Water wells and solar street lights for Utende Village, island of Mafia, Tanzania.
Last August I came back from Mafia Island after a 3 months stay as an independent volunteer there in the village of Utende which is located within a marine park area. Soon I felt accepted into the social life of this community of small farmers and fishermen with no problem at all and soon I had my little circle of friends, especially among the local children who visited my home whenever they felt like as the doors were always open. Hamid, a little boy of about 7 or 8 was one especially who enjoyed to come around my place because he was very keen in learning to write and he was happy because I had pen and paper, a rarity around the village. I was living like my neighbours, no running water and other amenities we here take for granted. Myself too had the plastic buckets, 3 of them, one for drinking water, one for bathing and one for washing clothes. I was lucky to live in a neighbourhood where a water cistern donated by some international charity was only 5 minutes away from where I lived. It was later on that I realised that many villagers, especially the women, had to walk some long way to get drinking water or they collected their water from wells where the water was not always safe to drink. The same situation was with the distribution of electricity. The path that led from my house to the centre of the village for example where every night I used to go to eat my dinner made by the local " mama ntilia " at their food stalls, had to use my torch to illuminate big patches of darkness between my place and the mama ntilias food stalls. It was only during the full moon that I did not need my torch to go around.
I got my idea of the solar street lights one night while sitted at the stall of one of my favourite mama ntilia, one who made the best tangawizi ( ginger tea) around the island.
I later spoke with the chief of the village about my idea to ask his permission which he granted.
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Nov 22, 2016
Good luck - it is worth the hard work! I hope you can visit Utende once more.
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About the fundraiser
London, United Kingdom
I am a mature woman who travelled to Tanzania since 1999. the first time I went to Zanzibar for two weeks on holidays. it was then that I decided to go back again as an independent volunteer where in 2005 I helped to fund a preschool near the capital Dar Es Salaam.