“I am planting a tree which will bear fruit.”
Tanzania covers an area of 945,087 sq km (364,900 sq miles) stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Great Lakes region in the west of the country. The population is approximately 37,000,000. The central region of the nation is semi-arid. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. Many of its people live below the World Bank poverty line.
Dodoma, the capital city (population approx. 200,000) is located in the center of the semi-arid central region. The present work of the Amani Development Organization is located in this Dodoma region, mostly to the south of the city in the Mvumi, Makang’wa and Rift valley regions.
A lack of water is the common presenting problem for the
many thousands of people living in this region. Ground
water is almost certainly contaminated. The unreliable wet
season, November through March, scarcely provides
sufficient moisture to produce an annual harvest of maize
or millet. Cycles of famine afflict the population.
Outbreaks of cholera, typhoid fever are common. Malaria
is a constant reality. Eye infections are common due to
lack of adequate water for good hygiene. Malnutrition
results in stunted growth and a shortened life expectancy.
Family life is dominated by the daily ‘Walk for Water’. This
is a task fulfilled mostly by the women. A round trip of
12 km is common. This means that the women may be
away from the home and family for a considerable portion of each day. It also means that they tend to age rather quickly. This is the reality of life for many, many thousands of people in this semi-arid region of central Tanzania.
This stark reality of daily life can change!
Even now it is changing in the experience of several communities.
At Mvumi Makulu a well is providing water for a community of
10,200 people. This pump is powered by an electric motor. Once
common outbreaks of cholera are now uncommon. Clean water is
essential for a healthy life.
There is abundant water deep in this semi-arid earth. It costs
about $22,000.00US to drill and fully equip a borehole
At Ngha’mbaku, an isolated village, people now make a relatively short journey to the borehole, fitted with a diesel powered pump. Health is improved. Family life is transformed when the women no longer have to spend a great portion of each day walking to and from a distant source of water, water which is almost certainly contaminated.
In late 2004 pumps and engines are being
fitted to boreholes at Makang’wa, on the
site of the center of activities for the Amani
Development Organization, and at Iwonda,
to the south in the Rift Valley. The first well
at Makang’wa will supply the village
community until a second well is drilled
some miles to the south. The first well
will then supply the Trust Center and also
people living in the immediate vicinity.
A survey team will shortly identify sites for
boreholes at Suli (Rift Valley), Ilangali,
Makang’wa Village, Sazima and Chinugulu.
Existing wells - shown in green
Future wells - shown in red
This is just the beginning! The vision – a well for every village.
How did it all commence? In the year 2000 the Rev. John Naumann, Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Billings, MT USA (formerly of Brisbane, Australia) spent four weeks of a Sabbatical in central Tanzania. He was responding to an invitation from the Rt. Rev. Ainea Kusenha, former Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. The experience was life-changing. It became evident to Fr. John that this was no ordinary Sabbatical. The experiences were both challenging and inviting. During a time of prayerful reflection he understood the Lord to say,
“I am planting a tree which will bear fruit.”
These words have been the guiding light for the events which have followed the Sabbatical.
The First Fruit: The ‘tree’ was already bearing fruit. Assistance for education at High School lever had commenced in 1994. The first of the students assisted has already completed a Master’s Degree in Project Management and Financing, conducted through the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. A second student is now in the final year of a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Preparation and Preservation at Sekoine University. Another is completing an Advanced Diploma in Rural Planning at the Institute in Dodoma. Nursing and
Information Technology are other areas of study currently
being pursued. Recent supported High School students
have been among the top achievers in the country. As
more students move into tertiary education the cost of
this program as escalated dramatically. Approximately
$15,000.00 USD is required this year (2004) for
College/University level assistance.
Education is the Key to both personal and community
fulfillment. The progress of Tanzania depends upon the
preparation of skilled leadership.
The Water projects commenced in 2001: In 2002 Fr. John initiated organizational efforts in Tanzania. It was now evident that the ‘Tree’ had the potential to grow into a forest.
