Founder Benedicto Hosea speaks at the UK Parliament

With Mboni Ya Vijana, Benedicto Hosea has set a standard of community-level developmental projects that are hard to follow. In his journey, Tanzania Development Trust has played a pivotal role, providing finance for many projects. For instance, in 2015, TDT gave funds for the construction of a village agricultural storage facility. Tanzania Development Trust has felt so passionately about Benedicto’s work and the positive impact he is having in the Kigoma region that they felt it was time for Benedicto to come to London and spread the word on his organisations success himself.

Benedicto’s trip to London has been one filled with plenty of highlights; he has had the opportunity to present his mission to British Tanzania Society, Geological Society of London and perhaps most notably, the UK Houses of Parliament.

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Benedicto Hosea with UK Trade Envoy to Ethiopia, Mr Jeremy Lefroy MP

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At the Houses of Parliament, Benedicto spoke candidly about his active fight against high rates of poverty and unemployment in the Kigoma region. He started his presentation retailing how upon graduating university, his love for the village he grew up in drove him to return and dedicate his time to fighting poverty in the region. He continued by detailing the success his microfinance scheme, created especially for training women and young people about businesses, has had. To date, they have trained more than 347 people in the community and given starting loans to impact their lives.

Anjera, a local woman living in Zeze previously had nothing to do, but with the help of Mboni Ya Vijana and their 68 pound loan she started to sell industrial goods and then shifted the business to the larger village of Morogomo where she made a larger profit. Benedicto highlighted how people have managed to completely transform their lives with a small injection of funds. His agricultural loan and training scheme has seen farmers increase yields from 3 sacks of maize to 24.

Benedicto described how his scheme not only tackles income generation but also problems of health and educational attainments. In Kigoma, access to clean water is poor and most people rely on contaminated water from ponds. Benedicto, seeing the detrimental effects this was having on the community developed manual drilling technology to drill boreholes up to 30 metres deep. This water is accessed with rope pumps that can be easily repaired by the local villagers.

To round off his presentation, Benedicto engaged with issues increasingly presenting hardships in Tanzania. Climate change was top of the list as it gradually lowers the water table in the ground and makes it harder to reach. While Benedicto has started to train communities in issues of environmental degradation, the talk shone a light on the pressing need for international governments to tackle climate change head-on. Nonetheless, Benedicto’s visit to London was inspiring and signalled the real potential community-level developmental efforts have.

Link to his presentation is here.

 

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Bringing light to Zeze

By Benedicto Hosea – Project Leader

Power is vital for the improving the lives of human being, however access is unevenly distributed in rural Africa. Zeze village 41 km from grid electricity and very dark at night.  People chop trees in the forest for cooking and use and burn expensive and smoky kerosene for lighting their homes.

Development of affordable and environmental friendly electricity technologies such as solar technology is playing central role in transforming rural societies like Zeze, and help protect their environment and people.

Grid electricity will not come to Zeze for many years.  Our society is poor and cannot afford even small solar lights, so Mboni ya Vijana has begun our solar light project to support persons in the village to secure solar lights for fair and friendly expenses. This scheme is showing great success as it is bringing happiness and health improving to the poor people at Zeze. There are many case studies which have proven the importance of using solar lights than kerosene and forest woods and below are some case studies from Zeze.

Maria is a single mother nursing her baby. She is not living in the house with electricity. Her baby is very roughly moving here and there. Maria cooks on a forest wood fire which is very danger to her eyes and child as well. She says, “Since I got this solar light, my child can stay in the bed by all the time I am cooking without problem as she is keen with the light from the solar light. It gives me the freedom to cook as my kid is with my solar light and no need to have the kid care – Maria said”. She believes her child would have already injured by fire or boiled water if there were solar light to stay with her kid.

Older persons are the most vulnerable to access to both forest woods and money for kerosene purchase. Solar light provisions gave happiness to Mlenga and Tati who both are older persons. When they received the solar lights, Mlenga says, “This is liberation to my life! I was sleeping in dark with no ability to see anything in the night. For this, I will be able to do some simple works in the night”. Tati says, “Good things are coming at the age I am passing however I am very glad to have this because it will help me to light my homes and will get more time to stay talking to my grandchildren”.

Damian is a young person from Zeze and has a family of four family members including the heads of the family (husband and wife). As other people in the village have no grid electricity, they have adapted the use of solar light. Damian is saying, “It brings happiness in the family because neither soot nor smoke anymore as it was when we were using kerosene to light our home. The solar light suits me and my family and we encourage other to use it for house light”.

With the other stories from beneficiaries of solar light scheme, portrays that, solar light is suitable to the people of Zeze and the other rural societies which are not yet supplied with grid electricity in Tanzania. Apart from lighting the homes, solar lights are worthwhile for reducing cost of buying kerosene and the amount of carbon added to the atmosphere from burning kerosene and the bad health effects on eyes and lungs.

