Photo Credit --Climate Technology Centre and Network

African Farm, Health Sector and Other Reports

A lot has happened in rural development in the past week. However, as part of our tradition, we bring you some of the most important reports on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles which have been carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues. Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:

Study: Trees boost African farm income

Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa, but they often are overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A University of Illinois study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity.

“Trees on farms in Africa often fall through the cracks — they’re not forests and they’re not agriculture,” said U of I’s Daniel Miller, who studies environmental politics and policy. “In our study, we found about one third of all rural farmers across five study countries have and grow trees on their farms. Among those farmers, trees on farms contribute 17 percent to their annual household income, so they’re very important for generating economic benefits for households.”

Study: Kenya’s health sector underfunded

Allocations to the health sector in Kenya have recorded a slow growth at 4.5 percent of budgetary allocations over the past 10 years, far below Abuja Declaration target of 15 percent by 2015, according to the 2017 Community Health Scorecard released by the National Taxpayers Association (NTA).

According to the report launched Tuesday, despite significant budgetary increments by the Ministry of Health (MoH), funding for health centres remains inadequate, a situation that has led to acute shortage of health workers in some parts of the country.

“In some parts of the country, you find that there are so many projects being initiated by politicians who may not necessarily liaise with MoH to know what is the vision as far as staffing and equipping the newly built health facilities is concerned,” said Irene Otieno, NTA Project Officer.

Water system for rural folk needs cash

Three University of Venda professors who developed of a revolutionary ground water absorption treatment system, hope their work will change the lives of millions of rural South Africans.

The system, developed by professors Jabulani Gumbo, Wilson Gitari and Antony Izuagie, reduces fluoride levels in drinking water.

It took the trio three years of research to develop it and Gumbo said this was one of his biggest achievements.

“This is the best thing. I’m so excited about this.The next step is to try to get funding so we can get it into every person’s house in every community.”

South Africa: Rural KZN Primary School Shows the Rest How It’s Done

Deep in the heart of rural KwaZulu-Natal, down a bumpy gravel road that stretched for too many kilometres to remember, stands an immaculate little school.

The blue and white building of the school seems a bit out of place as it reminds one of a coastal resort rather than a building in a dry area with no running water. This was the last school on the list for the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education to visit, Mpotholo Primary School.

The school has no running water and relies on rain water or the principal collects water elsewhere for learners to drink. The school does not have a library and uses outdated readers for “fun” reading as a culture of reading has been inculcated in the school.

Tanzania: Govt Launches Manual for Low Volume Roads

The Government has launched a manual for low volume roads (LVR 2016) to cater for the design of new or upgrading of existing unpaved roads with a capacity of not more than 300 vehicles a day in a move to significantly reduce construction costs.

Speaking at the launching ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Works, Transport and Communications, Eng Joseph Nyamuhanga, said the manual would improve the rural transport sector for such roads exist in the areas.

1 in 4 girls is victim of scourge of child marriage despite African leaders’ growing campaign

“I’ve never experienced happiness in my marriage. I’ve never seen the benefit of being married,.” These are the words of Chimwemwe, a teenager living in a small village in rural Malawi.

Like one in four girls who marry before they are 18 in sub-Saharan Africa, Chimwemwe was just 12-years-old when she married a 17-year-old to break free from poverty at home. Talking about her marriage, Chimwemwe said she was hoping for a life of love and prosperity, but instead endured poverty and violence at the hands of her husband.


Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

Subscribe to our mailing list