Community volunteering in Tanzania

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2020: 15 Jul, 15 Aug
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Community volunteering in Tanzania

Environment

We have a strict policy of the frugal use of water in Tanzania by our volunteers. We have a rainwater harvesting system at our accommodation which provides all of our drinking water. Our volunteers selectively flush the toilets to minimise the use of water. All of our volunteers use reusable water containers when they operate in the bush.

Our dairy goat scheme operates a zero grazing scheme which prevents the goats from wandering freely in the bush eating trees. We encourage recycling of animal manure and the planting of trees. Our farming initiatives with local farmers encourage coppicing of trees rather than clear felling and burning. We are actively attempting to improve the quality of the soil of our partner farms by encouraging farmers to introducing materials which are biodegradable such as sawdust and wood shavings. We encourage farmers to rotate their crops to introduce nitrogen into the soil. We are working with local environment agencies to encourage the protection of the wildlife and ecosystem of the remaining areas of uncleared bush.

Community

All our projects are joint projects with local people and are agreed with the local government and village communities. The recipients of the projects we are involved in are selected by a local committee who manage the farmers co-operative that we helped set up. We work in partnership with the co op meeting regularly with the farmers and their management committee. We discuss possible projects and agree our short and long term strategies. The farmers are encouraged to be self reliant and to take initiatives in new business projects.

Our projects employ many local people such as cooks, cleaners, drivers, translators, managers, tradesmen and labourers. We have a training programme to train local people in the skills required to build water tanks, toilets, goat sheds, schools and low cost housing. We are training local people to help manage our projects.

We make a significant contribution to the local economy by using local builder’s merchants, food markets and safari companies to supply our volunteers and projects. Our projects enable hundreds of individuals and families to be financially self-sufficient via their involvement in our sustainable income generating projects.

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