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Humanity First USA Responds to Drought Crisis in Tanzania, East Africa

Tanzania is located in East Africa and has a population of over 38 million. Over 90 percent of the population lives below the international poverty line of $2 a day; almost 95 percent of these individuals live in rural areas and their livelihoods depend on small-scale farming and livestock.

Humanity First has been registered in Tanzania as a charity organization for the past several years. The major focus of aid in Tanzania is to providing potable water to impoverished communities close to their homes through Water for Life projects. Less than 4 percent of the population gets water through house connections and for the rest, finding this basic need for their survival becomes an exhausting expedition. Tanzanian women and children, who are generally responsible to get water for households, have to walk everyday for more than a mile on average to get potable water. In one case, the Humanity First team learned villagers of one area had to walk more than 4 miles each way to get to the nearest water source. Water for Life projects in Tanzania are not only providing potable water and eliminating waterborne diseases in these communities, but are also contributing towards eradicating superfluous labor for women and children.

Similar to other countries in the East African region, the recent drought in the Horn of Africa has severely impacted Tanzania, and the population is desperately seeking access to water sources not only for their own survival, but for their livestock and small farms as well. Humanity First has responded to the crisis in many drought affected countries, including Tanzania. Throughout 20, Humanity First USA heavily invested in Water for Life projects and installed 22 new hand pumps and refurbished 10 broken pumps. These hand pumps are providing clean drinking water to over 200 thousand drought affected Tanzanian villagers and their livestock with easy access at this desperate time of need. The latest round of installations took place between September and November 2011 in the Ifakara and Dodoma regions as a result of joint efforts of Humanity First USA, Humanity First Tanzania and IAAAE of the UK.

In the Pangalame village of Kongwa District in Dodoma, a community of 7500 individuals was suffering from acute shortage of drinking water. In the past, many organizations were unsuccessful in installing hand pumps due to scarcity of underground water. Humanity First engineers successfully identified the right location to drill a borehole and installed a new hand pump for the villagers. The villagers lined up with their buckets to get clean drinking water as soon as they heard the news and thanked the Humanity First team for their hard work.

A new hand pump was installed in the Kimagai village in the Dodoma region for a population of 5300. The Humanity First team learned from local villagers that a borehole was drilled in their village fifteen years ago, but no hand pump or water pump was installed due to lack of electricity and funds. HF rehabilitated the borehole and installed a new hand pump. The installation of this one hand pump is saving the villagers from an eight mile walk to get water from the next available water source.

Government Officials Appreciate Humanity First's Efforts:

Many government officials and community leaders have approached Humanity First to recognize their in the drought affected Tanzania. Honorable Job YustinoNdugai, the Deputy Speaker of the Tanzania Parliament contacted Humanity First and highly appreciated their efforts in helping impoverished Tanzanians in these difficult times. Honorable Gregory George Teu, the Deputy Minister of Finance met with the Humanity First team on several occasions; he praised their work and highlighted the efforts of Humanity First on several public forums. In addition to the Water for Life project, Humanity First is also contributing to the health and education sector in Tanzania; we are facilitating training rotations for radiologists from Tanzania in conjunction with Radiologists Without Borders and the Lourdes Hospital of New York.

In addition to their capacity building, Humanity First is also working on several projects to provide the essential equipment required to implement the knowledge Tanzanian health professionals are gaining through trainings in the United States.

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Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.

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Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.

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