Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Tilapia pond success story in Tanzania

In Tanzania we work alongside the Livingstone Tanzania Trust, striving for a better future. LTT and Quest aim to promote sustainable development through education by working alongside local communities. We do this by improving educational facilities, improving the community's health through education and diet, and developing sustainable forms of income to work towards self-sufficiency.

Livingstone Tanzania Trust has used a number of sustainability innovations, most of which can be seen at Wa'angwaray Primary School in Babati, northern Tanzania. After five years of assisting the school with renovations and in developing their school farm, LTT have recently begun the hand-over of management of this back to the school management.  The school and the community have had joint ownership of this project from the very start, it's great to see that this will soon be total.

The school farm has been a great success and recently received the Award for Best Farm in the Babati District. It is also works as a 'demonstration farm', where anyone from the local community can come and observe the different techniques and then replicate the ideas that will be useful for them.

One of the low-cost sustainable techniques developed by LTT have been tilapia ponds. Previously, people were aware of the market for tilapia, a popular fish for eating, but didn't necessarily have the knowledge on how to set up a pond and run it cost-effectively. With the help of Quest volunteers, LTT has led the way and provided the community with this know-how, and it's clear that this has had an inspiring effect.

So far over 20 ponds have already been dug and another 40 are on the way  - but it's not only in numbers that the difference can be seen, but in the story of Hafsa Mpore's son:

A couple of years ago, after having witnessed the success of the tilapia ponds at Wa'angwaray, he decided to set up his own pond, aged just 12.  The proceeds he makes from selling his tilapia are now funding him through secondary school.  Whilst tuition fees in government secondary schools are just TSh 20,000 (around $15), this is often a financial stretch too far for families in this region, some of whom survive on less than $1 a day per adult.  That's the equivalent of someone earning well below minimum wage being asked to stump up nearly £500!

This is the kind of project Quest4Change is proud to support.

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