The Kigoma Regional Commissioner Joseph Simbakalia and UNDP Deputy Country Director Ms Louise Chamberlain shortly after unveiling a plaque at Lugufu Secondary School Administrative Block in Kigoma
Kigoma Regional Commissioner Joseph Simbakalia (left) listens as Deputy Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) to Tanzania Sheila Grudem explains one of the projects supported by the UN. Looking on is Deputy Country Director Ms Louise Chamberlain.
The Kagera Regional Administrative Secretary Mr Nassor Mnambila and the UNDP Deputy Country Director Ms Louise Chamberlain sign documents to mark the handover by the United Nations to the government of rehabilitated assets of former refugee camps which have been turned into social services facilities such as schools and health centres. The ceremony was held at Lukole High School in Ngara, one day after a similar ceremony held in Kigoma.
A cultural group entertains at Lukole High School during a ceremony whereby the United Nations handed over the school to the government.
||19 August 2011
Refugee Camps turned into schools, health centres
It was a beautiful song from students of Lugufu Girls Secondary school in Kigoma praising the United Nations for a job well done. The girls were thankful that old buildings at a former refugee camp have been turned into something useful for the community: two boarding schools, one for the girls and another one just across the road, for boys.
New and rehabilitated buildings at the new two schools include classrooms, teachers houses, libraries, administration blocks, dining and assembly halls.
"We are so grateful to the UN. We now need a fencing wall for the girls dormitories compound,” said the head mistress, Valeria Kitwe, during a ceremony in August 2011, where the two schools were handed over to the government. The girls school is in its second year of operations with 80 students, while the boys school will start admitting students next season.
In another district, Kasulu, a former primary school at Myovosi has been upgraded to a co-education secondary school for boys and girls and is in the process of being registered by the government. Nearby, the camp’s former health center has also been renovated.
In Kibondo district, the community enjoy the benefits of 108 student Mkugwa Girls Secondary School which has three equipped science laboratories, two furnished libraries and solar power facilities. Two dispensaries at Kisogwe and Kasanda, with equipment and houses for staff, will be providing health services to the people. In addition, some 173 families have been given plots in an area which was formerly part of a refugee camp and benefit from water and health facilities and have additional space for doing farming activities.
The programme also refurbished police stations, border offices and provided various equipment and training for more than 300 police, immigration; and village officers in this region. Likewise, the programme has achieved remarkable results in other sectors as such as increasing the capacity of the community in small scale agro-food production in Kibondo and Kasulu districts,” said the UNDP Deputy Country Director Ms Louise Chamberlain , speaking at the Lugufu ceremony on behalf of the UN system in Tanzania during the handover.
For decades, Kigoma and Kagera regions have hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. Progress in recent years in achieving democratic and peaceful solutions to conflicts in these countries has resulted in a significant decline in the number of refugees living in Tanzania and consequently the downscaling of humanitarian operations in the country. However, the return of refugees to their home countries and closure of camps left behind many assets.
Tanzania is one of the eight countries piloting the UN reform process, known as “Delivering as One”. UN agencies in the country are working together to achieve common goals and to accelerate results with more coherent joint planning, financing, operations and monitoring.
As part of this initiative, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other UN agencies worked together in a single programme built on the needs and priorities of Regional, District and Local Government Authorities. The Joint Programme namely 'Transition from Humanitarian Assistance to Sustainable Development in North-western Tanzania (J.P. 6.1) ' is one of the ten One UN Joint Programmes where UN agencies in the country have jointly tackled national development priorities.
The four year programme ran from July 2008 to June 2011 with a total budget of US$8,470,134 and covered the districts of Kigoma, Kibondo, Kasulu in Kigoma Region and Ngara and Karagwe districts in Kagera Region.
Speaking earlier, the Kigoma District Executive Director Dominic Kweka, said the programme also enhanced the knowledge and skills of health workers and community services persons through further training in Kibondo, Kasulu and Kigoma districts. He said the areas also enjoy improved water and sanitation, thanks to the rehabilitation of water systems and training given on their management.
Wealth creation that resulted from the implementation of the project through the employment of local contractors, purchase of construction material from local markets and creation of employment opportunities for local communities, was also noted.
Similarly in Ngara District, the UN handed over Lukole High School and Lukole Health Centre. These include teachers houses, laboratory, library and administration block which has internet connection and solar power facilities. Some old buildings were rehabilitated into dormitories for boys and girls. The health centre also provides housing for staff and wards with a 60-bed capacity.
The programme also made possible the surveying and mapping of village boundaries. Some 147 families have now built houses now live in an area that was once part of refugee camp and can benefit from services offered by Lukole health Centre and the high school. On capacity building, the programme provided various equipment and training for more than 80 police, immigration; and village officers in Kagera Region.
The UNDP official also thanked government partners in this programme which included several ministries. “Without their leadership, hard work and commitment, we wouldn’t be witnessing this event here today,” she said
On his part, the Kigoma Regional Commissioner Joseph Simbakalia commended the UN model of working together: "I would like to commend the two principal features of One UN Joint Programme 6.1, which we believe are exemplary in the way development assistance programmes could be designed and implemented most effectively.
"One UN J.P. 6.1 was designed according to the priorities and in close dialogue with both regional and local government authorities and there was visible focus and synergy in the joint allocation of resources," said the RC at the Lugufu ceremony