Tanzania is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world absolutely and relatively. This being the fact, the situation is worse in the rural areas in northern Tanzania due to high population, low productivity and lack of reliable sources of income. This area is characterized by many features such as lack of all-weather roads, lack of industries, lack of offices, lack of social services such as schools, health centers, lack of water, over 75% of the inhabitants are illiterate, lack of electricity, very low life expectancy, very high infant and maternal mortality rate, early marriages and use of very crude tools.
Due to patriarchy system, ignorance and traditions in this area, the most affected groups are the women and children. In this area there is very high number of most vulnerable children who need immediate help. These children are most vulnerable because of several reasons such as living in an extremely poor family, disability, orphan, they are abandoned, they live in child headed families, HIV/ Aids, parents are affected by alcohol and drug abuse, child labor having chronic diseases and domestic violence.
Quick Facts About Tanzania
- Estimated population of 48 million
- High animal poaching rate
- Country is 945,203 km2
- Per capital income is US$ 1 a day.
- Official language is Swahili
- HIV prevalence is 5.1% and it is higher among women 6.2% than among men 3.8%
- Illiteracy rate is estimated to be 40% for adults 15-49 years.
- Over 25% of the population doesn’t have access to safe water.
- Is a democracy and leaders are elected every 5 years.
According to UNICEF, malnutrition in Tanzania is a contributing factor in an estimated 130 child deaths everyday. They die because their immune systems are weakened through lack of essential nutrients and so they easily succumb to common childhood diseases that they would otherwise be able to fight. They also make children unable to reach their potential because they have been deprived of essential nutrients for healthy growth and brain development. According to the WHO, children from communities that are iodine deficient can lose an average of 13.5 IQ points and iron deficiency makes them tired and slow. Undernourished children often miss and do less at school and are less productive making it hard for them to escape poverty. Apart from nutrition, these children and women also need education and health support.
Over 15% of adolescent girls and women are undernourished which as a result they give birth to low birth weight infants who will be malnourished in childhood and later life thus transferring undernutrition from one generation to the next. Therefore there is need to help these women and children get nutritious food, education and help the same communities to have environmental conservation programs that will make them sustainable.
In Tanzania, primary school is free but parents or care takers have to provide mandatory uniforms and school supplies for their children. Most vulnerable children cant afford therefore they don’t go to school. If they don’t have uniforms teachers embarrass them and punish them.
Secondary schools are not free. So apart from the school supplies and uniforms, parents/ caretakers have to pay school fees for their children. Secondary school is therefore harder than primary school. Due to patriarchy system, most parents don’t take girls to school especially the secondary school. In rural areas, parents due to poverty marry off their daughters to a person who can afford the stated bride price. This makes women cling to domestic activities hence remain poor. Therefore, this project aims at providing nutritious flour to the malnourished women and children, to provide education support and also engage in the environmental conservation.