OUR HAPPINESS WITH YOU FOR THE NEW YEAR 2017

Great maize harvest after farmers training

Great maize harvest after farmers training

A prosperous life for everyone in Zeze is the major demand of us (Mboni ya Vijana and donors). However, we could not have the way to that without the support from you all.

2016 has been a great year in Zeze evidencing a lot of changes in lives of many people towards satisfied families, prosperity and wellbeing. This is what together we are cerebrating together with you all!

Access to clean and safe water is making lives easy to people in Zeze by giving them opportunities to engage in other development activities and have less stomach infections.

Youth and women have been trained on best farming practices and supported with seeds and fertilizer to enable them produce enough food and feed their families and persuaded villagers to stop encroaching the forest reserve and develop sustainable farming on previously exhausted land near their homes. We have also managed to evaluate the results from the previous supported farmers who are going to harvest a greatly increased amount of maize after passing the dry season irrigating their farms.

Children in Zeze have had an exciting year though books learning with the opening of Mboni ya Vijana Library.

Development of the other income generation and industrial development projects and infrastructures, are increasing the opportunities for prosperous lives to Zeze community. These projects and infrastructures are enabling the community to access food, water and other services easily.

The achievements which Zeze community is benefiting with, have been from your support which we are celebrating this year end.  Thanks to you, we have made fantastic achievements in 2016, and we still have much work to do.

Many thanks for your continued support us and we wish you a wonderful 2017 from everyone at Zeze..

This new water pump has improved many livesThis new water pump has improved many lives

New libraryNew library

Carpentry workshop
Carpentry workshop

Enjoying a mango!
Enjoying a mango!

Zeze Village

Crowd2Map Tanzania

Putting Zeze on the map – a post by our friends MBONI YA VIJANA youth community in Zeze – paints a picture of the Zeze village, as well as documents the very beginnings of the Crowd2Map Tanzania, and how we hope to literally put it on the map. Why is that so important? Well, see for yourself:

This is how Zeze Village looks on Google Map at the moment: (marked point is the village market, -4.89913606, 30.0578204)

Zeze Google MapSad, isn’t it.

This is how it looks on Open Street Map. (A little better? But…)

Zeze OSM(Note, that neither find “Zeze” if you search for it by name.)

This is how it actually looks via satellite:

Zeze Google SatelliteA little more than a blank space, eh..?

And we have nearly 20 points marking its schools, shops and offices, to name a few:

Zeze Village Office -4.825259, 30.0034184 (5km accuracy) Zeze Village Office

Zeze School Library (-4.91136445, 30.0474693) Zeze School Library (-4.91136445, 30.0474693)

Mtus Restaurant (-4.89908231, 30.05751572) Mtus Restaurant (-4.89908231, 30.05751572)

Kulu's Bicycle Shop (-4.89918704, 30.05762403) Kulu’s…

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2015 in Review:

2015 was a great year for Mboni Ya Vijana and Zeze village. Here’s what we accomplished:

  • tanzania projectCreated a microfinance group which jump-started the businesses of over 100 women in the village
  • Fixed a water pump, sparing the villagers from taking hours out of their day to collect water from the nearest river
  •  Installed 67 bee hives, with the purpose of boosting agriculture and collecting honey for sale
  • Trained over 150 people on small business and entrepreneurship skills
  • Put roofs on the school labs
  • Set up broadband satellite internet in the school

Stay tuned for our next update!

Looking forward to 2016

In 2016, we hope to accomplish the following goals:

  • Trained 500 beneficiaries in Zeze village on climate change (concept, causes, effects and coping strategies)
  • Have in place three (3) fish farm dams for fish production/harvesting
  • Have in place up to 10 hand drilled bore holes with rope hand pumps and the equipment and local skills for making a further 40 each year
  • Established seed and seedlings production centre (greenhouse) in which more than 10,000 seedlings of various plants/crops will be produced
  • Established a tool loan program
  • Established 25 modern and improved farms where a wide variety of suitable crops and trees are grown
  • Increased interest of many communities around Zeze to get involved in the project
  • Increased households’ income and food security, reduction of poor faming and environmental degradation
  • Open for other organizations, institutions, and individuals coming to learn best practices.

To achieve these goals, we will need financial support. Please consider donating by visiting our MyDonate fundraiser profile page here.

How solar power can boost Zeze, Tanzania

benefits of solar power in tanzaniaOne natural resource that is plentiful in Zeze is sunlight. While the sun is great for nourishing crops and providing natural light, there are so many ways that we could use solar power to boost the Zeze community:

Solar pumps

In August 2015, Mboni Ya Vijana fixed a water well by using a solar-powered water pump bought on Ebay. There are 9 water pumps in Zeze, but only 3 work currently, including the one that was fixed in September. With Solar power, we could fix the other 6 pumps. This would decrease time spent waiting in line for water and increase agricultural production (which is currently limited by water access).

benefits of solar power in tanzaniaSolar lights

Currently, students walk to school in the morning, and when the arrive, only one classroom is lit (by solar power). When they walk home, they often have chores to do, which last until dark. When the sun goes down, they finally have time to study, but often no light to do it with. We currently have a program going of loaning solar lights to groups of 5 students, but it would be better if they could access these lights on a permanent basis.

