Monday, November 14, 2011

Praise the LORD! He sent the rain early. ASANTE MUNGU!!

It has been since the 1st week in May 2011 that Dodoma and it's surrounding semi-arid areas had experienced rainfall. Well, We want to say thanks to all our supporters and those who  were praying diligently for the LORD to send the rains. He did!! and we are thankful. The 1st rain came on November 7th, 2011. Even though it rained  for only 1 day, but the dams have already captured so much water ( Please see pictures below).   

Our newest village ( Chololo) is still waiting for the rain.
Note: Please double click pictures to enlarge

Clouds forming in Chololo (Nov.14th, 2011) still no rain here yet.

Water from the well pump at Kawawa, Zuzu

A young girl getting water from the Sejeseje well in Chididimo

Clear water (Maji Safi Sana!!) from the well at Soweto, Zuzu village

Water from the 1st rain (Nov.7th 2011) at Kawawa, Zuzu

Children getting water from the well  at Sejeseje, Chididimo

Ed Lloyd helping to install the well pump at Soweto, Zuzu

Water in the sand river at Soweto, Zuzu after 1st rain on Nov.7th, 2011

Woman smiling pricelessly as she gets water from the Soweto well

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our newest Sand Dam site: Chololo village

About Chololo village:

 This village is located about 46km out side of Dodoma town (15 km from the Dar el Salaam road)
Population: 4,000
Water sources: 2 sand rivers where water is collected by digging about 3 or 4 meters in the sand. The water from the sand rivers come in late November (beginning of the short raining season) and is usually dried up by  late June, leaving people to travel about 5-8 km to the nearest water source (a well pump) .

Problem with water:
  • The only source of water, a well pump has been out of sorts for the past 4 years.
      · Insufficient water
· They have a bore hole but it is not working due to the old infrastructure.  It was  built in 1972 but has not been working since 2006. Need 11 million tsh (6,500 usd) to fix. Have a donor who will contribute 8 million and village needs to contribute 3 million (2,000 usd).
·Have a well at Jamhuri but it goes dry during the dry season.
·Working with other partners in water Ahamadia, Wana, and a Muslim organization.
Why do they want a sand dam?
·Because they need water throughout the year.  
Crops that are grown:
  •  millet, maize, groundnuts, sunflower, mafuta.
  • Average yields- 2-3 bags per acre.

    Surveying the Chololo Sand River
    The trench dug at about 10 ft deep
  • Carts and containers used for carrying and storing water
  • Terracing the land at Chololo sand dam site to help protect the dam walls (10/4/2011)
    Women working together

    Special thanks to Ed and Debra LLoyd of Omega International who supported us in installing the well-pump at Chololo and also helping to service the broken pump at Chididimo, and Zuzu --at NO charge!! We know that this help came from the Lord because of their selfless attitude and their caring Spirit. What a blessing Ed and Debra has been.  We praise the Lord for them and we thank them so much for their demonstration of Jesus'  love to the people in the communities around Dodoma.
  • Ed and Debra Lloyd of Omega Int'l

Ed Lloyd supervising the installment of the afri-dev pump


Bishop Amos Celebrating with the people of Chololo

Celebration walk and Dance to the Site

And the celebreation continues in Chololo with traditional dancing





Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Website Update

Hello everyone,
 So much has been happening in the life of the Community Based Water Program since May 2011

  • Hongera! (Congratulations) to the three community groups we have been working with over the last few months on completing the construction of their sand dam and adjacent wells. Construction of the sand dams started on May 10th and was completed on June 13th. During the week of June 20th we held celebrations at each site. It was exciting to see the groups being vey proud of their work. Each group invited leaders from the other groups to come and share in their celebration ( capacity building 101).
Following are some photos from the construction celebrations.
Celebration at Soweto (left) and  Kawawa (right)
Celebration at Chijendele
  •   CBWP is hoping to start and complete one or two more sand dam this year before the rains begin in late November 2011

  On June 13th, 2011 we worked with 3 new community groups to construct and complete 3 sand dams and 3 wells. We were very impressed with the commitment level of the 3 new groups. They worked effortlessly to complete this task.  To date, the groups are very much anticipating the rains that are due to come in late November-early December. Since the first week in May, Dodoma and it's surrounding villages  have seen no more rain fall. We are now in our driest time of the year.
  • We are praying ( truly praying) that the rains will come early this year and soon the new groups will begin to enjoy the benefit of getting water from the dams and wells.
Note: It takes about 3-4 raining seasons before the dams will mature.

Kawawa, Zuzu (Umoja group) Sand Dam and well constructed May 10-June 13th 2011

Chididimo (Chijendelele group) Sand Dam constructed May 10-June 12th 2011

                      Soweto, Zuzu (Vumilia group) sand dam constructed May 10th-June 11th 2011

  •    During the month of  August 2011 our staff took advantage of some much needed training time. Our Mobilizer ( Chitema) and our Mason(Shomary) went to Nearby Kenya ( Kitui)  for training in mobilizing community groups and Sand dam construction. This will greatly help to reduce the amount of time it will take us to help the Self-Help-Groups (SHG) construct the dams and also cut down on the number of meetings that usually goes into organizing the groups before construction begins.
  • In August 2011 we were very exicted to receive guest from the Food Resource Bank(FRB).
Their mission:
  • Share with program staff and participants about FRB and the role of their growing project and its role in FRB.

