Winter in Tanzania

We spent the night at the Lutheran Hostel which will be home for the week. After the constant travelling in Uganda, that seems quite a appealing. Also, “hostel” does the place an injustice as its quite nice…basic, clean, nothing fancy…and rumours of hot water. You can’t ask for much more than that!

We got to the CPAR office and everyone is wearing their fleeces. Apparently its winter here now and the mornings are a “cool” 15C. My story about 20 below Canadian winters doesn’t get much traction.

A group of engineering students from Stanford are visiting and working on a great solar project. They’ve hooked the office up to WiFi so there should be a reliable internet access this week which is a bonus.

We head off to visit some farmers who have participated in CPAR’s Moving Beyond Hunger (MBH) program which wrapped up in the Spring. Nderingo and Dale still have the fleeces on even though sunshine has replaced the clouds.

The road is even worse than yesterday’s but the landscape is breathtaking and we share the road with ox carts and cattle and goats.

Morning rush hour

We pass by a water pipeline that originates in Kataru but seems to be bypassing most villages.
Water pipeline outside Karatu

After almost an hour, we arrive at Maghesho sub-village, and continue on to meet Rebecca Lazaro. She lives at the top of a hill that you can only reach by walking so up we go. I later learn that Rebecca makes this trip 2 or 3 times a day for water collection and other chores.

Rebecca is part of a Farmers Field School set up under the MBH program and which brings community members together to learn skills and share experiences. In addition to receiving training on crop diversification and improved growing techniques, Rebecca received a piglet in February. The pig is now grown and pregnant. Under the program, Rebecca will give away the first piglet to another community member as a form of repayment. The remaining pigs become valuable assets and Rebecca can sell them as needed to generate income for her young family.

Kutie, Kutie

I’ve seen variations of his program now in a number of countries and it is very effective and surprisingly simple. Pigs in particular can quickly increase a family’s income as they produce two litters of up to 10 piglets each year. Rebecca has named her pig “kutie” and her calls of “kutie, kutie” showed the lighter side of this hard working farmer.

I noticed a “Co-op” logo on her shirt. It never ceases to amaze me how clothes and other goods make it to remote parts of rural Africa. Being a good westerner, I was obliged to give a brief history of the Co-op movement in Canada and also highlight how its cooperative spirit was evident in the Field Schools.CO-OP's are everywhere!

We head back down the hill to the van. Winter must be over, the fleeces are coming off.

Rebecca, Dwight & Dale head back to Maghesho

Rebecca, Dwight & Dale head back to Maghesho

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One Response to “Winter in Tanzania”

  1. Informative post, thanks for sharing

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