Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest countries. Two-thirds of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day and many live in areas where drought causes chronic food shortages.
Why do we work in Tanzania?
Tanzania’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. With the majority of people in Tanzania reliant on subsistence farming, communities are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and international commodity price fluctuations. The terrain and low arability means that agricultural productivity is poor. Nearly half the population does not have access to safe drinking water.
Forty percent of children under five are chronically malnourished as a result. Water-related diseases such as malaria and dysentery are common, as are tuberculosis and leprosy. Child mortality is 54 deaths per 1,000 live births, and maternal mortality is very high at 410 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Increasing urbanisation is placing stress on limited services available in cities, such as sewerage systems, clean water infrastructure, schools and hospitals.
Our work in Tanzania
Through our 4 local partners in Tanzania, Caritas Australia is working on issues of Water and Sanitation, HIV Awareness, Gender Issues, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, including caring for and rehabilitating the environment.
Examples of our recent work
- Caritas Australia has improved the availability of safe drinking water and increased food security in the Diocese of Njombe. Women no longer have to travel as far to gather clean water and new cases of waterborne and related diseases in the area have decreased from 35 per month to 7. The average yield from 1 acre of farmland in the Diocese has also increased from 7 bags of maize to 12.
- Caritas Australia’s programs have improved gender equity in the Mahenge Diocese, Tanzania. Men and women share leadership positions in groups and village governments and work together in agricultural activities, and family property ownership is now shared.
- Agricultural production has increased from 100 to 400 bunches of bananas, and from 10 to 25 bags of rice per acre per year in Mahenge Diocese. Incomes have subsequently increased by AU $300 per harvest on average. Neighbouring communities, after seeing these gains, similarly adopted the practices being promoted by Caritas.
- Several villages in Mbulu Diocese are now able to access clean drinking water much closer to their villages, reducing the time women and children spend collecting water every day. The community also uses the new source of water to make bricks and modern homes, while 3 primary and 1 secondary school now also have access. Clean water has also led to the introduction of modern hygiene and sanitation practices.