Since gaining independence in 1962, Tanzania was, for many years,a state-dominated economy with a unifying ideology called Ujamaa (African Socialism). Under this ideology, Tanzania registered very modest achievements in service delivery particularly in the education, health and water sectors. During this period, civil society organizations and the private sector were marginalized and even suppressed. The introduction of Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) in the mid-1990s has strongly reduced the role of the central government in service provision. This has resulted in the re-emergence of civil society organizations and the private sector in the provision of services. It is against this background that the Kijitonyama Development Community (KIJICO) came into existence.
KIJICO is a Community Based Organization (CBO) in the Kijitonyama Ward of Kinondoni Municipal Council in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. KIJICO works closely with its community members and other development partners to improve the socio-economic conditions of the residents. KIJICO was established in late 1991 and officially registered in 1994. KIJICO operations cover 14 square kilometers with a day population of about 30,000 people, and a night population of 27,000. The area has about 2500 plots of land of which 95% are planned settlements and 5% unplanned. About 98% of the structures are permanent and 75% of them are owner-occupied.
The overall objective of KIJICO is to improve living conditions through involvement of both men and women in decision-making, problem identification, planning and implementation of activities. KIJICO's specific objectives are to improve the socio-economic condition of the population by improving the health status, quality of education, water supply, infrastructure, electricity, communication, sewerage systems, liquid and solid waste disposal and creation of income generating activities
KIJICO's innovation as a CBO is in promoting good governance through its participatory, democratic, accountable and transparent approach in decision making, managing and implementing its activities. Members of the organization are involved in the entire process of problem identification, planning and implementation through neighborhood associations. Through annual meetings, members are given the opportunity to evaluate the annual activities of their organization and are able to get a synchronized programme for the coming year. KIJICO has utilized local professionals in project design, implementation and evaluation. The residents of KIJICO have voluntarily prepared a profile of the area, which serves as a baseline for project implementation. Through the use of its skilled residents, survey and designing of roads were done at very low costs. In most of the activities particularly road construction the residents contributed about 5% of the total costs.
Because of the participatory approach, good leadership and management, KIJICO is one of the few CBOs working directly with the World Bank. The community input towards project development has been recognized by the World Bank as a viable option in attending to grassroots problems. The World Bank has also recognized that communities are a reliable development partners. KIJICO has secured partnerships with key service providers and donors including the Dar es Salaam City Council, Irish Aid and World Bank, water, electricity and telecommunication providers to offer the necessary support in the implementation of its activities. KIJICO has entered into partnership with Kinondoni Municipal Council to complement its the role in service provision.
Through involvement of community members in decision making, needs identification, planning and implementation; and involvement of other partners like Dar es Salaam City Council, Tanzania Electricity Power Company (TANESCO), Dar es Salaam Water and Sanitation Authority (DAWASA), Tanzania Telecommunication Company (TTCL) and donors, the following achievements have been made:
Construction of 2.8 kilometers of tarmac road, 10 km gravel neighborhood roads, 18 km side drains, and 6km conventional sewer drainage system.
Better accessibility in the area has increased property value in real terms.
Availability of clean and adequate water through the construction of a borehole, 15 km-long water distribution network, reservoirs and water pumps with a capacity of 120,000 liters per day.
A rapid increase in enterprises along the main roads. Before the KIJICO intervention, the area had about 6 pubs, 3 guesthouses and 5 shops. Currently the area has about 25 pubs, 15 guesthouses, 40 shops and 10 shopping centers.
Agricultural activity in the area like poultry keeping, pig keeping, dairy cattle, and horticulture is booming due to existence of a ready market.
Improved education standards in the ward have been achieved by responding to school needs like water, furniture, roofing sheets, and desks. Plans are at an advanced stage to incorporate an education trust fund in the name of Kijitonyama Education Trust (KET).
Contractors from the Kinondoni Municipal Council now collect and dispose of solid waste in the area.
KIJICO established a Kitonyama Youth Crime Prevention Project (KIYOCRIPP) in 1999. Youth were encouraged to join a voluntary programme to acquire artisan skills, safety and security training as a nucleus for neighborhood vigilante groups.
Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) has supplied the area with two generators. In addition, the Tanzania Telecommunication Company (TCCL) has supplied about 100 telephone lines to area.
The formation of Kijitonyama Women Association (KIWA) in1997 to train women in crafts, tie and die, and small business management.&nbsp; Women are also exposed to gender issues, entrepreneurship, marketing and bookkeeping.
KIJICO Housing Cooperative Society was established in 2001. The society has acquired a 100-acre piece of land in Bagamoyo in which the members were expected to begin constructing houses in July 2004. The society has acquired another 100 acres of land at Kibaha for the construction of houses for sale and development of institutions like schools.
Formation of Kijitonyama Water Users Board to oversee community investments in water projects and to handle the water portfolio of the community.