MWIKA DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND (MWIDETFU)
Mwika is an administrative unit that covers 10 villages on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The latest census establishes Mwika population at 37,000.
The Mwika Development Trust Fund (MWIDETFU) is an NGO that was established in 1994 by the people of Mwika (Wamwika) who were deeply concerned about the declining standard of living in their villages. Wamwika living in the villages and elsewhere are working collaboratively, and contributing their knowledge, experiences and resources to improve the economic, social and cultural development of Mwika.
MWIDETFU and Development Projects
MWIDETFU is a catalyst for numerous development projects, bringing expertise, important market contacts and resources to development projects initiated by the Mwika community. To date, development projects have been focused in the following sectors: education, health, agriculture and livestock, and infrastructure development.
1. In education: To ensure that all primary school graduates who pass standard seven exams are assured of placement in a secondary school.
- MWIDETFU is supporting the construction of a second community-built secondary school in Mwika. Construction commenced in 2004. The first group of 80 students was enrolled in Form I in 2005. Classroom construction work continues.
- MWIDETFU helped Kirimeni and Uuwo Primary schools to rehabilitate and expand classrooms, libraries and toilet facilities.
- MWIDETFU helped Mwika Day Secondary School set up a computer room with three computers contributed by the Korean Embassy. It als
- increased the stock of books in the school library.
2. In health: MWIDETFU is supporting efforts to improve basic health care and contain major killer diseases, especially malaria and HIV/AIDS.
- MWIDETFU contributed to the construction and equipping of Uuwo dispensary and its mortuary. The latter became operational in July 2005.
- MWIDETFU is in the process of equipping Msae Health Centre Maternity Ward, and building a health clinic for Mwika South.
3. In agriculture and livestock: MWIDETFU's contribution has been to promote milk production and marketing, banana flour production, resettlement of land deprived farmers and establishment of a community-based savings and credit institution.
- MWIDETFU helped establish a milk collection point in Mwika for processing by Brookside Dairy Ltd. in Arusha. This has provided additional source of cash income for many dairy farmers, thereby providing incentives for enhanced milk production and steady improvement in the well-being of concerned farmers.
- MWIDETFU brought technical expertise from Sokoine University to assist a women's group in Mwika to start the solar drying of bananas, the most abundant crop on Kilimanjaro, for processing of nutritious blended flour.
- Increased land fragmentation and landlessness have been one of the main causes of growing poverty in Mwika. MWIDETFU assisted 40 Mwika farmers to relocate to Tanga in an out-grower program where they were each allocated 8-10 hectares to cultivate sisal, a promising drought-resistant cash crop.
4. In building infrastructure:
- MWIDETFU has helped to bring electricity to the Ward of Mwika South.
- MWIDETFU has campaigned actively for the construction of an all-weather road linking the marketing centre of Mwika to a major national highway.
- MWIDETFU intervened successfully in a dispute between Mwika residents and a private water supply company, and helped establish Mwika Water Users' Association.
MWIDETFU Membership and Governance
MWIDETFU membership is open to all Wamwika and permanent residents in Mwika above the age of 18, and those with fixed assets in Mwika. Currently it has about 250 members.
MWIDETFU is governed by a Board of Trustees based in Dar es Salaam, and a Management Committee based in Mwika, all providing their services on voluntary basis.
MWIDETFU funding of various projects derives from:
- Members' annual subscriptions
- Special donations from members and non-members
- Institutional grants and technical assistance
Chairman: Dr. Sadikiel N. Kimaro