Inspiring Volunteerism Through Climate Action

Nov 28, 2016

Kurio is a small village located approximately 80km outside of the capital Dodoma. Life in Kurio, like in many other villages located in rural Dodoma, is tough. Residents of Kurio face challenges of lack of access to water caused by long drought spells and drought frequencies experienced over the past years largely associated with the change in climate. This plus very few employment opportunities especially in the agricultural sector and inaccessibility to basic services such as health (the nearest dispensary is located over 10km away), exacerbates the poverty challenge in the Kurio village.

 

In respond to these challenges, in 2015, UNDP along with the Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) engaged a local NGO called “Tanzanian Development Light Organization (TADELO)”, to implement a community-based project to address the problem of water access through the application of renewable energy to pump underground water for domestic and other uses. The aim is to support the Kurio community to improve their resilience to the impacts of climate change through improving access to clean water for livelihood.

 

While the immediate benefits of access to water was seen by empowerment of women through income generating activities (view story here), in the months following the project’s completion, even more benefits to the village became known. Due to the stable supply of water and the income community has generated, the villagers began buying bags of cement and started constructing cement bricks voluntarily, which will now be used for building a dispensary in the village. There was a level of volunteerism inspired among the villagers that stood as a testament to the quality of the project and highlighted the importance of community engagement throughout the project lifecycle. The sustainability and local ownership of the project was clear and is something UNDP Tanzania promote throughout its projects.

 

Mr. Samora John and Mr. Hussein Petrol, two youths who were among those volunteering to build the bricks for the dispensary said that they do it for the “benefit of the community” and so their “village can develop.” Accessing water, using renewable energy, is changing lives in Kurio village. Construction of the dispensary will begin in January 2017, and when finished, will provide immense relief to the local villagers, who previously had to walk kilometers to reach a nearby dispensary.

 

Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the agenda-setter for international development and guide for UNDP Tanzania’s work for the next 15 years, acknowledges that the traditional means of implementation needs to be complemented by participatory mechanisms that facilitate people’s engagement, and volunteer groups as actors in their own right are among the means of implementation. The project in Kurio village is an example of where volunteerism can contribute to peace and development.

 

UNDP Tanzania will celebrate International Volunteer Day on December 5th 2016. This year’s theme is “#GlobalApplause – give volunteers a hand” which aims to recognize the work of volunteers in making peace and sustainable development. As seen in Kurio Village, volunteers are committed advocates of making the world a better place. Community volunteers, such as those helping villages to adapt to climate change, are those on the front line of natural disasters and deserve greater recognition and a #GlobalApplause. Many activities are currently being planned, including a voluntarily clean-up of Buguruni market in Dar Es Salaam on 3rd December. Keep up to date of all activities by following the UNV Tanzania website by click here.

 

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