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Bee-keeping livelihoods helping families out of poverty in Tanzania

26th November, 2015

A livelihood project to help women in deprived communities in Tanzania has gained national attention for the way it is transforming lives.

The beekeeping programme in Pangani has helped 100 vulnerable households in five villages to double their families’ income. Islamic Help provided the training, equipment and expert consultants to help them establish their livelihoods and benefit, directly or indirectly, 4,800 people.

It is part of Islamic Help’s commitment to help communities out of poverty through sustainability and the provisions of services including education and livelihood opportunities.

The Pangani beekeepers has allowed the 100 women who were chosen to benefit by being provided with training and hives to produce up to 25 litres of honey after every six months and triple their daily income.

The project was set up with help from the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission (GOAC) which made a grant of nearly £40,000 towards improving lives and wellbeing of poor and vulnerable rural women in Tanzania.

Among the beneficiaries of the programme is Joyce Ernest, who said she was hoping to sell her first harvest next March and planned to spend the proceeds on on her house which collapsed recently due to heavy rains.

Another, Mariam Musa, said: “We never knew there were so many bees around our house that can work for us. I really see hope for the first time to get some easy money and meet my basic needs such as construction of a house, for children’s education and doing small business.”

Amjad Khan, head of programmes at Islamic Help in Tanzania, said the initiative was transforming lives, and Pangani District Forest Officer Twahir Mkongo said it demonstrated how to unlock the potential of bee-keeping in the region.

“It is possible to keep millions of beehives in the area covering thousands of acres and forest reserves in Pangani but only less than 10 per cent of the area potential for beekeeping has been utilized so far,” said Mr Mkongo.

The importance of the bee-keeping in transforming lives was featured in Tanzania’s national newspaper, the Daily News, and can be read here.