Mwanza Rural Housing  Programme
"Shirika la Nyumba na Hifadhi ya Chakula Vijijini"

Shirika La Nyumba na Hifadhi ya Chakula Vijijini


It is not possible to focus on improving housing in rural areas without also looking at the environment in which people live. The Lake Victoria region is prone to desertification, drought, soil erosion, and deforestation, and MRHP looks at these issues while addressing the techniques and methodology of improved housing conditions. Water storage, fuel saving stoves and trees planted around the compound are part of an improved housing situation.

Excessive use of wood for firewood, building and other purposes is the biggest single environmental threat in the Mwanza region. Since the early 1990s MRHP, in collaboration with Kwimba Afforestation Project, has been involved in disseminating information on the importance of reforestation through itsoutreach programme. MRHP agricultural and forestry advisers meet groups of villagers and teach them how to collect and plant trees on their family woodlots using seeds found locally, and distribute polythene tubes which are used to protect the young saplings. They also supply seedlings of trees with more specific uses such as medicinal plants eucalyptus, which can be profitably harvested for scaffolding poles for income generation. MRHP estimates that approximately 12,000 trees a year are planted in Missungwi District as a result of this programme.

In addition, MRHP works in collaboration with the Natural Forest Resource management and Agro Forestry Centre (NAFRAC) in Shinyanga to campaign on environmental conservation by running workshops to help villagers identify areas, known as ngiltiri, that they wish to conserve for cultural and traditional reasons, to encouraging natural regrowth.