For a long time there wasn’t much progress made in Mpamantwa village, there just didn’t seem to be any funds available to improve vital amenities.
But thanks to the local Public Expenditure Tracking (PETS) Committee – a group of villagers trained by a Tearfund partner – the truth was unearthed.
Firstly, the PETS Committee gained access to the district budget, which showed that 12 million Tanzanian shillings (about £4,900) should have been released to build new classrooms.
The committee spoke out through the appropriate channels and the funds were released – now the local school can take double the amount of children.
Next, the committee tackled the problem of lack of medicines at the local health centre.
On viewing the accounts, they found that 350,000 Tanzanian shillings (about £150) had been given by local authorities to buy supplies, but instead had been stolen by one of the doctors. The doctor was dismissed and replaced, and made to pay back the money, which was then spent on medicines for the clinic.
This is why Tearfund believes it’s so important to stop corruption, and bring about transparency in governance.
Tearfund’s Graham Gordon, who visited the village, said, 'When I asked the villagers what PETS had achieved, they spoke one after another of how life had changed. It’s vital for citizens to hold governments to account… ensuring money for basic public services is not lost due to corruption.’
A little history...
Tearfund has supported local Christian partners in Tanzania since 1969. We are working with seven partners whose main focus is church and community mobilisation.
Our partners are working to help the following groups: internally displaced people, families affected by HIV, subsistence farmers and pastoralists, orphans and other vulnerable children.
These people are being helped through a variety of programmes covering community development, primary healthcare, water and sanitation, environmental protection, disaster preparedness and risk reduction, women’s empowerment and HIV care and prevention.
A special emphasis is also being placed on strengthening the Tanzanian church to speak out at local and national levels about issues such as HIV, human rights, climate change, food security, disaster preparedness and improving poor communities’ access to services.