he Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), through its office in Tanzania, recently distributed several pieces of equipment for storing and treating water in a northeastern area of the country. Gelai Bomba, Magadini, and Loondolwa Esirwa villages in Longido District, Arusha Region, which have a sizable Maasai population, will now benefit from the much-needed equipment, at a cost of TSh45 million (about US$18,000).
Speaking to the Northern Tanzania Union Conference (NTUC) communication department, ADRA Tanzania assistant program director Grace Manongi said the initiative is part of a program to fight waterborne diseases. “We have brought water treatment medicines, water tanks, and other pieces of equipment to facilitate safe water service and get rid of diseases,” she said.
From April to June 2018, the area’s villages were hit by a cholera pandemic, which health officers believe broke out as a result of a lack of proper toilet facilities along with unsafe drinking water. This prompted ADRA Tanzania to rush to the communities to educate them on the use of safe and clean water, and hand washing before eating. ADRA also built water tanks to be used by residents and schools.
Residents and district leaders, including the former Longido District Commissioner, thanked ADRA Tanzania for having stepped up to assist them, saying it was God’s work through ADRA to reach out to their needs. “ADRA came to us when we were suffering from cholera, and now they are back with this wonderful project,” he said. “It is something that will uplift the lives of the villagers.”
Social Development Officer in Longido District Raymond Mushi talked about how the pieces of equipment provided by ADRA will facilitate development and urged villagers to use them effectively. “[Residents] will have a privilege of having a bank of water even when the rainy season is off,” he explained. “We are really thankful that they reached out to us.”
Speaking to the NTUC communication department, the deputy head teacher at Gelay Merugoy Primary School, Tuli Kasambala, said that ADRA has done amazing things on the education of environment conservation and water facilities. “We call on other organizations out there like ADRA to do the same,” she emphasized.
ADRA is an international humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Through its worldwide network, ADRA Tanzania delivers relief and development assistance to communities across all provinces of Tanzania, regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association. ADRA partners with those in need to support, restore, and improve their quality of life, with a focus on aiding people to help themselves. Across the country, ADRA Tanzania has implemented programs in health, education, improved security, economic empowerment, and emergency aid.