Tanzania Rufiji River Communities
This current and ongoing project of ACA Initiative partners with rural communities surrounding the Rufiji River in southeastern Tanzania. The inhabitants of this area are some of the most impoverished on earth, with the average family earning less than $1 per day, limiting their annual income to $300 per year. While these may seem like daunting figures to overcome, the reality is that a smart and efficient platform backed by sound investment can make a considerable difference towards curbing poverty and building sustainable long-term development in the area.
With 80 percent of the population in the Rufiji District depending exclusively on small scale farming for their daily lives, improving farming practices and output remains the most viable strategy towards escaping the reality of perpetual poverty. As in many communities in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of farmers only grow once or twice per year, leaving them dependent on one or two harvests to support their food needs annually. Also, primitive and outdated farming practices diminish nutrients from the land, making output limited. The initial step of development that ACA Initiative has begun to address is improving agricultural practices to better livelihood and maximize earning potential.
Utilizing a land plot of 50 acres, ACA Initiative is building a training facility, complete with several demo farms to introduce new crops and technologies, as well as conduct job training for non-farming workers. This center will double as an agricultural supply center to support the surrounding local community’s needs for improve inputs. The training facility will teach farmers how to properly maximize the output of their land by using better supplies and growing multiple times per year. While the classes will systematically service community members in a rotation, the supply center, plus farm consulting is available to everyone immediately. Therefore, the ACA Initiative supplies small farmers with the tools and training to ensure modern farming techniques are utilized to maximize farmland production. Growing more food is just one aspect of agricultural development. ACAI provides access to all farmers to the value chain by not only providing improved inputs (seed, fertilizer, irrigation), but also access to the private sector and competitive markets to ensure that they receive fair market value for their produce. By helping farmers grow more food, multiple times per year and providing a viable solution to earning more money from increased production, ACAI will curb food security challenges, while increasing income for farmers.
In addition, ACA Initiative will enhance its partnership with the community by helping fill voids in education and health care for the community. The vast majority of people in the area have little to no education at all and those that have attended school have only reached primary level. By improving infrastructure, curriculum and supplies, ACA Initiative will improve the local school to fulfill the needs of the area and provide an opportunity for children to further their education for the future.
Finally, ACA Initiative will also setup a health clinic that can assist in all healthcare needs for the surrounding communities. In Tanzania, over 80 percent of the population will never see a doctor in their lives. This leaves voids in overall health, as those with HIV/AIDS are never treated, children under five suffer from high infant mortality rates and infectious diseases are difficult to contain. By providing a clinic that will not only treat, but educate the inhabitants on proper health care, the general health and health knowledge of the community will be addressed.
These three faces will signify a healthier, more efficient and developed community, making poverty and food security a thing of the past. By using self-sustainable strategies, the community will flourish without sacrificing culture or customs.