A New Health Centre in Kasoli, Tanzania

In many CmiA project regions in Africa South of the Sahara, poor hygiene conditions and inadequate healthcare are all too common, and underdeveloped healthcare systems in many places mean that illnesses are often fatal. CmiA is working to address these issues through its Community Cooperation Programme.

For many years, sick and pregnant people in the Tanzanian community of Kasoli faced great difficulties. Although there was an infirmary, it had only three beds for some 16,000 people, including 3,000 of childbearing age. Medical standards were low, child mortality rates were extremely high, and something had to change. An urgently needed medical reform was successfully undertaken, thanks to support from the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme (CCCP) and to the professional project implementation through the local cotton company Alliance Ginneries Ltd, which provided staff for the project management team. Together with the community, the project team was able to renovate the health centre from the bottom up, to add a maternity ward, and to complete construction half a year before schedule.

If you fall ill in Kasoli today, you can be confident of getting good healthcare, including at the maternity ward. Significantly greater numbers of pregnant women attended prenatal care appointments, and death rates among newborns dropped. In addition, the new centre finally makes it possible to offer AIDS and HIV counselling directly in Kasoli, and people seeking treatment or information are more likely to attend since they no longer have to drive the 45 kilometres to the district hospital.

The construction of the new health centre represents a long-term improvement in medical care in Kasoli. This is good news, especially for women and their newborns.

New Economic Opportunities for Women’s Clubs in Zambia

Support for women plays a direct role in improving living conditions for everyone in Africa South of the Sahara. For this reason, Cotton made in Africa’s approach places a particular focus on women, who bear the burden for the majority of work on the field, in the household, and in the family. To ensure that women can enjoy economic and social independence, the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme (CCCP) actively supports women’s clubs.

By coming together as a group, many women can develop a means of income—whether by growing vegetables, raising livestock, running a village shop, or processing food—which ultimately benefits their families and village communities as well. In eastern Zambia, for instance, CmiA supported five women’s clubs with projects for building barns or breeding facilities for goats, pigs, and fowl and with taking over the management of these buildings themselves.

These efforts resulted in more than 150 women acquiring the financial expertise to create new income streams if needed. Additionally, participating women were able to improve their social status in the villages, secure their families’ nutrition, and enhance the economic development of small-scale farming operations in eastern Zambia.

A Safe Learning Environment at Mtekente Secondary School in Tanzania

Education is key to a better future. However, in many parts of Africa South of the Sahara, even getting to school is a daily challenge. The distances between schools and pupils’ home villages are often great, which poses a major obstacle for girls, who have a lot of housework to do. They are late to class, short on time for schoolwork, and sometimes suffer sexualised violence on the long journey to school.

In the case of Mtekente Secondary School in Tanzania, more than 50 percent of pupils come from villages that are an average of four kilometres away from the school. Thanks to the dedicated involvement of village residents and the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme (CCCP), the schoolgirls’ situation has improved decisively.

With support provided through CCCP by two partners, Oliver Bernd Freier GmbH & Co Kg and BioSustain Tanzania Ltd, the village communities were able to complete the first wing of the school dormitory for girls. The second wing is already under construction. As soon as it is complete, the home will be able to house around 80 pupils living four to an apartment.

Experience gained in other projects shows that more school-aged girls will be able to attend class, as required by law, and that drop-out rates will fall. What is already certain is that the pupils are happy about their new dormitory. “Having a safe place to live and learn will help me and my classmates,” says 17-year-old Neema Japhet Nakomolwa, concluding, “We will not have to miss any classes in the future.”

Recycling Pesticide Containers

Especially in places where agriculture intersects with natural areas requiring protection, projects are needed to address the needs of the various groups of stakeholders and to help conserve African natural resources for future generations. In this regard, simple measures can have astonishing results, as seen in two projects started by the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme (CCCP) in June 2021 in Mozambique.

Both projects dealt with the huge numbers of empty plastic pesticide containers that had been thoughtlessly thrown away in the past, ending up in rivers or underground, where they posed a threat to people and nature.

With support from CmiA, the cotton company SAN JFS developed an upcycling project aimed at raising awareness among farmers of the problems posed by plastic trash and to support them in operating a collection system for empty pesticide containers in the villages.

After a total of 620 activists completed their training, they were provided with the equipment necessary for the project, including protective gloves and masks as well as collection containers. The local radio programme also informed village communities, with a total of 40,000 farmers, about the project’s goals and potential impact. Listeners heard about how to handle chemicals, about the dangers they pose for people and the environment, and about the proper disposal of the containers.

This extensive preparation has literally paid off. Within one year, the activists at the eco-points collected around 392,000 pesticides containers. In fact, collection efforts are still going strong since farmers receive remuneration from the activists for every delivered bottle. As soon as the collection containers are full, the contents are picked up by SAN JFS, and the activists are compensated as well. This is a win–win situation for everyone: the activists, the farmers, the village communities, and the environment.

Our CmiA Community Projects in figures

With the CmiA Community Cooperation Programme, the initiative is working together with local cotton companies and textile companies to improve living conditions beyond sustainable cotton cultivation in the areas of health, education, women’s empowerment, environment and nature conservation. The following projects were implemented by 2023:

90 + 6
Women Clubs and Women Projects
Health Stations
School gardens
Dormitories for girls
Buildings have been equipped with solar energy

Get involved

The CmiA Community Cooperation Programme is a success story that you can continue to write as a Demand Alliance partner. Do you want to become a funding partner? Feel free to contact us via e-mail: info@abt-foundation.org


All parties benefit

  • The smallholder farmers and their families are directly involved in project development and are given support in areas that can significantly improve their quality of life.
  • The bodies that fund the programme help improve living conditions in these communities and can use impact measurements and pictures to report on how the projects meet their ecological and social commitments.
  • All those involved bring genuine added value to the cotton-growing regions of Africa through the programme.
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