Unspoiled countryside, wild animals, Maasai people in traditional costume: Tanzania is “picture-postcard Africa” and at the same time one of the poorest countries in the world. Since 1972 SWISSAID has overseen projects in the East African country to improve living conditions for the local people.
Helping people to help themselves
SWISSAID prioritises personal responsibility and only supports projects that focus on individuals’ independent initiative and inspire long-term change. In Tanzania, SWISSAID is working towards this on several levels.
Campaign against hunger!
The issue of food security is the major priority. Although more than 80% of the population works in agriculture, the harvest in farming villages especially is often insufficient to last the whole year. In some regions many children are malnourished and infant mortality is high.
Headed for success with organic farming
By converting to organic farming methods, farmers should be able to cultivate their fields in an environmentally friendly way and produce sufficient harvests to sell their surpluses at market. The farmers use desperately needed income to cover family expenses such as school fees or doctors’ fees and other urgent costs.
Photo: women prepare cassava flour for drying.
Cashews – a tough nut to crack
SWISSAID’s local partner organisations are on hand to offer advice and practical assistance. They organise training courses and meet any requirements for tools and equipment. The region’s most important agricultural product − cashew nuts − is mainly exported as a raw product. The country gains no benefit from the added value. Partial processing on site should change the situation.
Treasures below ground and poverty above
Millions lie dormant in Tanzania’s soil: its resources of gold, natural gas, coal, gemstones and uranium are in high demand on the global market. Various companies deplete the country’s natural resources at numerous mines – but their prosperity is at the expense of local people and the environment. However, there is a growing awareness that everybody in Tanzania should benefit from the profits of exploiting raw materials. SWISSAID supports the local population with this vital process.
“Little people” have big plans
Only if the “little people” can also have a say is it imaginable for Tanzania to experience sustainable and fair development. More and more groups are emerging to campaign for the rights of disadvantaged people – be they farmers, women or children – and to insist on their right to have a voice.
Equal opportunity in both word and deed
In Tanzania, great store is set by equality – at least on paper. Nonetheless, forced marriages, even involving children, are not uncommon. It’s still a dream for women to be able to participate both politically and economically on an equal level to men, and the systematic assigning of gender roles places women at a disadvantage. SWISSAID and its partners no longer want to accept this: their projects reinforce women’s status while holding men accountable. The aim is to ensure upcoming generations can look forward to a future with equal opportunities.
We cannot change the weather…
…but we certainly can make a difference to other factors that influence a farmer’s livelihood. SWISSAID supports partner organisations in Tanzania with their campaign against genetic engineering and land grabbing – that is, the purchase of land by rich and often foreign investors. Both activities promote dependency, depriving farmers of control over their seeds and soil and therefore intensifying poverty and hunger.
How you can help
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