846 schools in Mtwara Region to get help.

This is a story to follow. USAID (government aid from the USA) has big plans for helping Primary schools and they are willing to pay for a lot of ICT equipment and teacher training. Two things I particularly like about this program are;

Five pilot schools have been chosen for trials, ie finding out whether their plans are sensible and if not finding what changes they need.

Two of the five trials will be in Mtwara Region. Wow! There is usually much more help in North Tanzania than in the South!

The organisation co-ordinating the three year program is  Creative Associates International. Their team will  “work in partnership with leading international and local technology firms, including the International Youth Foundation, Agile Learning, Inveneo, Education Impact, and the Children Book Project for Tanzania. These NGOs will assist the project in providing hardware and e-content as part of ICT enhancement measures to all 846 schools in Mtwara and on two islands of Zanzibar, where the project will be implemented.”

Update in 2016

The work was briefly described in a newsletter online in 2013 and in 2014 the results should have been reported but perhaps there was nothing worth reporting. TZ21 was the abbreviated name for this project.

In miombo woodland fruit trees grow...

Improvements for farmers.

In miombo woodland fruit trees grow...

Wet season growth

There are plenty of things happening in the wider region for farmers to help them improve their income. The LIMAS project, funded by the government and Finland, is continuing with a big program, too big to describe properly here, but one prominent project this year is to improve poultry and egg production around Newala. This link will show you LIMAS newsletters;


A video on YouTube shows some very good business expansion in the region;

Water for Masasi

First the good news; a steel pipeline has been made for bringing water from springs at the edge of the Makonde Plateau. The water flows by gravity, no pumps needed, as far as a big holding tank near Mailisita. Another smaller tank has been built a few kilometres closer to Masasi at Mtandi. Pumps will force the water up-hill to this high tank but from there the water will flow onwards by gravity to Masasi and Nachingwea.

The bad news is that the project is unfinished and I believe that the Chinese construction company is waiting for some overdue payment from the government. Meanwhile, thousands of buckets of water are carried every day into Masasi for selling. Young men are benefiting from this work and perhaps this is the only paid work that some of them can find. The water comes from a plastic pipe which comes from different springs by the Makonde Plateau. The unofficial tapping of the pipe is controlled by young men. Because of this illicit trade the new pipe is steel and I guess it is buried more carefully!

Avoiding malaria with nets

Some people say that the worst time for mosquito bites is the evening but there’s a risk at any time of night. Now at last there has been a big effort to give nets for protection to all boarding school students. Masasi Girls High School and Ndanda High School are two which have received nets for all students and you can see information and photos at http://www.against malaria.com

Farmers boost exports

Mtwara port performance triples

By DAILY NEWS Reporter, 14th October 2011 @ 12:55

THE Port of Mtwara has tripled its performance after several years of a grim record of poor performance.

The record that saw the port handling some 223,264 tons during the 2010/11 season against 84,354 tons handled during the 2009/10 season, is writing

off the history of Mtwara as ‘a seasonal port’.

The Director General for TPA, Mr Ephraim Mgawe, revealed the information in his speech read on his behalf by the Director of Marketing, Mr Flavian

Kinunda, at the Port Users Meeting held in Mtwara on Friday.

According to Mr Mgawe, the grand performance was attributable to a good cashewnut season which witnessed bumper harvests and exports.

“There has also been a significant increase in a cargo project as a result of ongoing off shore Oil and Gas exploration activities in the Indian Ocean,”

added the TPA Director General.

Cashew nut trading.

Trading is so much better these days.  Old government rules restricted trade badly, then with some liberalising of the rules there was an annual influx of traders from India who bought raw nuts for very low prices. Then after noticing that farmers got too little money from this trade the government encouraged producers to add value by processing nuts before selling them. An export duty was put on raw nuts and a big warehouse and processing factory has been built just outside Masasi, part-owned by a co-operative of farmers from six villages and Dutch connexxion. International organisations which assisted with getting fair trade certification and in-country processing were Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund,  DESMP-PP and AgrECo Tanzania. SWISSAID gave help with the project management. Made in the Metal Workshop

Several of these maize mills were made at Ndanda in 2011 for sale to farmers who had received money for cashew nuts. this was a wise investment to generate more income from their profits.

Jiamini, helping schools and students

The Jiamini organisation was started by some young people who volunteered in Newala District with the Peace Corps.  In a few years they have achieved a great deal and their effective working methods have gained generous donations in the USA where they are based. I won’t tell their story because they have a website for that. I’d like to add my thanks for their fine work but it takes a bit of patience to scroll through the photos and find details, for example the Chidya Boys Secondary School Library.

Use this link to see Jiamini at work;    http://www.jiamini.org/about.php