In 2002 the people of Makang’wa Village, to the south of
Dodoma, generously offered the Trust a tract of 250 acres
of land on which to establish the Center of activities for the
Trust. The borehole to provide water for the Center has
now been drilled. Work will soon commence on the
construction of three homes, to be sited near the borehole.
This procedure is adopted at every bore hole to ensure
security and maintenance of the well.
In April 2006 the Amani Development Organization was
registered with the Tanzanian Government as an approved NGO.
The Overriding Aim: The aim is to develop the activities of the Amani Development Organization in such a manner that, in its basic operations, the work of the Trust will be sustainable from within Tanzania. This is a great challenge but we do believe that it is achievable. Indeed, it must be achieved. This aim agrees with the philosophy of the Government of Tanzania. Wonderfully the people of the local communities also believe this aim is achievable.
Underlying Principles Which Govern Development:
1. The activities of the Amani Development Organization are community centered. Local communities must have close involvement in planning and operation.
2. The immediate aim is basic sustainability. The long term aim is to develop a continuing capacity for development and expansion of operation from within Tanzania. All operations must be approached with these goals in mind.
3. The activities of the Amani Development Organization – Water Resources, Agricultural/Horticultural Development, Social and Spiritual Development, Health and Nutrition, must be integrated with the intention of developing healthy communities, closely involved in these aspects of development.
Basic Development Strategies for Local Communities:
a) A community is approached concerning the need for water. (In practice they are approaching us as they become aware of the possibility of development in their area.)
b) If there is a decision to proceed with development in the reasonable future the following steps are requested.
1. The setting up of a local committee to work with the Amani Development Organization. The Amani Development Organization does not ‘run’ the committee. We cooperate with is.
2. The Amani Development Organizationrequests the donation of a tract of land which will be farmed by the Trust. This land will help finance the Trust’s continuing involvement with the local community and will also assist with ongoing development in other communities. We request eight to ten acres. To date, every community has responded with much larger tracts of land!
3. (a) The Amani Development Organization will place a farmer on the donated land.
(b) This farmer will act as an ‘extension agent’ for the Amani Development Organization. We foresee a time when twenty or thirty such ‘agents’ will be regularly brought together at the Makang’wa Center for training seminars in improved methods of agriculture/horticulture and for encouragement through shared experience.
(c) The ‘agent’ will be a member of the local Well Committee. From its farming income the Amani Development Organization will share in the cost of the maintenance of the borehole and pumping equipment.
(d) Local schools will receive free water from the well.
(e) The Amani Development Organization will also receive free water from the well. As a non-profit all income will support the mission of the organization.
To date we estimate that the Amani Development Organizationhas approximately 443 acres of land at its disposal. The challenge is to bring this land into production. The people’s generosity has surpassed our ability to proceed with this development.
4. Every well will have a community provided well-keeper, responsible for security and for the maintenance of the well. Local people pay a small amount for their water. This ‘water fund’ pays for electricity or diesel fuel and will also cover the community’s share of maintenance. We are inquiring into the economics of using solar power for the wells. If the initial costs are reasonable this would greatly assist a community’s ability to benefit from the available water.
5. The Amani Development Organization provides for the cost of the drilling and equipping of the well. This is the ‘springboard’ to a new life for the community.
Agricultural and Horticultural Development.
In early 2004 the Rev. John Naumann was made aware of the Bucket Drip Irrigation Kits developed by the Chapin Foundation of Watertown, New York State, USA. These most effective Kits have been field-tested and are in use in a number of third-world countries. The Foundation may be contacted through their web site – www.chapinlivingwaters.org/.
In August of 2004 four Bucket Drip Irrigation were set up in two gardens in Dodoma. We did not have time to prepare the ground fully as suggested in the materials provided by the Foundation however the results were extremely encouraging. Mr Ivan Peters, a retired small-crop farmer from Laidley, Queensland, Australia accompanied the Rev. Naumann on this visit to Tanzania. His expertise was invaluable in assisting with the set-up and in developing a vision for the future development of this means of irrigation.
