Whilst there are many NGOs and not-for-profits operating in Tanzania, few work in the remote parts where the need is perhaps the greatest. Inaccessibility, isolation, language barriers and limited opportunities for education and employment mean that those who live in these areas are often forgotten and remain trapped by the vicious cycle of poverty and deprivation. Grassroots Tanzania seeks to remedy this by expanding the opportunities these people so desperately seek.
In 2009, Martin Hopley, was handed Itumba Hill Farm of approximately 80 acres from the villagers, with a view to preserve the area. Despite efforts and funding constraints, the farm and its surrounding area have born witness to tragic events of environmental devastation to make way for cattle grazing, subsistence farming and the destruction of local water sources by inhabiting families.
In 2012, Martin visited the farm with his wife, Charlotte, and after meeting with the villagers, they were asked to conserve and protect a further 1,800 acres surrounding Itumba Hill. In order to achieve this, Martin and Charlotte, having founded Grassroots Tanzania, will establish a conservation project at Itumba Hill Farm and work with local community, local primary schools as well as adults, to support and enhance educational infrastructure and opportunities. The area is suitable for honey production, which will enable a more self-sufficient funding model over time.
The conservation project is multi faceted and will encompass:
- The establishment of a permanent presence at the farm
- Set up of nursery and program for tree planting
- Development of small honey business including production
- Educational programs for local tribes people
Itumba Hill Singida is located on the boundary of the Rungwa Game Reserve on the borders of the Tabora region. It is some five hours drive off-road from the nearest large town, Manyoni in Singida region, central Tanzania.