Mtandao wa Vikundi Vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) Ruvuma branch held a feedback session with stakeholders in agriculture sector on monitored agricultural related projects. The participants of this session included smallholder farmers’ members of MVIWATA and government officers led by Namtumbo District Commissioner Hon, Sophia Mfaume.
The monitored projects included irrigation schemes from Ligera, Kitanda and Limamu Wards in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma region.
Hon. Sophia Mfaume in her remarks commended the formidable work of MVIWATA in mobilising farmers in group and networks for collective actions. She also commended MVIWATA for its efforts in social accountability monitoring referring to it as a true cure to a number of agricultural projects that are lagging behind because of poor involvement of smallholder farmers and the public at large in project initiation, implementation and monitoring.
The district commissioner urged MVIWATA to continue tirelessly in mobilising smallholder farmers for social accountability monitoring and that the public should view these projects as theirs because these projects are a result of citizens’ taxes of which they should be protected at all cost.
The Namtumbo District Executive Director Mr, Evance Nachimbinya made it clear that the commendable activity done by MVIWATA has shed light on the challenges facing the district with regard to the irrigation schemes. He said the district will conduct a survey and assessment for all the irrigation schemes to see their status of implementation, evaluate the costs to finalise them and because the district is having minimal sources of income part of the fund will be requested from the ministry to finalise them.
Social accountability monitoring is a measure of whether public office bearers are held accountable to existing and emerging social concerns and priorities based on needs of the public. Social accountability strategies try to improve institutional performance by reinforcing both citizen engagement and the public responsiveness. It also offers a set of approaches and tools to promote smallholder farmers (citizen) engagement and monitoring to improve public projects performance, effectiveness, and responsiveness to public needs. Social accountability monitoring approach is one of the mechanisms MVIWATA uses to capacitate smallholder farmers to engage with the government in identifying and seeking solutions to specific problems they observe in their localities in agriculture sector. Effective social accountability monitoring is enabled effectively through regular feedback sessions between citizens and administrators.