“One of the things that struck me the most when we were doing our survey of Kamanga was the number of reports from villagers about heavily pregnant women dying because they couldn’t get to the nearest health center quickly enough. The nearest health facility is either an hour’s motorbike ride on a dirt road or a forty-five minute to an hour’s ferry journey across the lake - although this is not an option at night.” Mark O'Sullivan, Director of The Cedar Foundation Tanzania
You may be thinking, “Oh, an hour on a dirt road isn’t so bad...” Well a clearer picture would be think a rocky dirt road, think dust swirling all around you and rocks hitting your car bonnet from the wheels of the vehicle in front of you. Avoiding the potholes is a constant skill of concentration and the craters at intermittent points along the road may delay your journey because an oncoming vehicle, which may include a 50 passenger bus, has got its wheels stuck at that very point and the choice you have is either to sit and wait... or trespass a resident’s backyard, like other cars are doing before you. But now imagine it’s during the rainy season. Your car now is being lashed with heavy rains that make seeing these very cracks on the road near impossible. My advice is to slow down, or the slipping and sliding that you are doing on this muddy path will end you down in the gutters. Now imagine that you are a pregnant woman making your way to the hospital on that very 'dirt' road.
As Mark points out, “The fact that we are working with the people of Kamanga to bring a sustainable health centre to their area, makes me very happy indeed!”