Report from Gideon Kibambai, Kigoma

Bugamba is one of three villages in Mwangongo Ward (political system of leadership). 
The village has 536 households. In every household there are many children. The big number of men have many wives in the form of polygamy. 75% of the population is Muslims. Modern ways of life are followed with hesitations, since in the eyes of Muslims modern ways of life are seen as typically Christian. Many Christians leave the region. They migrate to the town of Kigoma or in other parts of the country. The Christians who still live in Bugamba, are mainly migrants from Burundi. They hardly have influence in the political decisions which are made.

 

In the last year there were initiatives that gave us hope for development. In the region the Secondary School is being built. It is the first in the northern part of Lake Tanganyika, the catchment area goes up to Kagunga, the boarder station to the neighbouring country of Burundi. The village population has been dealing with building work of the Secondary School. The government will help the work of building further in the coming years. Furthermore, the second primary school will be erected.

 

The living standard of the population has become worse in the last years. The lives of the people depend on agriculture (subsistence economy) = production from agriculture and fishing activities serves people in the region for their own needs, that is, what they produce does not go beyond the regional market). 
Main products for individual needs include: cassava, maize, bananas and palm oil. Fish products have become expensive. Many fishermen cannot afford to buy equipment for their work. Nets, motor boats, lamps, petrol and kerosine are expensive.
20 Litres of petrol cost 22,000/= Tshs (= 17,30,- EURO), 
20 Litres of kerosene cost 25,000 Tshs (19,73,- EURO ). 
While one year before, the price for 20 Litres of petrol was sold at 10,000/= Tshs (7,90 EURO) und 20 litres kerosene was sold at 7,000/= Tshs ( 5,50 EURO).

 

The expensive prices of goods and services are being felt in our daily work. Many patients cannot afford to pay for their treatment and drugs, although our prices are very low compared to other institutions of health. We treat every patient, even those who cannot pay for their treatment. The poor and the needy are treated free of charge. That is why we had deficit by the end of the year. Our dream of offering health services without help from outside is not yet realised.

 

Expensive prices in general has many effects on the economy of the whole country. The increasing prices for transport increase also prices fro industrial goods and agricultural products. For the first time the price for kerosene became higher than the price for petrol in Kigoma. The prices are no longer stable, but change from day to day.

Nowadays people do not receive a small portion of dagaa (small fish from Lake Tanganyika, the main source of those fishes) any more for Tshs. 100/= like in the near past. People must for a small portion of dagaa pay Tshs. 200.- . This is an indication for us that many people in the future will still use cassava and their leaves as their daily main food. Dagaa is expensive and will be perhaps eaten in the holidays like Christmas if possible.


>>Nkalinzi