Chiefs, chiefs, more chiefs

Our work this month -and over much of this year- culminated in yesterday's field day with the chiefs and Group Village Headman (GVH) of the Mziza area.

In the area, we have 23 chiefs (i.e. 23 distinct groups of houses, or villages, with a chief) over whom presides one GVH. The chiefs in one Group report to the GVH on development, judicial, and other civil issues. They work together to meet their goals as a group. The failure, or success, of one chief can have an impact on the whole group when government assistance is determined by collective performance.

When we conceived of the Mziza Demo Garden, we had in mind a place that would attract farmers from a radius of about 25km. There are 3 GVHs in that area, the closest being GVH Mzindo. Today Mzindo and representatives from his 23 subchiefs met us at the demo garden.

We toured the garden and described the different activities taking place. Some chiefs took the opportunity to try out two water pumps we had on display. We went over issues related to farm planning, and seeing our onions in 3 stages of growth drove home the idea of year-round production.

In the end, the chiefs said they would each bring 5 farmers to learn more about irrigation at the Demo Garden. Some chiefs were even discussing what materials they could find to start making their own water pumps.