Following the extended drought spell which took toll on most parts of Tanzania’s Northern Zone, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency has stepped in to assist the highly affected families in Longido District of Arusha.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has disbursed 80 million/- as monetary assistance to 371 households in the Engarenaibor Ward of Longido District.
The additional funding comes a few months after ADRA sent consignments of relief food to households in the local villages of Engarenaibor Ward.
Also through joint efforts between the Adventist Development Relief Agency and the Non-Government Organization known as Good Neighbours, local residents of Longido have been provided with 300 goats to replenish their previously smitten livestock.
All has been done in effort to rescue local households in five villages of Engarenaibor Ward that were highly affected by the prolonged drought which hit the Longido District.
More than 40,000 animals, including wildlife and livestock in Longido perished from serious cases of drought and famine that hit most parts of the Northern Zone in Tanzania.
The district lost more than 40,000 livestock, mostly cattle, 18 Zebras, 4 Giraffes and innumerable gazelles due to drought spell, according to official data from the Longido District Council.
Longido residents are mostly the Maasai pastoralists whose lives depend entirely on livestock.
With most of their livestock dead, most people suffered from lack of food with many of them being forced to migrate to other areas seeking greener pastures elsewhere.
The villagers said they were grateful to ADRA for the relief food and the monetary donation to the 371 families to help them buy food.
They also recognized the fact that the government had previously brought them food that they could purchase at affordable prices.
Mary Yonaz, the Project Manager for the ADRA Emergency Fund, explained that the drought which took a drastic toll on Longido is among the effects of climate change.
“At first we were compelled to distribute relief food to the local families,” she said.
“However we have also realized the need to assist the households with some money to enable them to buy their food as well as empower others to start small businesses for generating income.”
Pastor Mark Malekana is the Chairperson of the Northern Zone Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church and ADRA Board Chair who visited Engarenaibor Ward to join members of the community in the special occasion.
“I commend ADRA, the organization which is our own brainchild for their dedicated efforts in serving the local communities,” stated Pastor Malekana who also showed appreciation to the Good Neighbours Organization for its contribution.
“We also should remember that there are many people outside Tanzania who have been sending in their donations so that people here can be assisted; there is every reason to thank God for their selfless contributions,” said Pastor Malekana.
“I also appeal to the beneficiaries, because there are some who have been given goats, others have received money and those who got consignments of food, that you should make effective and proper use of the donations.”
The ceremony to distribute the goats to the households was graced by the Longido District Commissioner Marko Ng’umbi who appreciated the church contribution to the Engernaibo residents.