Muhenda-Kitunduweta

Muhenda-Kitunduweta

Insights from the second CSS village: Muhenda-Kitunduweta The village is located 45 kilometers from Kilosa town on the Kilosa-Mikumi road. The village spans on an undulated agro-landscape with intermittent valley bottoms. It is relatively drier compared to Tindiga. The road to the CSS is passable throughout the year. Muhenda has around 334 households forming a population of 3,671 people. Before it was split in 2015 to form another village called Kitunduweta, it had the total of about 821 households. In order to have a meaningful number of households (not less than 800), the two villages will be treated as the CSS. Kitunduweta still depends on Muhenda on all administration related issues. The two villages are served by the same extension officer. The major starchy staples grown include maize grown by each household, sorghum and rice by 40% each, and cassava by 30%. These major staples are produced for both food and cash. Farmers also grow grain legumes including pigeon pea, cowpea, bean and green gram. Whereas pigeon pea is grown by all households, cowpea is cultivated by only 30% of the households leaving only 10% of the households growing beans. Comparable to beans, green gram is also grown on small scale. Production of grain legumes is for both food and cash. Other crops include sesame by 80%, sunflower 40% and some coconut. A range of vegetables is grown in the village entailing mainly African eggplant, onion, cabbage, Chinese and amaranths and tomatoes. Tomatoes and African eggplants are the main vegetables grown in large quantities for exporting to Dar es Salaam and Kilombero for selling. Vegetable production involves irrigated farming using water-lifting pumps. About 80% of vegetable growers use irrigation pumps and the remaining 20% use buckets. There are around 15 water pumps in the village that can be hired around. Common fruits in the area include mango, citrus and banana. These are not commercially grown. Villagers keep goat, chicken, ducks and pigs. Every household keeps chicken. Very few keep goats, pigs and ducks (10-20%). The Sukuma immigrants are the majority who keep cattle. The presence of Sukuma agro-pastoralists ensures supplies of milk and meat to the village. At the village center, at least animal slaughtering is done 2-4 times in a month. Some households can afford meat. Commercial slaughtering is done at the village center 2-4 times a month. Animals slaughtered are mainly cattle, goats and sheep. Adults of Muhenda-Kitunduweta village normally have their meals twice in a day unlike their children under the age of 5 who eat 3-4 times a day. The meals for adults consist of a big starchy portion (mainly maize and rarely rice or banana) and a small portion of either vegetable or grain legume. The meals for under-fives include mainly white maize porridge (not whole grains). Food storage is another challenge faced by people of Muhenda-Kitunduweta. Only 30% of the population can store food (in this case maize) up to next season; which limits food accessibility at the market. Grains are stored in propylene bags with the application of storage insecticides, most of which are increasingly ineffective. The one time application of insecticides as expected is inefficient. For the grain to survive the 4-6 month period, multiple applications are required which is dangerous for the human health. People of this village are relying on shallow wells for portable water. The wells were constructed under the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) – a presidential social action fund for stirring development. In total, there are 13 wells but only 7 are working – 4 in Muhenda and 3 in Kitunduweta. They use river water for washing and bathing. The common diseases include dysentery, bilharzia, worms, HIV-AIDS and child malnutrition. The first two diseases are basically waterborne. Water from shallow wells and surface rivers are not safe unless safety treatment measures such as boiling and disinfectants (e.g. water guard) are used. Malaria was not reported not to be a serious problem in the village. Majority are sleeping in the mosquito net (about 100%). There is one village clinic and two primary schools

22.06.2016 08:00