Development and poverty reduction
Like many developing countries, getting good economic growth is the main objective and it is assumed that the benefits of that growth will trickle down through society to help alleviate poverty. But this is a slow process at best and there are other faster ways to help alleviate poverty, such as following pro-poor growth strategies.
Tourism is one area that can help, with its high levels of employment of low skilled, often female workers. If tourism can be linked to pro-poor activities and targeted away from the international style hotels, then the benefits of tourism can be shared more equally across the community.If this can prompt National Government to improve transport infrastructure then the benefits of this type of tourism can be felt across the country. LTT are part of this drive to move tourism out of the well-trodden paths and into areas where the benefits can be passed to the communities. By providing employment and investing in local communities, more people can be lifted out of the poverty trap.
Major concerns for many developing countries, including Tanzania, are poverty alleviation and a high economic growth pro-poor rate. With its distinct advantages (high employment of low-skilled workers, with a high predominance of women, high cross industry linkages, close association with on natural resources and culture; (resources owned by the poor) tourism is put forward as another important industry for poverty alleviation. But if tourism is to maximise the impact that it has on poverty alleviation is must be both sustainable and pro-poor.
Poverty and education
Tanzania’s poverty is not on the lines of the Sudan, Ethiopia and the dreadful images we constantly see on the TV. Tanzanians are generally not starving; their poverty is not related to food, as most of the population are subsistence farmers. The poverty they suffer from is lack of money to make improvements to their lives, to buy school uniforms, pay for secondary education, contribute to community development funds, install water pumps to stop them having to walk miles to the nearest pump/river, pay for medical attention.
The HIV/AIDS situation is grave at 8.8% of all 15-49 year olds. Many lack the suitable medicine or support. The children have stay at home and look after their sick family members, or work in the fields and as a consequence fail to get or complete their education. Only 58% of children complete their primary education.
There are strategies in place to combat the different guises of poverty; to improve literacy levels, to reduce malnutrition and disease, to improve food production, shelter and child immortality rates. But many of the strategies have failed to make significant improvements and the increasing population size has hindered programmes. 72% of the population are poor and 49% live in abject poverty.
It is not that the Government ignores them; it is that the government lacks the funds and the expertise to resolve all the problems.
LTT understand that there are many problems and help is needed on a huge scale. But with the help must come dignity. People want to fend for themselves and LTT helps them to help themselves.
In trying to make improvements the Government adopted the Millennium Development Goal of free Primary Education for all. This had a massive impact throughout the country as the number of kids trying to attend the schools literally doubled overnight. Schools lacked the space and the teachers. The Government started to run a plan to build more schools but this was fast amended when the costs soared, to just putting the roof on if the community built to the lintel. This scheme has now finished as the Government focus on secondary schools. The increase students lead to an increased demand for teachers, and to combat this demand the government reduced the number of years it takes to qualify, so that less skilled teachers could get to the schools, which is only going to lead to a spiral in standards. Poor pay, lack of housing and the inability to select where you work makes teaching less attractive which puts further strain on the system.
We want to offer the teachers more training. We want to offer them the opportunity to learn more about their subjects, to learn different ways to get their messages across to the students, to offer them accommodation, and give them an opportunity to feel valued within their community