This was said by the communication officer of TASAF, Estom Sanga, in an exclusive interview with this paper in Dar es Salaam this week.
“Our beneficiaries were very poor people, they have started to accumulate some money through groups, money circulation has increased. They have managed to save money through groups and after saving, they borrow money and establish small projects like poultry farming as an income generating activity,” said Sanga.
He added that TASAF provided education on how to borrow money, use them well to transform their lives through starting small projects for income generation and then be able to repay the money.
The beneficiaries are advised to form groups and TASAF will bring expertise to their groups so as to save and borrow.
He says that the subsidies from TASAF have improved their lives. For instance, to make sure that a child gets uniform, shoes, to eat breakfast in the morning before going to school. We ensure that this money helps to transform the lives of the poor families and they invest in small projects.
“We (TASAF) support one million and one hundred thousand families and we want to continue supporting one million and three hundred thousand families in the second phase of this programme,” he said.
This programme has transformed their lives to the extent that some of the beneficiaries have been able to build houses, to improve their meals, and to be able to eat three meals a day. They have joined National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), they keep goats and cows, they are able to educate their children and they are sure to get treatment through NHIF.
The main challenge which they face is diseases which attack their livestock, TASAF send veterinary doctors and veterinary officers to visit the beneficiaries so as to help them to treat their livestock.
This programme is called Productive Social Safety net phase III second part. The second part of phase III will cover all villages in the whole country, both mainland and Zanzibar.
“We will go to the beneficiaries all over the country, to those families which meet the criterias of being poor families so as to help them by giving them subsidies which will transform their lives for the better,” he said.
The phase which we are finishing now we covered 9000 villages, which is 70 per cent of all villages. In the following phase we are going to cover 30 per cent of the villages.
According to him, the emphasis is that all the beneficiaries who will be included in the second phase of the programme are required to work in the projects except those who are not capable of working like the elderly, children and the sick.
“Those who are able to work, they will be paid according to their work. The work which they will do is like road construction, construction of dispensaries, this will increase their incomes, will enhance their knowledge and skills, it will remove various grievances in the society. Those who are not capable of working, will be given subsidies. This is a 10 year programme.
In the city council, there is a committee called CMC, which monitor their activities. It creates a basis that will help them to stand on their own.
They (beneficiaries) keep poultry, ducks, cows, they have fish ponds, gardens, cotton farming, onion and tomatoes growing, others are establishing money transfer shops, sunflower oil industries, some of the beneficiaries have been able to construct iron roofing sheet houses and use solar power. It is a programme that has motivated people to transform their lives from extreme poverty and now they get basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.