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Improving food security and socio-productive development conditions for 1.500 families in Simanjiro, Tanzania

The environmental factors to which inland Tanzania is exposed (erosion and reduced rainfall), the scarcity of infrastructure, the low productivity of farming and stockbreeding, and the lack of access to sources of water supplies and basic infrastructures, together with the features of the Masai community, are generating a situation of food insecurity which has a direct impact on the population.

In December 2012 the Probitas foundation decided to support the programme run by the Spanish and Tanzanian Red Cross to improve living conditions for some 9,000 Masai through agricultural development consisting of preparing vegetable plots, sustainable production and distribution of input, technical training in means of cultivation and water management and the provision of water sources (rainwater collection reservoirs) which, as well as helping to make resources more productive, should guarantee the survival of livestock, the main source of income for the community.

Diversification of agricultural produce is making it possible to affect the nutritional state of the beneficiaries, as well as generating extra income for families from surplus production. There are 12 VICOBA (Village Community Banks), women's associations of which one exists in each locality covered by the project. Water management committees are organised through them and they are responsible for managing the vegetable plots. These associations are also the organizational channel for income-generating activities such as the bottling and sale of sunflower oil. Women are a risk group because of social and cultural customs which exist among the Masai community and are the key to the success of the project.