Report by Richard Loader (July 2014)
For the past four years Ughandi B has opted into a government scheme to part erect a dispensary and two staff houses. We have received extensive plans via the Secretary in Ughandi B which we can now show prospective donors.
The plan is to construct a dispensary and two staff buildings to roof beam level after which the Tanzanian government completes the project and then supplies staff and medicines.
Our Project Manager was able to send us these photographs during his planned in August 2013. Here we see the main dispensary building in progress;work had not begun on the staff houses at this time. Remaining work on the dispensary is estimated cost approx £2.130 with the cost of staff houses being £7.700.
It has long been our wish to facilitate building a dispensary in Ughandi B and now the community have shown they have the capability to raise funds for themselves we would like to push the project on faster by part funding it through our project.
To this end we have begun to hold fund raising events and are contacting charities/organisations and companys which we hope will feel able to assist us.
Prior to our visit in June 2014 we had contacted TDT (Tanzanian Developement Trust) who although based in the UK have varied projects in Tanzania. The trusts Vice Chairman Dan Cook visited us and on our return from Ughandi B was able to give us the good news that TDT would sponsor us to build two staff houses.
Ughandi B and it’s sub villages cover a wide area with around 5000 inhabitants. Having no infrastructure it means long journeys on foot or bicycle to the nearest hospital in Singida Town. This dispensary would mean people being treated locally,some in their own homes.
Our visit June 2014
Richard and myself recently returned from Tanzania where very little work had taken place since our project manager visited in July 2013 infact the only improvement was minor construction to the lower part of the roof beam. The problem has been lack of funds to buy cement which is expensive, but also money to pay artisans to work. We organised a meeting with the village committee to discuss the way forward.
Present at this meeting were the village Chairman Mzee Rashidi Mkuyu and Secretary Mzee Adamu Hanmsi. They were encouraged by our news that we had funds available for purchasing material to finish work on the dispensary. They spoke of the difficulties in raising funds to complete such a large project and said they had been told there was no planned budget for the project in 2014/2015. There was also some confusion about the timeline for completing the project which had begun in January 2011, therefore we concluded that we needed to speak with the District Council to clarify things. The following day (June 20th) we were able to meet with Mr Sabore District coordinations officer and the Health Minister Mr Kariston Mwenda. Also present were Ughandi ‘B’ Chairman and Secretary, with Mr Abraham Ng’eni translating.
Points raised during both meetings were
- Timescale for build
- Structural requirements
- Government selection
- District Council and Village commitment
Villagers had voiced concerns that the project may not be completed by the government due to the time scale required. However we were assured there was no actual timescale; only that the project was subject to there being money in the government budget when the build reached the stage it could be taken over.
As the current budget was being set during our visit it was stated that there would most likely be no funding during the financial year 2014/2015, although there was a possibility it could be considered in the October budget. We realistically have to believe there will be no funding until 2015/2016.
The government require a high specification and therefore the build will need to be inspected at all stages. The Health Minister had visited the village earlier in the year to check on it’s conditon and was happy with the construction to date.
Twenty village projects are sellected for funding from central government each year and it is the responsibility of the local village government to put in the application to the District Council.
District Council and Village commitment
Although it was stated that the commitment from both parties should be Government 95% Village 2% + Water, we would contest from the size of the build that is not the case.
With funding from Ughandi B village project the community will be able to complete the main building to the point where it can be finished by the government.
District Council will write a letter of commitment to the village committee.
It was agreed that the District Council would write a formal letter to the village committee stating their commitment to complete the project to allay any rumours to the contrary.
Clarification was given as to what ‘finishing’ entailed, to allay doubt as to what was expected from the government. Structural finishing includes roof, doors and windows. Thence after completion, medical equipment and staff will be supplied.
The following day was spent in Singida Town buying the list of items given to us at the village meeting.
The shopping list consisted of 100 large bags of cement, iron bars, sand, stone balast and various other sundry items. A truck was hired to transport the materials to Ughandi ‘B’, the Chairman and Secretary going with it to ensure it’s safe arrival. We were also able to pay local artisans, mainly for transportation of sand from the river bed, stone breaking for balast,block making and construction work once we’d left.
On our return to the village we were officially thanked by the elders for giving them the boost needed to carry on with the work. They told us that they were very determined to complete the project. Later some of the villagers walked with us to the dispensary build and sang songs to give thanks for our help.
Since our return to the UK we have received many photographs of what has been achieved from the £1.500 we were able to donate. Thanks to Kisuda Orgenes for the photographs he was able to send us.
At the end of October 2014 Ughandi B Village Project signed a contract with TDT who will fund the project to build two staff houses.
In November 2014 Dan Cook met up with our project manager and was able to spend two days in Ughandi B visiting some of our projects including the dispensary and the local primary school.
We thank TDT and all individuals who supported this project on behalf of the people of Ughandi ‘B’ who would love to be able to do so themselves. There is a likelihood that this dispensary once it’s completed will service the whole ward which will be a huge achievement and asset for all the villages close by. A huge thank you also to Abraham Ng’eni who without his guidence and skills none of this would have been possible.
The challenge now is to complete the Staff Houses before the next budget so that an application can be made to the government. Lets all pray that this can be achieved.
Since November 2014 building has been on-going under our project manager Mr Abraham N’geni and here is his interim report.