About the Impact Center

This center was was developed to provide ECHO services to help those in East Africa who work with the poor more effectively, especially in the area of ​​agriculture and alternative methods. ECHO East Africa works as a basic training center giving technical assistance to help organizations and community development workers to work more effectively to reduce hunger.



Services

  • Conduct research and development on locally appropriate sustainable agriculture practices
  • Collaborate with, and provide networking opportunities for, development agencies working in East Africa
  • Provide garden displays and demonstrations of agricultural options
  • Provide agricultural resources for study
  • Demonstrate alternative training methods, including creative collaboration and exhibitions
  • The ECHO seed bank provides packaged seeds, as well as seed exchange opportunities and seed conservation education.
  • Training for home gardens (organic gardens, kitchen gardens, gardens, bags and manufacture of peat)
  • Training and visits to fruit tree nurseries
  • Organization of conferences, workshops, forums, exchange visits, and training in best practices
  • Network between farmers and other development partners
  • Conduct agricultural fairs
 

Contact:

Erwin Kinsey

ECHO East Africa Impact Center
P O Box 15205
Arusha Tanzania

eastafrica@echonet.org

 

East Africa Updates

Case Study On Creative Capacity Building for Entrepreneurs 2018-12-10

Guest Post: Magreth Omary
Mbauda Tanzania

My name is Magreth Omary and I am married and God has blessed me with 4 children. My income comes from making batik cloth, stools, embroidery work and soap which gives me most income. I own a small shop, a meeting point of my customers who love my products.

Three years ago I was able to attend a Creative Capacity Building training which involved farmers, local fabricators and entrepreneurs like me. Prior to the CCB training, I faced a challenge of cutting solid soap into straight, attractive bars. This gave a low quality and price to my product compared with factory products. 

The CCB training was an eye opener. The facilitators gave us a chance to cite technology challenges we face and divided participants into groups tasked to develop solutions to those challenges. My group focused on creating a soap cutter. At the end of the workshop my group had come up with a prototype that could be tested and improved. After the workshop I took the lead as a champion to continue improving the machine, and with micro-grants I was able to continue working toward a working product. I now have a version of a cutter that performes very well.

The attractiveness of my soap bars drastically changed and I am seeing increased prices and sales. Now government authorities would like me to register my business and to shift my factory from my home to a new location near to a road. This challenge I struggle with but I know I will overcome it. 

I wish for my children to attain entrepreneurship skills and do better than what I’m doing now. I have also a passion to help my fellow women especially those abandoned by their husbands and widows. The skills that I gained from the training have helped my confidence. I have done more than I was trained for and have trained two fellow women on soap making and developed soap cutters for them. Their businesses are growing well. Six more women are on the way negotiating with me so that I can train them as well. I have been conducting training for women groups and my testimonies really inspire them. One exercise introduced by the CCB trainer motivated me; to make an elevated corn storage using only two A4 papers. Initially I thought that it was impossible but through trying different ways we finally made a structure that carry 15 cobs. This helps me to believe that things are possible by doing.”   

About East Africa

Food insecurity has increased significantly in East Africa due to the rapid increase in population, with an increase of 150% by 2050. Over 40% of children in East Africa are malnourished. The largest number of these children are orphaned and living in difficult circumstances. Most of the rural population lives in poverty, relying on a subsistence lifestyle. Some of the reasons for this situation include:

  • A High rate of loss of yield
  • Underdeveloped, weak markets, farmers lack the infrastructure to improve thier value chains
  • Minority farmers and herdsmen in the region, don't have adequate access to agricultural services, continuing education or access to formal training
  • Increased pressure forcing families to cultivate a little land, which results in land degradation and loss of sustainability in food production
  • Drought, especially in arid pastoralist areas.
  • Deforestation
  • Flooding
  • Climate

Where we are located

If you are driving North from Arusha, it is 15 km north of the city along A104 (the main road). After you see Mount Meru University on the right, the office will be another half km north and on the right-hand side of the road.
If you are driving South from Nairobi, it is 96 km south of the Namanga border crossing along A104 (the main road). As you see Mount Meru getting closer, pay attention and look for the Habari Maalum Station which will be on the left-hand side of the road.
 
If you come via public transportation, ride the bus (dala dala) from Arusha to Ngaramtoni; then take another bus from Ngaramtoni to the Habari Maalum Radio Station. Guards and staff will be happy to give you directions to the front door of the ECHO office.