The upcountry trip to the under-served communities in some parts of Tanzania, was another episode of untold Tanzanians’ touching lives account.
However, I, driver and CARE International in Tanzania programme manager, had to drive down few miles along the roads from Morogoro to Simanjiro, and having already weighed up what our destinations would look like, the trip was exciting ever.
Residents of Korongo village found at Simanjiro District, gave me every fresh concern why I should care much about life of those communities.
Well, the story of the Korongo is not quite different from those of Kisaki (Morogoro) and Zambia-Kiteto (Manyara) of which I visited.
About CARE International in Tanzania
CARE Tanzania is a Non-Governmental International Organization (NGO) registered and conducting its activities in Tanzania since 1994 in response to the influx of refugees into the north-west due to the crisis in neighboring Rwanda. From 1994 through 1996, CARE provided food, water, sanitation, shelter and health care to 500,000 refugees. Since then and over 25 years, CARE Tanzania has expanded and developed innovative projects in education, health, microfinance, agriculture and environmental programmes across most regions of the country where its programmes are designed to specifically address the needs of poor and vulnerable people with more focus on women and girls.
Ardhi Yetu Programme (AYP II) is one of the significant strides made by the organization to stimulate socio-economic changes to achieve desirable Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especial goals number 1, 2, 5, 13 and 15 which focuses on eradicating poverty, hunger, food security, nutrition, promoting sustainable agriculture, climate change, gender equality and women’s empowerment.
CARE International in Tanzania is implementing AYP II in collaboration with the Government through the Ministry of Land, the Vice President Office environment unit, various departments and NGOs in addressing land rights, climate change and putting in place better plans for better use of land for pastoralist and farmer communities.
The organisation’s main partners in the implementation of AYP II are HAKIARDHI in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) in Arusha and Parakuiyo Pastoralists Indigenous Community Development Organisation (PAICODEO) located in Morogoro.
About Ardhi Yetu Programme
In May, 2018 the the program officially began and it covers 11 districts; Kiteto, Simanjiro, Chemba, Iringa rural, Kilolo, Mufindi, Kilombero, Morogoro District, Morogoro rural, Mvomero and Kilosa. Apart from addressing land issues, phase two integrate land issues and climate change resilience and adaptation measures.
The project is taking place after the phase out of AYP I which was a four years project that started in 2014 to 2017. AYP I focused on addressing challenges over the land sector in the country.
This aims at helping communities through use of traditional and scientific measures in addressing climate change. Along with climate change the project takes consideration of Gender Sensitive climate vulnerability and Capacity Assessment while developing Community Adaptation Action Planning and Implementation (CAAP).
In this program CARE International has been able to build the capacity of HAKIARDHI, TNRF and PAICODEO which has helped pastoralist and farmer communities to take action in addressing land rights, climate change and setting better land use plans.
The program has brought about significant changes for farmers and pastoralists as these communities are now empowered to address their land rights, adapt to climate change and manage better land use planning to avoid conflicts between them.
The success of AYP II appealed my fun-filled trip to Kisaki (Morogoro), Zambia village in Kiteto District, Olcholonyori and Korongo villages in Simanjiro District, Manyara.
This trip enabled me to witness the some changes in the understanding and attitudes that citizens have held as a result of the implementation of the programme.
Kisaki Village (Morogoro)
CARE International in Tanzania in collaboration with HAKIARDHI has reached the Kisaki community through AYP II. In such village, the partners have successfully provided training on land issues including land laws and rights, women’s rights to land ownership and climate change.
HAKIARDHI Executive Director, Cathbert Tomitho says through Land Rights Monitors (LRMs), AYP II has successfully provided land and climate change training to the community members in Lugalo, Ipilimo, Lukolongo, Ijia, Chita, Kisaki, Lundi and Mngazi.
He says Land Rights Monitors are ordinary citizens who have received training from HAKIARDHI on how to manage land issues to solve the challenges face the community. Also, AYP II has successfully established community-led land laboratories that help provide services in areas where county and district land councils cannot reach.