Two Bucket Drip Irrigation Kits have been set out in
a garden in Dodoma. Cow manure had been dug
into the soil prior to the laying out of the drip lines.
Chinese cabbage and tomato plants are being set
out. A variety of vegetable seeds were also planted
with very encouraging results. The Chapin Foundation
suggests using two buckets of water per day for each
kit. We found that, when plants are small, we needed
to reduce that amount!
School children and teachers gathered to see a
Bucket Kit demonstration in another garden in
Dodoma. This was intended to offer a ‘vision’ of what
can be done. The planned introduction of the Kits
requires the offering of training seminars dealing with
soil preparation, crop rotation, pest control and the
effective use of the appropriate.
Interest is high. Without exception the people asked, “How can we obtain these?”
It is our aim to introduce the Bucket Drip Irrigation Kits into the communities when wells are drilled. In at least one community they can be introduced earlier as there is water available in the river near the village. The Kits will be purchased by the individual householders. Where necessary the Amani Development Organization will assist people through ‘micro loans’ – but they must be purchased.
When used effectively two Kits can maintain a household of seven in vegetables through a twelve month period. It will take time for some people to learn how to use the kits effectively. Training Seminars will be conducted in every community where the Kits are introduced. Following this it will be the role of the local ‘extension agent’ to continue a training program.
The Amani Development Organization will work closely with local schools, encouraging the Staff to assist the children and parents to establish Bucket Drip Irrigation Gardens at the schools. The aim is to teach the children the correct use of the Kits, recognizing that some parents may be reluctant to adopt a change from traditional methods of agriculture.
Minimal water usage – maximum results!
EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
An English Medium Elementary School will be established in the Makang’wa/Mvumi Region. The construction of the School will be partly financed through a gift from the Rev’d John Naumann.
The Montana Teacher’s Literacy Association has made the Library for the school a state project. A container of books will be shipped to Tanzania in late 2005. We anticipate that the Library will also serve as a Resource Center for surrounding schools.
Vocational Training will initially be centered on areas of life relating to the existing realities of life for the local population.
CONFERENCE & RETREAT CENTER
This will be established at the Makang’wa Center.
a. It will provide a place for seminars. At regular intervals the ‘extension agents’ from the regional communities will come together for sharing and training. Other organizations and Government bodies will find it useful for their purposes. It would be most useful for Teacher Development Seminars, serving the regions school teachers.
b. We plan to construct the Center in such a manner that it will be low-cost and user-friendly. The surrounds of the Center will model the vision of the Trust – an attractive and productive environment, demonstrating all that can be achieved through a focused use of minimal amounts of water.
c. The Center will be available to the local Christian community. In its design it will feature units which will be suitable for individual or family use at minimal cost.
d. All Trust buildings will feature ‘water harvesting’ and also the recycling of suitable household water.
The Present and the Future
The achievement of basic sustainability is a great challenge. The Amani Development Organization is rich in resources but poor in the equipment needed to take the utmost advantage of these resources. For example, three or four men with only hoes in their hands, cannot make much of impression on a seventy acre piece of land.
1. Three tractors with implements.
2. Several hand operated rotary hoes. 3. A four wheel trailer to haul behind a Landrover. 4. A basic Landrover – no frills. 5. A medium sized and sturdy truck. 6. A container of ‘Chapin’ Drip Irrigation Kits. 7. Funds for building four Farm Manager houses. 8. Funding for four wells/boreholes.
9. Funds for security fencing at the farm sites. The fencing would encompass the Farm Manager’s House, Equipment Shed and General Storage area.
10. Funds for a Reservoir at the Makang’wa Center.
These items represent a large investment of money but they will also place the Amani Development Organization on a very firm foundation with the ability to not only sustain its basic operations but also to provide for steady expansion of support to communities in central Tanzania.