DODOMA – The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today held a ceremony to mark the completion and handover of the Saemaul Zero Hunger Communities programme to the Government of Tanzania in central Dodoma Region.
Under the programme, participants from three villages were able to improve their livelihoods through animal husbandry and beekeeping groups while over 100 community assets were constructed or restored. Assets included warehouses, solar-powered irrigation systems, earth dams and community centres. These projects help boost the communities’ resilience to shocks such as droughts and floods and provide economic opportunities for participants throughout the year.
The US$5 million Saemaul programme is based on a similar programme in the Republic of Korea in the 1970s, which contributed to poverty reduction in rural areas by using development projects that were tailored by each community based on their needs. Saemaul means “new village” in Korean.
The ceremony was held in Suli village in Chamwino district and was attended by Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Charles John Tizeba, Dodoma Assistant Regional Administrative Secretary, Aziza Mumba, Chamwino District Commissioner, Vumilia Nyamoga, WFP Tanzania Country Representative, Michael Dunford, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Deputy Country Representative, Ms. Hyunsun Kim, non-governmental organization Good Neighbors Tanzania Country Director, Namun Heo and representatives from local government.
“Today I am happy to see the Saemaul programme and the tools it provides these communities to enable them to be self-sufficient and build better futures for their families,” said Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Charles John Tizeba. “The project belongs to Chiboli, Fufu and Suli communities now and they have to make sure they love it and they take care of it in on order to make it sustainable. I look forward to seeing how these projects transform the lives of the participants over time and how we can take the successes of this project and implement them elsewhere in Chamwino.”
Funded by the Republic of Korea and implemented by WFP and Good Neighbors Tanzania, the project supported 2,500 households from the villages of Chiboli, Fufu and Suli in Chamwino District.
“KOICA on behalf of the Republic of Korea is excited to see the fruits of the Saemaul model and how it has benefitted the people of Chamwino District,” said KOICA Deputy Country Representative, Ms. Hyunsun Kim. “Community effort is necessary for sustaining the development of their communities. In the experience of Korea, the model worked well and today we are among the top economies of the world.”
Drawing on 30 years of experience on public works programmes in Tanzania and elsewhere, WFP assisted with planning, technical support, management of the project and the construction of community assets.
“The change in the three villages over the last few years has been dramatic,” said WFP Tanzania Country Representative Michael Dunford. “I was told by the community, that in the past, men and women would leave the area to look for work – particularly in the dry season or during drought – but now through these projects, there is enough work to provide income throughout the entire year.
Other activities under the Saemaul programme included sesame farming and processing as well as the construction of borehole wells, school classrooms and cattle troughs.
“We feel grateful for all the moments we shared together with the communities,” said Good Neighbors Tanzania Country Director, Namun Heo. “Small and big achievements, challenges and lessons learned taught us the value of working together. I hope they can keep it up and share positive influence with other villages as good neighbours.”
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