  • Learn about the principles behind sustainable food security and integrated development.
Some of the guest participants were:

·  Leader: Bev Abma, Executive Director of Overseas Programming from Michigan (Canadian)
· Leader: Beth Mooy, FRB Board Director and Growing Project participant from Fremont MI
·Val Wykstra, Interne from Calvin Seminary, from East Martin, MI
· Abigail Genzink, Youth Scholarship from Byron Center, MI
·Kimberly Nelson, Canadian daughter of Bev Abma from Calgary, AB
· Mark Nelson, Canadian son-in-law of Bev Abma from Calgary, AB
·Nicholas Kuperus, Youth Scholarship from Byron Center, MI
· Carol Boerkoel, Bryon Center, MI Friend of FRB
· Jacinta from Kenya Kitu
Pictures of FRB visit:
Mark&Kim Nelson with Beth Mooy and Al Wright at the dam site

FRB visiting 'The Office' in Chididimo village

Engravement on the Dam wall at Kawawa, Zuzu

Together in Prayer to the Lord for the Land
It all begins with humility (James 4:10)
  • In September we held our 2nd Farming God's Way Seminar in the villages of Chididimo and Zuzu.
Our  lead trainer this time was Graham Stevenson from Arusha, TZ.  Graham has been Farming God's Way for 3 years now and has seen great results on his Farm. He was willing to come and share what the Lord has been teaching him with the local farmers and people in Chididimo and Zuzu villages of Dodoma, TZ.
The seminar was held from September 26-October 1st 2011. We are also happy to have Victor Jonathan on our team. Victor is a graduate from sokoine university in Morogoro and is doing his first internship work with us. Victor also led some of the discussions during the Farming God's Way seminar.

 (Victor Jonathan demonstrating soil runoff problem without God's blanket)
Conventional farming: typically 90% of rainfall lost in runoff
Farming God's Way: typically only 6% of rainfall is lost in runoff

Graham Stevenson(makofia) teaching FGW

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Full Steam Ahead

Site Preparations
By Jodi Holzman

An example of water sources used by the community.

We have been working with three new self-help groups this year building sand dams. Two of the groups are from the sub-villages of Zuzu; Kawawa and Soweto. Their group names are Umoja which means unity and Vumilia which means to be patient. The third group is a sub-village of Chididimo and their group name is Chijendelele na Mlimo which means 'to continue to work' and is downstream from the two sand dams we built last year.

I have been away at language school for the last seven weeks near Iringa. When I left, the self-help groups were just signing their MOU's and had not started any work on the sites yet. The sites were selected however as Ben from SASOL was here the week before I left to conduct the surveying of the sites.

The women of Soweto.
When I returned from Iringa I was in for quite a surprise! The three groups had completed most of the terracing and planted over 1,100 between them . Some of the terracing cannot be completed until the sand dam and well have been completed. They had also collected large piles of rocks (but still need to collect more) and completed most of the trench digging for the sand dam! I was amazed at how quickly they could get all this hard, laborious work done. And it is all done by hand with pick axes and shovels.

This week the cement and rebar will be delivered to the sites and the self-help groups will start the actual construction of the sand dam. Eliude arrived from Kenya late last week and is here from SASOL to teach the local masons (each group must have at least one mason) and our mason, Shomari on the sand dam construction.

I have spent a lot of time the last few weeks taking pictures so here is a selection of them for you. They will give you a much better idea of what has been accomplished in the last two months.

Photos courtesy of Jodi Holzman and Matt Kaeb.

A long, deep trench at Kawawa.
Collecting more rock for sand dam.
Women collecting rocks.
Trench at Soweto.

Terraces with vetiver grass.

Banana trees and garden.
Bringing sand up from river to mix with cement.
Making cement blocks.
Masons at work.

Connecting People

MCC Connecting People Learning Tour Visit Dodoma
By Jodi Holzman

The men helping the women.
Last week has been very busy here in Dodoma. Not only are we working with and encouraging the three self-help groups to complete the trench digging before the mason arrives from SASOL, but we have had a MCC learning tour group here with us. There are six people in the group, one from Canada and five from America. They arrived safe and sound (and jet-lagged of course) in Arusha, Thursday, April 28th. Before heading down to Dodoma on the thirteen hour bus ride they went on a day safari to the Arusha National Park.
On Saturday they spent the day on a long bus journey and had a 'wonderful' introduction to traveling in Africa. Sunday morning they all came to the Mennonite Church at Iringa Road for a wonderful and blessed service. The rest of the day was a day for rest and relaxation. On Monday the Sand Dam team here in Dodoma and our guests spent the day visiting all the sand dam projects. We went to all three of the new sites as well as last years’ sites so they could see a completed project.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were spent mostly at Kawawa helping with digging, watering, cooking, visiting, picture taking and of course lots of laughter and singing. They then spent their Thursday afternoon and Friday with the folks from the health program at the Iringa Rd Mennonite Church, Grace and Healing Ministries. From what I saw and heard all six of our visitors had a wonderful experience and many good stories to take home with them.Here are some photos from the week courtesy of Jodi Holzman and Matt Kaeb
Trying out the pick-ax.

Learning Tour Group.

Matt trying to carry water and doing a good job too.
Valerie helping with the digging.

Larry with a group digging.

Ed climbing into the deep trench.
Getting a helping hand (or two).

Getting water.

Carrying water.

Working on the water cistern.

Helping with the ugali (local Tz food).

Collecting sand.

'The Office' at Chididimo.

Question and Answer time.