World Vision Tanzania has hatched an initiative to spread Information Communication Technology (ICT) in villages, hoping to connect remote areas to information high way.

Under its ‘Community Knowledge Centre (CKC) project, many villages will be connected.  Meru district was the first to benefit from the initiative after the NGO set up 1.5 billion/- centre at King’ori village. The centre will serve a total of 17 villages. The centre will serve as an information centre, where villagers will get timely information on farming, crop pricing and market situation in general.

The project, which is being funded by Ms Karen Schick and Jurgen Hinderer of Germany through the King’ori Area development Programme of WVT, also targets to provide free internet services, library facilities and secretarial amenities to the rural villages located on the slopes of Mount Meru.

“With adequate sets of computers fully connected to the Internet, King’ori farmers can also use the centre as their own local meteorological hub from which they can also access weather updates through the myriad weather-forecasting sites,” said Ms Schick.

The WVT National Director, Mr Tim Andrews said the relief, advocacy and development organization which is dedicated to working with children, families and communities in helping the society to overcome poverty and injustice, operates in 13 regions of Tanzania, clustered in six zones and running a total of 62 Area Development Programmes (ADP) in them all.

“We work in 36 districts of Tanzania serving a population of 4.5 million people, including one million children,” said Mr Andrews adding that the Community Knowledge Centre is WVT’s new approach aiming at contributing to improved household income and wellbeing of children through enhanced access and proper utilization of appropriate information technologies.

“Farmers in King’ori Ward can now obtain proper market  information and knowledge on ways to improve production, find better crop pricing as well as the market for farm produce,” said the WVT Director.   Establishing Community Knowledge Centres in remote parts of the country where people usually do not access information services such as news and current affairs easily happens to be the World Vision’s next task in empowering remote communities in Tanzania.

The King’ori CKC project was funded by Ms Karen Schick and Jurgen Hinderer from Germany though the initial idea remains the brainchild of Mr Lou August who in addition to the centre, he has more ideas up his sleeve, regarding IT development in Meru District.   “We shall be grateful if this centre makes a difference in improving production and livelihoods resilience through placing the power of instant information, news and interactive connectivity to local farmers, peasants and village youth,” said Ms Schick.

By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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