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A Look Back at a Millennium Village Fighting Poverty in Rural Tanzania

For a decade, significant amounts of money flowed to a handful of sub-Saharan Africa's poorest villages. It was earmarked to eradicate poverty, hunger and disease. But did it work?
Von Marius Münstermann und Christian Werner
In the Tanzanian village of Mbola, clay brick walls and corrugated iron roofs are a sign of relative prosperity. Many families still live in thatched huts.

In the Tanzanian village of Mbola, clay brick walls and corrugated iron roofs are a sign of relative prosperity. Many families still live in thatched huts.

Christian Werner
The Millennium Villages Project encompassed 20 villages in Tanzania, including Mbola, in which some 40,000 people live. Here, farmers can be seen loading tobacco, the most common - and most lucrative - crop in the region.

The Millennium Villages Project encompassed 20 villages in Tanzania, including Mbola, in which some 40,000 people live. Here, farmers can be seen loading tobacco, the most common - and most lucrative - crop in the region.

Christian Werner
Dr. Gerson Nyadzi directs the MVP program in Mbola. He says villagers used to constantly be sick, but now that has changed thanks in part to education about hygiene.

Dr. Gerson Nyadzi directs the MVP program in Mbola. He says villagers used to constantly be sick, but now that has changed thanks in part to education about hygiene.

Christian Werner
Shaban Lusiga is a beekeeper. The region is famous for its thick, dark honey.

Shaban Lusiga is a beekeeper. The region is famous for its thick, dark honey.

Christian Werner
Omari Jumanne Dengu is a tobacco farmer who dries and prepares his leaves himself.

Omari Jumanne Dengu is a tobacco farmer who dries and prepares his leaves himself.

Christian Werner
Aisha Bahari walks her bicycle to a pump station to fetch water.

Aisha Bahari walks her bicycle to a pump station to fetch water.

Christian Werner
Hamsa Martin Singa gave up growing tobacco in favor of fruit tree seedlings, which he sells to orchards.

Hamsa Martin Singa gave up growing tobacco in favor of fruit tree seedlings, which he sells to orchards.

Christian Werner
Aisha Bahari gets water for her family at one of the six pump stations that were built with MVP funds.

Aisha Bahari gets water for her family at one of the six pump stations that were built with MVP funds.

Christian Werner
Damian Cleopa Kindole, the clinic's director, talks to the midwife Restitua Karele.

Damian Cleopa Kindole, the clinic's director, talks to the midwife Restitua Karele.

Christian Werner

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.