Lack of proper knowledge in maintaining farms, running small businesses and livestock keeping is hindering poor households benefiting from the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) cash grants.
The poor knowledge hinders them from excelling further and therefore affects the sustainability of their income generating activities. This was observed by some of the beneficiaries of the programme during a visit by some members from the media in Chato and Geita districts yesterday to observe the implementation of TASAF.
A beneficiary from Isamilo village at Kamuhanga Ward in Geita District, Sabina Msangwa, a mother of seven children, has managed to acquire 20 goats and four cows through the programme.
According to her, since she began keeping the livestock, she has never obtained any expert opinion on how to operate. In most cases, she seeks advice from fellow villagers on how to herd livestock. After her husband passed away in 2002, Msangwa and the children lived a very miserable life, and because of her situation she was enrolled into the programme in 2015. Msangwa received cash grants amounting to 48,000/- enabling her children to go to school, access proper meals and get treatment.
"My current goal is to build a modern house like other people, I have already bought 10 iron sheets and planted two trees of which I will use as wood for roofing...I will use the coming cash transfers to save for the house," said Msangwa.
When asked why she would not sell some goats or a cow to start construction, Msangwa said she was preserving the livestock for her children as they grow. Laga Amosi from Nyambiti Village at Nyamirembe Ward in Chato District, a mother of five children and who has 19 goats, expressed the same concern, on how to go about their income generating activities.
According to Chato District Executive Director, Eng Joel Hari, all the wards acquire experts, including extension officers and veterinary officers among others. He however pointed out that it is only a few villages which have access to the experts because of their small number. "If people face any challenges they can seek for the services of this experts...I think the only challenge is people's awareness of their existence," noted Eng Hari.