife. Early explorers described the Zaramo houses as haycock shaped and made of grass. Today all houses are rectangular, made with a framework of poles tied into place and plastered over with mud. The roof is thatched with grass or reeds or woven from coconut-palm leaves. The more prosperous Zaramo today have concrete floors, plastered walls, and corrugated iron roofs. Where people live has always depended largely on the water supply; vast areas are uninhabited because of water scarcity. Zaramo villages are small and do not give the appearance of developing into towns.