The US Ambassador to Tanzania, Mark Childress, said in Dar es Salaam that the grants will directly benefit more than 5,000 people in 12 regions across the country, saying that they will facilitate the organisations to improve services.
“The award will facilitate the organisations to improve services and opportunities in water and sanitation, health, education and economic development,” said the US envoy during a ceremony to dole out the grants to the firms.
The grants were awarded under the US Embassy’s Community Grants Programme, which provides direct assistance to small, community-based, improvement projects through the Ambassador’s Special Help Fund and the Ambassador’s Fund for HIV/AIDS Relief.
Mr Childress pointed out that the Self Help Fund provides direct assistance grants to Tanzanian community organisations for projects designed to benefit villages and urban communities.
“The Fund for HIV/ AIDS Relief provides assistance specifically for communities heavily impacted or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS,” he observed.
The Ambassador said the grants had helped community-based organizations in every region of the country to improve the lives of local Tanzanians by building schools, providing access to clean water, utilising solar energy and starting new commercial initiatives.
Ms Asha Omari, whose organisation received 3,900 US dollars (8.1m/-), said the award will facilitate improvement of peanut butter making, saying the grant will enable them to purchase modern machines.
“We are going to acquire six modern machines thanks to the grant which will be distributed to six members of our group in order to improve operations,” said Ms Omari, who is the secretary of the Tabora-based union of parents with children with disabilities.
Mr Mwita Marwa, who is the chief mechanic of Dodoma-based workshop of people with disability, said the grant from the US government will enable them acquire new metal work tools which will create employment for 25 people with disabilities.
“Apart from job creation to people with disabilities, our workshop makes different equipments for people with disabilities including the white sticks for the blind people,” said Mr Marwa, whose organisation received 4,273 US dollars (8.9m/-).
By LUDOVICK KAZOKA, Tanzania Daily News