8 February 2013

Tanzania: NGO Driven Project Turns Villagers' Fortunes

Moshi — A non-governmental organization, FT Kilimanjaro, has for the past five years served lunch to millions of students amid various other development initiatives in Mtakuja Village, Moshi Municipality.

FT Kilimanjaro is a brain child of FD Kilimanjaro of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the Moshi-based TPC Limited.

According to FT Kilimanjaro Executive Director, Mr Gelbert Rieks, the NGO also offered free annual medical check-ups to children under the age of ten years; established a 100-acre irrigated maize farm where 400 tonnes of maize were harvested during the 2012 crop season; constructed roads; extended the electricity-grid and built domestic water supply points around the community.

"The village is now served by micro-finance providers; one primary school kitchen uses biogas and another woodserving stove while hundreds of school pupils get access to solar lamps to aid their home study while village health workers provide continuous education and basic health services," he told the 'Daily News'.

Mr Rieks added that the elderly citizens were raising pigs and keeping bees to supplement their income; a nursery school was built in a remote area of the village and dozens of pupils are receiving partial or full scholarships to secondary schools and vocational training centres.

"These interventions mean that people of Mtakuja are now much more self-reliant and looking towards a more vibrant future," he beamed, adding that Mtakuja, with a population of more than 4,750 villagers, became FT Kilimanjaro's first partner in 2008.

TPC's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Robert Baissac said: "By becoming a founding member of FT Kilimanjaro, TPC is demonstrating its longterm commitment to raising the standard of living of the people in communities surrounding TPC Estate.

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