Tanzania: WFP Out to Address Nutrition in Urban Areas

THE World Food Programme (WFP) has come up with some innovative ideas to address food insecurity and poor nutrition challenges in some urban areas.

The ideas dubbed 'Mama Lishe Poa', 'Mr Bin Gas', 'NextMeat,' 'Forever Food' and 'Novex' will involve local and international advisors as well as mentors coming collectively to work on. In a project exhibition held in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, the WFP Programme Policy Innovation Startup Advisor, Asia Sultan told the 'Daily News' that the goal of the project is to ensure every Dar es Salaam resident has access to nutritional and affordable food.

She further said: The five innovation ideas emanated from a project called WFPX, which involved local innovators with an objective to ensure food security in Dar es Salaam by 2030.

"We are here to showcase various innovations that have come from the project; we have been doing since last year called WFP-X. "This is a project trying to look at how we can ensure Dar es Salaam residents have access to affordable and good nutritional food in the future." According to her projection, Dar es Salaam's population is expected to increase by 59 per cent in ten years' time from the current 6 million to 12 million people by 2030.

"This rapid population growth would create new challenges to food security and nutrition in the city, as a result at least some five million people would be unable to access food that they want. "Through this project, we might avoid food insecurity problems; we don't have to wait for the problem, but we can address it now and avoid it in the future," Ms Sultan added.

To ensure the problems are solved, WFP gathered 100 ideas and came up with five as innovations likely to solve food insecurity as a challenge in the society.

Out of the innovators was Lilian Madeje, who thought of the Mama Lishe Poa, explaining that she had been working with street women food vendors' groups locally addressed as 'Mama N'tilie'.

"I have been training them (street women food vendors) on how to serve nutritious and easily accessible and affordable foodstuffs to the majority of Dar es Salaam residents," she pointed out.

Through their observation, they identified that most Tanzanians especially the low-income residents have been eating meals with poor nutrition and more often take more carbohydrates than protein or vitamins. Thus they believe through the Mama Lishe Poa initiave, it will be possible for the city majority residents to eat a healthy diet at minimum costs.

Ms Madeje added that through the innovation, they expect to service about six million Dar es residents by 2030 and have 150,000 street women food vendors as the workforce, noting currently in their network, they have about 15 of them registered in Mikocheni alone in the city.

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