Press Releases 2012
Ambassador's Visit to Regions Highlight America's Partnership with Tanzanians
May 4, 2012
Between April 23 and May 1, Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt visited the Tanzanian regions of Ruvuma, Kigoma, and Tanga to promote development assistance programs sponsored by the American people, and to meet directly with Tanzanians who are partners in program implementations or beneficiaries of their services. The programs are funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Department of Defense, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR).
On April 23, Ambassador Lenhardt visited Songea in Ruvuma region to review ongoing projects funded by the American people through PEPFAR and MCC. Ambassador Lenhardt was welcomed to Songea by Regional Commissioner Said Mwambungu and visited the Songea Regional Hospital supported by PEPFAR to provide HIV/AIDS services. On behalf of the American people, the Ambassador donated a land cruiser vehicle to assist the provision of HIV services in the region. Dr. Daniel Malekela, Regional Medical Officer (RMO) at Songea Regional Hospital, briefed the Ambassador on patient services and hospital operations. The Ambassador later visited the Ruhuwiko Tanzanian People's Defense Force (TPDF) hospital which is also supported by PEPFAR to combat HIV/AIDS in the Tanzanian armed forces. Since 2004, PEPFAR has been providing HIV/AIDS services in 36 health facilities in Ruvuma.
On April 24, the Ambassador inspected two ongoing MCC funded road construction projects in Songea. He met with representatives from TANROADS, and works contractor Sogea Satom and Nicholas O’Dwyer Ltd., the supervising engineering firm overseeing the construction work on these two major segments of the Mtwara corridor. One of the roads runs 65 kilometers from Songea to Namtumbo, and the other runs 78 kilometers from Peramiho Junction, just west of Songea to Mbinga. The roads are part of approximately 434 kilometers of mainland trunk roads. MCC also sponsors another 35 kilometers of road construction in Pemba funded under the five year, $698 million MCC Compact implemented in September 2008, which also includes support for strengthening Tanzania's energy sector and water infrastructure.
On April 25, the Ambassador visited Kigoma region to survey the USAID funded "Landscape Scale Community Centered Ecosystem Conservation in Western Tanzania Project" administered by The Jane Goodall Institute. The project seeks to boost rural household incomes in the region while incorporating environmental conservation techniques, and to expand the land area under improved natural resource management. During his visit, he met with Kalinzi village residents who have benefitted from economic growth through environmentally friendly coffee production, and visited a local grower's coffee cooperative sponsored by USAID. The Ambassador also visited a tree planting regeneration program supported USAID to address deforestation and soil erosion in the area, and joined local residents in planting a tree at the Kalinzi Ward Office in celebration of Earth Day 2012. Addressing local residents, the Ambassador said: "Tanzanian families and communities are highly dependent on natural resources for social and economic development, and the American people are proud to support sustainable management of these resources for achieving equitable economic growth that benefits rural Tanzanian communities.
On April 30, Ambassador Lenhardt visited Tanga region where he dedicated two new rooms at the Mpirani Dispensary constructed in a two week project by local residents and U.S. military personnel assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) based in Djibouti, which also provided construction materials and supplies. The rooms will be used as a labor room and a post-natal room in the dispensary which focuses on women's health issues in the area. This dispensary project was a priority of the Tanga Regional Commissioner Chiku Gallawa. The dedication ceremony was also attended by the Tanga District Medical Officer Peter Neema, local residents, and CJTF-HOA members. The Ambassador noted that the teamwork between Tanzanians and Americans to complete the project underscores the American people's commitment to enhance the quality of women's health care in Tanzania.
On May 1, Ambassador Lenhardt joined His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete at the May Day celebration at Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga. The event celebrated the contributions of the Tanzanian workforce, thousands of whom marched to the stadium with their labor unions to attend the day's festivities. Mr. Nicholas Mgaya, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania, delivered the May Day workers' speech, focusing on the successes and challenges of Tanzanian workers in the last year. President Kikwete delivered the keynote address and pledged that the Government of Tanzanian will work to address the needs of Tanzanian workers. Following the celebration, Ambassador Lenhardt joined other government officials and foreign dignitaries for a lunch with President Kikwete.
Ambassador Lenhardt's trip to Ruvuma, Kigoma, and Tanga regions highlighted the partnership between the American people and Tanzanians to implement U.S. assistance programs which promote health, education, economic development, and agricultural sector growth for the benefit of all Tanzanians. The United States of America is the largest donor to Tanzania. In 2011, the American people contributed over one trillion shillings ($700 million USD) to the Tanzanian people through interagency assistance programs.