The Government of Tanzania and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today joined a ceremony to mark the completion of 15 new community buildings in central Tanzania's Dodoma region. Funded by the Republic of Korea, the new buildings were constructed by local builders as part of the Saemaul Zero Hunger Communities (SZHC) project in three villages in Chamwino district. Saemaul means 'New Village' in Korean.
The ceremony in Fufu village in Chamwino district was attended by Regional Commissioner Jordan Rugimbana, WFP Tanzania Deputy Country Director Jerry Bailey, Chamwino District Commissioner Vumilia Nyamoga and Good Neighbors International Country Director Namun Heo.
"On behalf of the Government of Tanzania, we are very grateful to WFP and all the SZHC development partners for their work in Chamwino District," said Regional Commissioner Rugimbana as he guided guests around the other project villages of Suli and Chiboli. "I am promising to make sure that all levels of government, from the village to the regional level, will take their part to ensure the sustainability of the project and that the community continues to benefit from the support."
The US$5 million SZHC project 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 to each community by the community itself.
"Our goal is that these buildings will contribute to sustainable development for the over 12,000 residents in these three villages," said KOICA Resident Representative Joonsung Park before the ceremony. "Thanks to the combined efforts of the Government of Tanzania, its citizens, WFP and our partners, we're able to support the strengthening of the community's capacity through the SZHC project."
Good Neighbors International and Chamwino District Council oversaw the construction of the new buildings, which include teacher housing and improved pit latrines at each of the village primary schools and food storage warehouses in each village. Additionally, a community centre and teachers' office were constructed in Fufu, while primary school classrooms were built in both Chiboli and Fufu villages. Given its supply chain expertise and deep field presence, WFP assisted the co-ordinating partners with management of the buildings' construction.
Other activities under the SZHC umbrella included the construction of rainwater catchment dams, borehole wells and facilities for processing sesame seeds.
"We want to thank KOICA for their generous contribution and the Government of Tanzania for its support in strengthening the capacity of these communities," said WFP's Jerry Bailey. "These new buildings, together with the wells and rainwater catchment dams, build up the resilience of these communities and give them alternative opportunities for when the rainfall might be too much or too little for traditional rain-fed agriculture."
In addition to supporting construction, the SZHC project helps strengthen the community's resilience to climatic shocks by providing additional income-generating opportunities like animal husbandry, brick-making and sesame cultivation.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation.