Mzula

Mzula

Insights from the first CSS village: Mzula with a total of 750 households who are all involved in farming, Mzula village is located about 30 kilometers from Dodoma town and 10 kilometers from Mvumi town. It spans in an extended depression surrounded by mountains granting it a beautiful landscape. However, it faces land scarcity for farming as no possibility of extending to the mountains. Major food staples grown include pearl millet and sorghum; with a supplementary of maize from a few farmers. Whereas sorghum is grown by 60% of the total population, at least each household grows pearl millet, groundnuts, sunflower, cowpea and Bambara nuts. Moreover, despite being blamed for accelerating deforestation in the mountains, sesame is still grown by 70% of the population unlike sunflower which is grown by only 40%. Vegetables appeared to be popular in home gardening by 70% of the population. Groundnuts are melded and mixed with vegetables; therefore groundnuts are consumed seven days a week. Home gardening gained the popularity through the RCH clinic that encouraged it to promote nutrition amongst expecting and nursing mothers. Nevertheless, Mzula village is also growing major fruits including Mangoes, pawpaws and dried boab fruits. The RCH clinic programs provide a monthly handout of nutrition flour to all households with children under the age of five. The amount of flour depends on the number of under-fives in the household. The households without younger children still receive the flour as gift from the recipient households. Animal products widely consumed include meat and milk. Whereas chicken ownership appears to be popular in each household, other animals possessed in the village include, ducks, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, guinea fowls and donkeys. Milk supply is assured from March to June when there is plenty of pasture. Eggs produced at the households are not eaten at the household as they battered in exchange for milling services and portable water. One egg is exchanged for the milling service of one tin of maize or five buckets of water. The key informants affirmed that malnutrition is common. They estimated that in every 10 under-five children 3 are undernourished. The sign they cited was protrusion of stomach. These are general insights which are not affirmative at this juncture as thorough research will be conducted to investigate these issues. Moreover, despite the availability of food which provides the households with 3 meals a day, during the food shortage season, people go for one meal a day. Local people manufacture their own salt. This self-made salt is not iodized. It was reported that only half of the households used iodized salt which is purchased from shops. Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges faced by the villagers who rely on 10 community tape water points (which is for sale) and private water sale points. Farmers use purchased water to irrigate their home gardens which is not affordable to all households. This forces approximately 30% of the households to fetch water from the shallow wells in sand rivers who are at risk of getting Typhoid. The major diseases in the village include typhoid fever, malaria, coughing and flu, as well as HIV/ AIDS. However, even though the estimate shows a sufficient number of mosquito nets, only 50% use them. Another big challenge faced by the villagers is lack of permanent health facilities in the village. The villagers rely on a monthly service of a mobile RHC

22.06.2016 07:59