“We are proud as an institution due to the implementation of this program as it has largely helped raise awareness among citizens on issues of land rights and climate change. The good cooperation between us and Care International in Tanzania has greatly helped to achieve this success,” said Tomitho.
Kisaki village Land Rights Monitor, Omary Kindamba, said 10 years ago HAKIARDHI came to the village to explain the activities they are doing with the aim of finding representatives who will provide assistance in matters of dispute and land rights.
He said several years later, HAKIARDHI in collaboration with CARE International in Tanzania, conducted various trainings and seminars on land law, good governance, environmental protection, climate change, conflict resolution and women’s rights.
He further said the seminars focused on pastoralists and farmers communities and helped change attitudes and raise awareness on various issues. “Before receiving these seminars, we did not have clue about land rights issues. Example; legally the village has the right to give up 49 acres of land, if it exceeds the limit, that right goes to the top hierarchy,” said Kindamba.
He said the lack of education led to the villagers being deprived of their land on the basis of investment.
“Example; someone comes to the village, introduce himself an investor and urge to be given a portion of land, with various lucrative promises he/she makes, villagers are easily convinced and give away their land without realising the consequences while being under false belief that if they need it they can still have it back and thus every day, for that reason, there are ceaseless conflicts between citizens and investors.”
“Residents of Kisaki thank HAKIARDHI for cooperating with CARE International in Tanzania for reaching out to us with this significant training. It has really helped us becoming aware of legal issues and our land rights can never be infringed,” said Kindamba.
He said after receiving the training, he set up a land class to teach other villagers, of which has helped to spread the knowledge to many community members in the village. He also opened a land library that villagers use to read books and brochures on land laws and rights.
“After receiving this training, I decided to train my fellow villagers too. I used various groups, sports venues to reach out to many and opened land library in my own home to make it easier for people to read different books and brochures that I obtained from attending HAKIARDHI seminars, ”said Kindamba.
One of the students who benefited from the land classes from Kindamba, Lucas Lipewa said HAKIARDHI and CARE International in Tanzania have helped them by providing them with such training as they are currently not deprived of their land.
“I am the first student in the land class under Kindamba and being a victim of land disputes, I was attracted to join his class. I lost a sibling who was killed by land disputers, so this class has come to free me and so my community from land woes,” emotionally-charged Lipewa hinted.
“From that training, I am aware of my rights as a woman and of other women in my community. I have also received training about sexual harassment and now I can fight for my own rights and that of my family,” said Kisaki resident, Ashura Mponda.
Zambia Village-Kiteto (Manyara)
CARE International in Tanzania in collaboration with the Parakuiyo Pastoralists Indigenous Community Development Organisation (PAICODEO) have successfully reached several villages in Kiteto district in Manyara region, one of which is a Zambia village.
Through AYP II, such partners were able to provide climate change training and enable them to access climate information where PAICODEO in collaboration with the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), provided training on the importance of climate information in relation to agriculture and animal husbandry.
Through AYP II, PAICODEO encouraged the use of traditional weather forecasts in order to understand how to prepare for the rainy seasons. The people of the village were trained on the effects of land disputes which led them to take various steps including forming groups to provide training on the effects of such conflicts.
PAICODEO Program Officer, Emmanuel Ole Kileli said the organisation started implementing AYP II in 2018 in four districts of two regions which are; Morogoro (Mvomero, Kilosa and Morogoro Rural) and Kiteto Manyara Region.
In the implementation of AYP II in the mentioned districts, PAICODEO has worked with more than 30 women groups where farmers and pastoralists are present to provide them with training on land management, climate change, natural resource management and the environment,” said Ole Kileli.
Kisio Kiteka, Chairperson of the Umoja wa Kinamama Zambia (UMAZA), said the training they received from PAICODEO has helped them grow economically as they have successfully set up money-lending groups and run small-scale projects.
“The training provided by PAICODEO in collaboration with CARE International has helped us to establish UMAZA that is responsible for entrepreneurship, savings and credits and better use of financial resources,” said Kisio.
She further added that UMAZA was established in 2018 after receiving training from PAICODEO by depositing Sh1000 per week per member, after earning a certain amount of money they decided to draft a constitution and register the group and later open a bank account.
