Africa > Tanzania

Tanzanite in the Rough

Located in East Africa, Tanzania has enjoyed a relative amount of peace when compared to its sister African nations. Tanzanians pride themselves on the diversity their country peacefully retains and, to avoid identifying a majority, inquiries into religious affiliation have not been included on the national census for almost 50 years. What’s more, officials from Tanzania have played major roles in the liberation of other African nations from colonial rule and the mediation and reconciliation among groups in conflict. The country itself is surrounded by water with the largest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria, sitting atop its northernmost border like a crown. In the middle of so much suffering and conflict, Tanzania shines like its namesake gem.

Yet, while safe from the violence of armed conflict, many remote areas of Tanzania are in desperate need of hope. Thanks to the dedication of a few passionate individuals one such community, the Rulenge-Ngara Diocese in western Tanzania, has been handed some.

One of the most rewarding projects WaterHope can take part in is one which allows us to help those who have helped us. So when one of our event volunteers asked us to join forces with an organization trying to find a reliable water source for a newly-built dispensary, we couldn’t wait to meet them.

bridges of promise is a Bay Area non-profit born of the needs of the Rulenge-Ngara community. While not limited to work in Tanzania alone, it was news of this impoverished region that moved BOPs founders to act. Upon meeting them, we were told of the dispensary located in Rulenge that operated without the benefit of a municipal water source. The availability of water depended on far-away springs contaminated due to poor land use and naturally occurring pathogens. Without clean water, the dispensary couldn’t provide adequate medical care. Without adequate medical care, the community was in danger.

Moved by the dedication of BOP and the needs of the Rulenge community, Water- Hope joined the efforts to bring hope to Tanzania. A rain-water catchment and pump system was installed at the dispensary and now potable water is successfully being provided to its patrons and to the members of surrounding villages.

Shortly after the installation of the catchment system, BOP gave us another opportunity to bring hope to Tanzania. In early 2011 news broke of a rare move by the government: they were bringing drilling rigs into this remote region for public projects. The cost of getting a drill to such a far-off part of the country had been a major factor in keeping projects from coming to fruition. We knew this was an exceptional opportunity to take advantage of the presence of the rigs, and we did not want to miss it.

Thanks to WaterHope funds, drilling began in July 2011 at Santa Clara Girls Secondary School. Once finished, the well will bring hope to the 80 young girls enrolled and help the school realize its potential to educate over 800 students. We can’t wait to see the outcome of this project, and to share it with you.