Water cannot flow uphill but driven by determination, the residents of Makangara village, in Magoma Ward of Korogwe District have defied gravity in a major way; taking the precious liquid across the remote hills to their locality.
History hasn’t been too kind to the area either; Magoma Ward located in the rural Korogwe District has been out of the game and limelight for quite some years following the slump of sisal, the area’s bedrock cash crop. But now Sisal seems to be on the rebound and local residents busy reviving former estates while the road leading to Magoma from Korogwe Township is dotted with bales of fresh blades of the cash crop indicating good business for those bothering to re-plant the thorny bushes.
When sisal slumped, a number of projects also died in Magoma and that includes the former government established, water project which used to supply the service to the Makangara Village and surrounding areas since 1972 and which according to local residents, it collapsed in 1979. Mrs Zubeda Rashid is the chairperson of the Makangara Village Water project and together with her Assistant, Ms Sabiana Ibrahim and Secretary Mohammed Salim Bodo revealed that they hatched a plan to form own water project in 2001.
“Before that, people here used to draw water from the Lwengera River whose flow left a lot to be desired, health wise and as the result the residents used to suffer from a number of waterborne diseases including typhoid, cholera and dysentery,” said Mrs Rashid.”Not to mention the fact that women and children used to suffer the distance of 6 kilometers or the return journey of 12 kilometers when going to fetch water from the river,” added Mr Salim-Bodo, pointing out that the problem affected school attendance and performances as far as local children are concerned.
It was also a matter of life and death, the water committee member pointed out that the Lwengera River is infested with large crocodiles that in the past used to attack and eat people, especially children drawing water, washing or bathing in the water. Today, water flows into the village; the project which started with only three outlets in 2007 has expanded to establish over 17 tap outlets around Makangara and beyond, with the main reservoir holding 135,000 liters.
Dr Gilbert Bureta is the in-charge at the local dispensary and admits that, ever since the water project was established, diseases like cholera disappeared from the village.”We have our own tank with 1500 liters capacity to cater for the dispensary here which means we never run short of water,” he stated.
So far there are 27 outlets with 17 found in Makangara village, 6 other taps at Mkwajuni-Sekioga and 4 others at Turiani-Kwaboha with extended services to Turiani, Magoma and Sekioga Secondary Schools as well as Kwata Primary School and counting.
The Makangara Village Water Project actually goes beyond the base village, extending to serve several other villages, Turiani Primary for instance is located in the neighboring Lushoto District and has over 1000 pupils .Executed with full support of the World Vision Tanzania (WVT) through its local Area Development Program (ADP) which funds the water, education and health projects in the vicinity, reaching out to over 43,000 people in 25 villages of four wards within the Magoma Ward in Magoma Division of Korogwe District, Tanga region.
But it is the water project which stands out as shining example of what local people are capable of achieving when deciding to work together in same spirit, a reminiscent of the former ‘Ujamaa’ era initiated by the late Mwalimu Nyerere. “You should have seen men digging trenches while women shoulder heavy piping materials across the hills; this is the only village that has managed to take water up and down the mountains with their own labor as main investment,” said the WVT project coordinator Mr George Banyenza.
The revival of sisal is bringing into Makangara new people and even newer business investments and as the result the area experiences surging population. “There are over 3000 households here so far which means the demand for water surpasses production,” said Mr Mohammed Bodo. They are estimating that each household currently consumes 200 liters of water, daily, meaning the demand now stands at 600,000 liters per day and therefore the 135,000 liters, which is the maximum capacity of the central reservoir has been busted.
“That is why the water is now being provided on allocation basis, we let it flow into the taps twice a day; morning and evening to avoid misuse as we work to identify supplementary sources,” said the water committee members.
Source Article from http://allafrica.com/stories/201209100050.html
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