Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The upcoming Guest House in Umalila/Italazia village Mbeya Tanzania

The remote village of Italazia in Mbeya Tanzania is characterized by good weather with plenty of rainfall and fertile soils. Rains normally start in October and end in May followed by the dry and cold season between June and September.

The above picture was taken on route from Mbeya to Umalila showing the cultivated land. 

The people in this village live in extreme poverty, experiencing high infant mortality, maternal death and unsupported treatable diseases. Despite the extreme poverty, the villagers are very energetic and determined. Their main source of income is sustenance farming. 

Houses are mostly constructed from mud and baked bricks, with roofs of either corrugated metal or grass with ventilated pit latrines. The main source of energy for lighting is a wick or hurricane lamp, while the main source of energy for cooking is firewood.  Umalila can be accessed by bus, though the road is dusty, bumpy, and usually full to capacity.

Despite the poverty, Umalia also has a growing economy which has now provided a base for those wishing to start businesses or to help stimulate small entrepreneurs in the area to grow.  Alfred Rogers, one of the Community Builders partners, has worked hard and is still working to help eradicate extreme poverty in Umalila. He partnered with Community Builders to buy a grinding for the village, as villagers had been forced to travel great distances to grind the grains they use for daily food preparation. This grinding mill has been of great help to the community. The picture to the left shows the grinding mill.

Now, with the growing economy, guests visit Umalila without a proper place to stay. The necessity of a guest house was realized as a long time project, which will generate income and pay forward the profits to the individuals living in poverty to start up small projects for sustainability. 

The picture below show the villagers digging the trench for the foundation of the guest house. 

Currently, the guest house is still at the foundation stage as seen in the above picture.  I will be sending more updates on this project as it progresses.

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