Government renders free social services to its citizens in various administrative units and villages but this has not been the case in some remote villages.
For instance, residents of Mleteni village have for the last 50 years been without any community road, school, health facility and access to safe water, among others.
The village with more than 300 households is located at Ziwani constituency between the Pemba North and South Regions.
Residents in Mleteni largely depend on agriculture for survival.
Mbarouk Haji Mbarouk, a resident, says they have missed out on many government projects and programmes because the area is hard to reach.
The 46-year-old says she has never seen any public service delivered to the community.
“We have no roads, pure and safe water service. We just heard about those government projects but I have never seen anybody benefiting from them in our area,” he says.
The World Bank says governing remote areas raises different issues unlike urban areas because of the small size of the population, lack of concentration of population, and the high cost of living.
This means expenditures per capita are often much higher in remote areas than in urban areas.
The residents in Mleteni trek for nearly 3km to access the nearest school in a neighbouring village. To access this particular school, the children have to cross-forest.
Mbarouk says they are facing enormous challenges and that politicians only visit them during campaign periods.
“We don’t have any good access roads, clean water sources, schools and healthcare centre. Our cries for help have always landed on deaf ears,” he reveals.
Hamid Omar Massoud, the village leader, acknowledges that their area has been isolated for a long.
“We have already presented our problems. We requested a road, school, borehole and health centre. We also asked them to consider us in other developmental projects and we are still waiting,” he adds.
However, September this year was a new day of new hope for the residents after the President of Zanzibar, Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, became the first head of state to visit the village since the 1964 revolutionary.
The villagers regard this day as a holiday. To express their happiness, they welcome President with the various decorations including khanga carrying an exciting message.
“Leo ni Siku Njema Kaibariki Karima,” reads one of the messages in the khanga used as decoration.
During this visit, Dr. Mwinyi promised to address all the problems facing the residents from healthcare, water, schools and road infrastructure.
He donated Sh5million to support the construction of a pre-standard one school, a project initiated by the villagers.
However, the situation is not any different at Kimango village as communities have long been surviving without basic social services.
“We have always complained to our leaders in vain,” Ali Rashid says.
Kimango village is located at the Pembeni-Mjanaza villages border serving over 4,000 residents with tenth acres of fertile land.
But due to the lack of a health facility, mothers and children are walked long distances to seek healthcare at Kiungoni health center which however does not have maternity services.
“We are asking for the Kiungoni health center to be upgraded to cater for pregnant women who are currently rushed to rush to the Micheweni, Chake Chake or Wete hospitals,” says a resident.
Ramadhan Haji, says because of the absence of secondary school in the area, their children walk a distance to Shengejuu Secondary School when they pass their pre-form one examination.
But Dr. Mwinyi says the government has affirmative action for such communities.
Dr. Mwinyi admitted that there have been some challenges in implementing government programmes in some areas.
“What you are saying could be true but the government is well organised now, we have opened channels through which residents can report issues concerning service delivery,” he says.
Dr. Mwinyi’s visit to Pemba has raised many challenges facing the people, especially in rural areas in the sectors of water, electricity, roads, services to entrepreneurs and fisheries.
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