Children living under vulnerable conditions and special group persons including women and people with disabitilies are to benefit from a four ha land allocated to more than 16 parents from Tujijenge Kazamoyo Secondary School at Ikwiriri ward in Rufiji district for cassava production both for substantial as well as commercial purposes.
Said Abdul Mpwemwende, from Ikwiriri made the plans public during the 7th Camfed Tanzania Annual General meeting which was held in Morogoro recently. She explained that the farm lands will supplement Camfed Tanzania donations as well as create employment opportunities.
The land is donation from one Said Addul also an Ikwiriri ward resident who announced that already two hectares of the four has been cultivated and that cassava is their choice produce for it is pest and climate resilient but also requires little care or use fertilizers making it a very practical crop for a community that is already economically challenged.
In the other two hectares, the farmers plane to start off with watermelons before crop rotating later on to cassava. Ikwiri ward has more than 400,000 residents and their main cash crop in this ward is Cashew nuts while the main food crops are maize, rice and cassava.
Tujijenge Kazamoyo Secondary Parent Group has a good success record having so far supported some 13 vulnerable girls from low income families. They have provided for their basic school needs allowing high retention and graduation by minimizing dropout rates.
The group has future plans set at acquiring 10 hectares and with help from local government authority, to have it surveyed, measured and advertised in the government gazette. The farm land that would result is planned to among other things serve as a nursery that will supply other farmers with the root tubers to start their own farms.
Highlighting on the extensive and comprehensive initiatives Camfed Tanzania has done to support the region’s vulnerable children, Omary Mwelekwa from the Rufiji Community Development Committee (CDC) noted that 17 secondary schools in Rufiji district have received a some of 3565 textbooks from Camfed Tanzania valued at 35,147,297/-.
Also, some 16,683 students, 8,317 girls and 8,366 boys from 65 schools in Rufiji, 17 secondary and 48 primary schools ,have benefited from Camfed Tanzania through bursary support and Safety Net Fund (SNF) support which provides them with school fees, exam fees, accommodation, pocket money, security, health care and uniforms.
The Camfed program was officially launched in 2006 and officially commenced services in 2007 with 5 secondary schools and 30 primary schools and from those humble beginnings now Camfed Tanzania is working with 65 schools across the region.
The Tujijenge Kazamoyo Secondary school has indeed set an unprecedented example for other parents to follow by embarking on a communal effort endeavour to improve their welfare by coming together and forming a Parent Group from which they are able to access loans, grants and donations. The results are admirable, with decreasing drop out rates, higher retention and graduation, increased income as well as crop food productivity and all in all the Parent Group has improved the welfare of the Rufiji residents and that is commendable.