Tanzania is a stable country. However, it faces a number of economic challenges related to infrastructure bottlenecks (particularly in transport and energy), a weak fiduciary environment that hampers private sector development, and a poor agricultural sector, which limits efforts to reduce poverty. In addition, there is a weak human resource base and skills mismatch resulting from a deterioration of the higher education system. Despite some structural and social reforms that have led to a substantial increase in GDP, the socio-economic indicators are still mixed (high unemployment rate at 30%, country ranked 151 out of 188 by UNDP in 2016).
The northern regions are traditionally inhabited by Maasai, whose livelihood depends largely on pastoralism. The Maasai have a traditional grazing management system based on mobility, which represent an important coping mechanism. However, the availability (in quantity and quality) of grazing areas has been reduced considerably due to population growth and the emergence of other activities (mining, agriculture, natural reserves and parks, etc.). This fact is accentuated by the non-mastery of land legislation by (agro) pastoralists. Land use management plans are being developed, but they do not take into account the importance of pastoralism and the mobility of livestock.
VSF Belgium and VSF Austria support Maasai communities in Northern Tanzania. VSF Sweden supports the Meru Animal Welfare Organization in running dog mobile clinics.
What we do:
- Supporting Maasai pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and hunter-gatherers to secure land and natural resource rights and promote multi-stakeholders land use planning and management committees.
- Improving food security and resilience of vulnerable Maasai families through: strengthened veterinary services; improved pasture management; capacity building and training; livestock diversification through poultry farming and sustainable beekeeping.
- Enabling young Maasai to study veterinary medicine and law at local universities.
- Running of a ‘mobile cheese dairy school’ to teach farmers adding value to traditional milk production and thus giving local pastoralists an additional source of income.
- Establishing a central quality laboratory to test for melamine and other hazardous residues and contaminants as well as suitable detection methods on-site; enrolling African scientists and veterinarians to conduct these lifesaving tasks.
Tanzania is also one of the countries where VWB/VSF Canada sends volunteers through their “Volunteers for Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities” project, to reinforce the capacities of local partner organizations.