Today we have submitted a project proposal for the “U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund” which is organized by the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam. It is only a grant of $5,000 (an equivalent to TSH 8 million), but it could change the live of smallholder farmers in the Pare mountains. The project is to restore and upgrade a water irrigation pond in Mhero village located close to Shengena Forest. An initiative from Mhero approached a KIHO delegation during a visit in early February 2013, and stressed that one of their main needs are the restoration of water irrigation ponds to allow farming throughout the year and combat food insecurity.
Today our three volunteers from Europe returned from Gonja, a village in the Pare mountains close to Shengena Forest. They stayed with one of KIHO’s board members, Mr. Seraphine, for one week. The aim of the stay was to find out the potential of eco-cultural tourism in Gonja, as one of several villages in the southern Pare mountains that could be included in such an initiative. Already since quite a while, KIHO board members are wondering to support an initiative of eco-cultural tourism or as it could also be dubbed, solidarity tourism. The idea is to travel responsibly to areas that conserve the environment, exchange cultural practices and improve the well-being of local people.
On Saturday, a KIHO delegation returned from a four-day trip to different villages in Ruvu ward, located next to Pangani river basin. The area is in the lowlands in the extreme west of Same district and it is indeed very hot and dry there. Nonetheless, there is a lot of farming going on in the meantime thanks to water irrigation canals that has made the land very fertile. However, there is conflict and tension between cattle-keepers and farmers in the area. Both groups depend on water from the Pangani river (or the irrigation canals).
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