The plans for the Children’s Village in Mkuranga grew from the heart-warming efforts of a number of people in Dar es Salaam and in Holland. Malaika Kids wanted to rethink the whole issue of orphan care and upbringing, placing the development of the child at the centre. It was realised that, under Tanzanian regulations, children who could not be found foster homes with relatives would have to be housed by Malaika Kids itself.
An award winning design
With its inexpensive, modular design, and careful attention to detail, the Village is a unique creation. It offers the children a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow up, where there are halls and classrooms, sports facilities, a dispensary, a library and a computer room, as well as dormitories, kitchens and wash rooms.
It won the “Uhuru Torch’ award in 2009, and hosted an official Presidential opening ceremony in 2010.
The master plan in short
The family groups forming the most important building blocks can easily be seen in the master plan developed for the village. Each ‘family’ lives in its own family house. Six of these houses form a cluster with a number of communal facilities. This pattern is currently being duplicated so that there will be 12 houses, each with capacity for 10 children. Together this forms a well organised complex, which at the same time is small scale and offers each child a safe haven.
Treating waste water responsibly
Although the water provision in the Children’s Village is well planned, with two deep boreholes, clean water remains a scarce commodity where care is needed. The waste water also needs to be processed. It’s collected in two consecutive septic tanks and then cleaned further by a soakaway.
The water in Mkuranga doesn’t only come from the ground but also from the air and sometimes an awful lot! However almost all the rain falls in April and May, leaving a big problem for watering crops through the rest of the year. Rainwater from all the roofs and surface runoff is collected and drained away to storage tanks. There are two 30,000 litre tanks on the North side of the Village, and a huge new 800,000 litre pond was installed at the end of 2013 on the South side.
This water catchment is a key to the successful development of our agriculture on some 10 hectares of land. The plan is not only to provide regular fresh fruit and vegetables for the children but to harvest high quality planned crops for sale in Dar es Salaam, when the prices are high.