Powering Tech

In the school, we have broadband satellite, so the students can access the internet on their raspberry pi computers. However, these computers can only help so long as they stay powered, which is still a challenge in Zeze.

To help us get the solar panels required to boost Zeze’s potential, Please consider donating by visiting our MyDonate fundraiser profile page here.

Putting Zeze on the map

zeze tanzaniaIt’s the rainy season in Zeze so everyone is busy in the fields making the most of the precious water to try and grow enough to sustain their families over the dry season. The unpredictability of the rainfall and lack of any storage is not without it’s problems.  The roads quickly turn to inpassable mud and malaria rates soar.
village in tanzania

There is one minibus per day into town.  Otherwise if you need to go to the bank, hospital or council office you have to go by motorbike, which gets harder when it rains..
african village tanzania

These 11 year old boys had cut grass for an hour and then carried it for a further hour, to sell it for the equivalent of 10p.

african communities tanzaniaThe womens’ microfinance group is going very well with small loans continuing to transform lives.  I spoke to Deniza, getting a loan to expand her tailoring business.  Unable to walk, her life was transformed by her bicycle, but others are not so lucky.  Amos can only go to school if he crawls or someone carries him..

people of zeze tanzania

The secondary school laboratories now have roofs, but still no doors or windows.  I brought some simple science equipment such as springs and pH paper and so they excitedly did their first practical experiment – testing the pH of a local drink. Even the headteacher, a science graduate had never had access to indicator paper before.

If you look for Zeze on Google maps you will just see a huge empty space where there are hundreds of villages. So, using Epicollect+, a free app designed at Imperial College, London originally for mapping diseases, and donated tablets and phones we’ve been adding places of interest in Zeze and beyond to an online map here.  The idea is then to add it to Google maps and OpenStreetMap..

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our fundraising campaign.  We are using the money to purchase equipment for hand drilling and rope pumps, meaning we can dig water sources around the village for drinking and irrigation. If you would like to contribute you can do so here.

Helping Water Problems in Zeze, Tanzania with… an Ebay Pump?!

water problems in africaWater dominates life in Zeze.  Everyone conserves the little they have as obtaining it is so difficult – carrying it long distances to your home, queuing at the pump…  There is also the continual fear that another of the pumps will fail, making water even harder to obtain.  These are constantly breaking down.  When I visited in June only 5 were working, on my most recent visit in August, only 3 were working. There have been times when the whole village of 8000 people are down to 1 working pump.
solving lack of water in africaGenerally the problem is seals and bearings.   The local fundis (handymen) appear to be resourceful and show initiative, even to the extent of trying to make local parts where possible.  The water officials in Kasulu town 40 km away are less helpful, and frequently promise to help and visit but don’t.  They don’t stock any spare parts in Kasulu and say they order them from India when necessary.  One pump has been broken for over a year because pipes have broken off and fallen inside the well and there is  no equipment to get them out.

ebay water pumpSo Benedicto and his friends decided to fix this hand pump with a solar one I bought on ebay, courtesy of a generous donor and brought out in my luggage.  As the water is so deep (36m down) we had to run it at 24V on two car batteries.  Getting these was a mission in itself.  You can buy very little in Zeze itself so a
friend bought them in Kasulu and put them on a daladala (communal minibus) to drop them off at the junction 10km away where they were met by another
friend with a motorbike.  Unfortunately when they arrived they were suspiciously light… because they were empty of the necessary acid, meaning we had to repeat the process the following day with bottles of acid..

water pumps in africaWe’d spent a long time negotiating with drivers in Kasulu to bring the 1000l plastic tank on their roof.  The first one in the village, this was a great novelty.  Benedicto tracked down the one man in Zeze with a saw and proceeded to make a wooden structure to put the tank on.

Getting the right seals to fix the pipes was another challenge.  I’d brought out all the seals I thought we would need and we bought the only jubilee clips we could find in Kasulu, but in the end had to tie things together with old car tyre strips..

But finally, by torchlight, the pump, dry for over a year, started pumping water, to great cheers and excitement.  The pump isn’t really powerful enough for this. It takes around 5 hours to fill the tank and it can’t keep up with the demand for water.  The long term plan is to raise enough money to buy a heavy duty pump capable of filling the 1,000,000l tank that has been out of use since the 1970s..

water pump tanzania

But, for now, the villagers are saved a long walk to a working pump…