Learn more about specific causes in Tanzania that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentMost Tanzanians live off of the land, but the resources that come from the environment are in danger because of illegal and unsustainable deforestation projects.1 28% of the land is protected by national parks, but because of animal migration patterns and crop rotations, this does not solve the vast problems that deforestation and pollution are causing.2 In 2017, Tanzania began to take environmental protection more seriously by putting economic sanctions and penalties on companies who fail to effectively dispose industrial waste.3
FamilyFamilies are large, with the average woman giving birth to five children.1 Domestic violence is common in Tanzanian culture, and it is not uncommon in the patriarchal society for multiple brides to be exchanged for livestocks and other forms of payment.1 There is a growing movement of women marrying other women in order to protect themselves from abuse and gain other legal rights not available to single women. Females see marrying each other as a way to protect themselves as 45% of all women are subject to domestic abuse.2
Human RightsThere are reports of the police using excessive force and arbitrarily arresting those who participate in protests in opposition to governmental policies. The child marriage rate is among the highest in the world, and women are not given equal rights in the legal system or socially.1 Freedom of the media is also suppressed. The president has openly stated that he will not tolerate any sort of criticism from the media, and this has led to threats, detainments, and arrests of reporters.2
EducationOver the past decade Tanzania has made huge efforts to improve the quality and accessibility of education within the country. Providing quality teaching in all schools is still a major challenge to overcome.1 It is required for all to finished primary education, but completing secondary education is more difficult because of the lack of infrastructure. Most secondary schools are privately provided by religious institutions.2 Over two-thirds of the population are literate, well above the average of African nations.3
Poverty70% of the population lives below the poverty line.1 Although poverty exists everywhere, it is most heavily concentrated in rural areas where 80% of poverty stricken households are located, and it is particularly common among female headed households.2 The number of Tanzanians living in poverty has been decreasing over the past decade, and many families have their most basic needs provided for even though they are still living in poverty.
ReligionRoughly one-third of the population is Christian, one-third Muslim, and the final third follow native indigenous religions. Separation of church and state and the freedom of religion are protected in Tanzania, but many Muslims feel inadequately represented in government positions.1 The island of Zanzibar is almost completely Muslim.
Clean WaterTanzania has faced difficulty providing all of its citizens with reliable access to clean water. 48% of Tanzanians do not have access to clean water.When a significant portion of the population has no clean water, the country suffers loss of productivity, increased health expenditures, and early death.1 Around 26,000 early deaths, and 30% of all childhood deaths, are caused from preventable waterborne diseases annually.2
EconomyTanzania has experienced significant economic growth in the past decade, but much of this cannot be sustained without a government commitment to legal and structural reforms to promote long-term development.1 Agriculture employs 80% of the population as well as providing the country with 85% of their total exports.2 The banking and finance sector has been steadily growing, but further institutional reforms are essential for the continued growth of the economy. Approximately 3.6% of the population is unemployed.1
GovernmentTanzania’s political elections are generally regarded as fair and free, but corruption is still prevalent in all areas of government with bribes and nepotism being commonplace.1 This corruption limits the nation’s ability to develop economically as government officials are known to take revenues from the oil industry for themselves. The nation is a presidential republic with a unicameral parliament.2
HealthHealth care has been improving significantly in Tanzania in the last decade, and the most significant improvement has been the extension of life expectancy and the rapid decline of the child mortality rate.1 There are still many challenges to health in rural areas, and 60% of births are performed at a clean health facility with a skilled birth attendant present. Both the prevalence of malaria and HIV continue to cause preventable deaths, and poor sanitation practices and malnutrition contribute to childhood death.1 The life expectancy is 62 years.2
ChildrenChild marriage is widely practiced in Tanzania, with 33% of girls being married before their 18th birthday. This limits girls’ access to education and opens them up to several health concerns.1 There are even cases of girls as young as seven years of age being married off.1 Only 16% of children are registered at birth which makes accurate statistics on children very difficult to find, but it is estimated that 5% of children die before their 5th birthday.2
AnimalsTanzania is home to a wide array of animal species, and safari tourism to see these animals is popular. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, and giraffes are all common. One-third of the land in Tanzania is protected by the government, but many Tanzanians live off the land which creates tension between the environment and the people.1 The land is susceptible to degradation and erosion caused by poor farming practices and deforestation.2
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