Since 2000 Istituto Oikos and Oikos East Africa have been working in the Mount Meru with projects on wildlife, water, land, forest, energy and food security. (www.istituto-oikos.org)
MKURU TRAINING CENTRE (MTC)
MTC is a training centre established by Istituto Oikos in 2003 in the village of Uwiro to train the local communities on sustainable natural resources practices in the energy, water, agriculture and livestock sectors. At the same time, the MTC is the field base of the project staff.
MTC plays a key role in the network of projects carried on in the area:
it’s an eco-camp and therefore a demonstration site for good and sustainable practices
provides facilities for the trainings and logistic support for staff projects, so that good and sustainable practices spread out into the local community
it provides hosting facilities, so that casual visitors can find accommodation and food in the middle of the bush at the feet of M.Meru
In the future of Mkuru Training Centre would like to become a reference centre for good practices for environment management and sustainable development, providing facilities and administrative support for training, advanced education and epertise sharing, targeting both local and international communities of beneficiaries, NGOs, Public Institutions, International Organizations, Universities.
With a Human Development Index at the 159th position out of 177 countries (World Development Indicators, 2010), 89% of its population still living on less than two dollars per day, more than 14 million out of 43 million people without access to safe water, Tanzania is struggling to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
The Arumeru District is no exception. It is located in Northern Tanzania, along the Eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, close to the rapidly expanding Arusha municipality, and it is shaped by the presence of Mount Meru (m 4565 asl), a dormant volcano covered by a catchment forest that acts as a condenser and a key source of water for about 500,000 people. The foothills of the mountain are inhabited by well established communities of farmers and pastoralists who rely on natural resources to make their living.
The Arumeru Environmental Project carried on by Istituto Oikos worked with local communities and institutions to set up strategies, mechanisms and concrete experiences aimed at making socio-economic development compatible with the long-term preservation of the natural capital. (The Mount Meru Challenge. Integrating conservation and development in Northern Tanzania http://www.istituto-oikos.org/documenti/77.pdf).