“After a while, we saved some money from PAICODEO training perdiems up to Sh 200,000 which helped us start a sunflowers growing project but due to the delay in planting, we managed to harvest only two sacks, later we gave a shot into another project of lending Dar es Salaam-purchased vitenge among members, the venture which is yet running. Our capital is very limited and so we urge stakeholders to continue help us, “says Kisio.
Talking about how they have been provided with training to address land disputes between farmers and pastoralists, a member of the Village Dispute Committee, Penina Emmanuel, said before the arrival of PAICODEO, land disputes just were out of hand and wreaked havoc in people’s lives.
“In the past, the situation was bad, farmers and pastoralists were fighting every now and then, which resulted in deaths and permanent disabilities but after the training we received from this program, regular conflicts in Zambia has become history,” said Penina.
He said they now live in peace in the village which has made economic activities (farming and pastoralism) carried out without worries and in an event of any challenge or conflict they resolve through negotiations without necessarily resorting to malevolence.
The chairman of Zambia’s Traditional Meteorological Committee, Kombo Dengule, said PAICODEO and CARE International in Tanzania, through AYP II, have helped them significantly in understanding how to curb climate change.
“The training we received in our village on climate change issues, has helped us in our agricultural activities to a great extent. In the past, we were unaware of various issues such as; climate change but PAICODEO gave us a seminar on climate issues in collaboration with the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), they encouraged us to use traditional forecasts as well as selecting crops to grow based on the prevailing climate, “said Dengule.
He noted that such training has encouraged villagers to monitor TMA weather information through the media and traditional forecasts from the elderly. The situation has helped Zambia residents avoid crop losses due to climate change as in the past.
Korongo and Olchoronyori villages (Simanjiro) Manyara
In an effort to reach more Tanzanians, Care International in Tanzania in collaboration with Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) brought AYP II to Simanjiro district in Korongo and Olcholonyori villages.
These are among villages that face climate change, conflicts between farmers and pastoralists so through this program citizens have been trained on how to tackle these challenges.
AYP II Coordinator from TNRF, Rogath Massay said their partnership with Care International in the implementation of the project has brought great benefits to the community members of the villages.
“TNRF received AYP II funds in May 2018 and started implementation in July 2018. The program started with a seminar presented by Care International in Tanzania involving various stakeholders, where among other things, it touched issues of climate change, forecasting, land issues, environment, conflict between farmers and pastoralists, gender equality and economic empowerment, ”said Massay.
He said after the seminar they started implementing program by conducting research on the use of traditional indicators in predicting rain with the aim of understanding how to use these indicators and its consequences for the benefits of the whole community, which later proven success and now helps community members to adapt to rain season change through established groups that make forecasts twice a month (15th and 30th).
Massay also elaborated that they conducted research on gendered climate vulnerability capacity assessment (GCVCA) to understand the challenges facing community members with the aim of informing stakeholders including the Government on how best to address them. In addition, they provided capacity building on disaster response, climate change, land disputes and the establishment of entrepreneurial groups.
The Secretary of the Olchoronyori Village Climate Change Adaptation Group, Yohana Mamasita, said the training they received from the program had completely changed the way they used to live.
“We have received training on how to deal with emergencies such as famine, floods and climate change as we used to cultivate subsistence farming, from which sometimes, we harvested less, so this program has brought positive change for us,” said Mamasita.
A Korongo villager, Edina Lazaro said TNRF and Care International have helped them understand women’s rights in the community through the gender awareness training.
Challenges are inevitable and the implementation of this program has reflected on the urgency of providing communities with awareness on various land related matters, gender equality and mostly, climate change.
These villages yet face social services setback such as: clean water and access to appropriate climatic change information. The program was geared up for capacity building training, and so necessitate all-inclusive approach (financially and materially) so that they can utilize their knowledge potential from it.
For more information
Please Contact CARE Tanzania
Ruhinde Road, Plot # 175B
Ada Estate Kinondoni Upper
P.O. BOX 10242, Dar es salaam
Tel: +255 -22-2668048,
Email: [email protected]