Huge Cache of Helium Discovered in Africa’s Rift Valley reports that a “huge” cache of helium discovered in East Africa could ease a decades-long shortage of the rare and valuable gas. Researchers in the United Kingdom and Norway say the newly discovered helium field, found in the East African Rift Valley region of Tanzania, has the potential to ease a critical global shortage of helium, a gas that is vital to many high-tech applications, such as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners used in many hospitals.