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Tanzania needs US $4.5 billion dollars
to revive idle irrigation system: official

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Irrigation Commission needs about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars to renovate 1,980 dormant irrigation schemes across the nation by 2035, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Eliakim Chitutu, the Director General of the state-owned Tanzania Irrigation Commission, said renovation of the irrigation schemes were among priorities identified in the nation’s five-year development plan and the revised irrigation master plan.

He said out of 2,940 dormant irrigation schemes in the country, 960 had been revived, adding that the target was to ensure the remaining schemes were renovated or improved to enable them contribute to the national food security.

Chitutu said Tanzania has a total of 29.4 million hectares for irrigation but most of them were not being irrigated because of worn-out irrigation system.

He said up to June this year, only 475,052 hectares had been developed for irrigation, so far contributing 24 percent of food in the country.

Chitutu said poor participation by the private sector in the irrigation sector was a roadblock towards attaining an improved irrigation plan.

The official suggested the application of public private partnership in the development of new irrigation schemes.

On September 26 this year, the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank and the Tanzania Irrigation Commission signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the two institutions cooperating in protecting and modernizing water sources and irrigation schemes.



China announces new health program for Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM  Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in Tanzania on Monday announced the launch of a new program called Health Cooperation Benefiting Tanzania aimed at providing free medical services in remote and rural areas.

Wang Ke, the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, said that under the program, Chinese medical teams in Tanzania’s mainland and Zanzibar will respectively conduct two free clinical services each year in remote and rural areas to bring their medical services to more Tanzanian people in need.

The first free clinical service will be held in November in Kagera region in northwest Tanzania and will last for seven days to provide free medical examinations and treatment for local residents, said Wang at the ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of China’s dispatch of medical teams in Tanzania.

“In the years ahead, I have every reason to be confident that with our concerted efforts, China-Tanzania health cooperation will score more achievements and greater glory,” said Wang.

A total of 11 Chinese doctors from Chinese medical team were introduced to the ceremony, which is also attended by Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzanian Minister for Health, and Augustine Mahiga, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

“For 50 years, being fearless of difficulties and having overcome many obstacles, Chinese medical teams have treated over 300,000 Tanzanian patients with their diligent work and exquisite skill,” said Wang.

In September 2012, she said, the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute supported by the Chinese government started to operate and many Tanzanian patients no longer need to be transferred to foreign countries for cardiac surgery.

More Chinese companies have shown interest to explore the Tanzanian market, expecting to respond to a call by the Tanzanian government to build pharmaceutical plants in the country in order to achieve localized production, reduce medical costs and benefit more Tanzanian people, Wang said.

“China has the will and also the ability to deepen the health cooperation with Tanzania in the principle of mutual benefit and win-win strategy,” said Wang.

Ummy Mwalimu praised the Chinese medical teams for their dedication in saving Tanzanian citizens’ lives.

She said Tanzania has continuously enjoyed a very special relationship in the health sector which dates back to 1968 when China started sending medical team to the country.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the commendable services these doctors have been providing to the citizens who received their services,” said Mwalimu

Augustine Mahiga appealed to Tanzanian doctors to work closely with their Chinese counterparts.

The bilateral relations between the two countries were unique and continuous, said Mahiga.


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