Mwanhala FDC, unlike our other two colleges, is in a rural location 20km from the nearest population centre at Nzega. The new Principal Mr Mwadua has found that he has to use great resourcefulness to keep the college operating on the very limited budget available.
The borehole pump was replaced and included 'dry running protection' (DRP) to prevent damage if the borehole water level drops too low.
This turned out to be very fortuitous because due to poor winter rains the 2017 dry season was the worst for 10 years. The water table fell dramatically, often below the submersed pump. Without DRP the pump would have been permanently damaged beyond repair.
Mr Mwadua reports that recruitment of new students resulted in significantly increased numbers, a good sign. The most popular courses are again domestic electric installation and motor vehicle maintenance but with respectable numbers in tailoring 18, carpentry 11 and masonry/bricklaying 10.
FUM currently supports 20 students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The college now benefits from having mains electricity. This should improve the water supply but the borehole pump is currently awaiting maintenance with help promised by Nzega District Council.
The refurbishment of college staff houses has still not been completed because the Ministry has not paid the contractor. Staff are having to use the student dormitories and student accommodation adapted accordingly. During the FUM chairman's visit the kitchen area was seen to be in need of refurbishment and the sewing machines need some maintenance.
The FDC land covers 477 acres. To assist in meeting the cost of feeding the students Mr Mwadua has extended the area of crop cultivation to 12 acres. Maize, cassava, sunflowers, cowpeas were planted but poor rains will reduce the harvest volume.
The college also keeps cows, sheep and goats, looked after by the agriculture tutor
Mr Sambe. It is good to know that the also provides advice and training for local farmers.
FUM FDC Co-ordinator
The longstanding water problems in Mwanhala were solved in 2012 by the successful drilling near the FDC of a deep borehole funded by FUM. Villagers also benefit, paying 2p for 25 litres of safe, clean water with the proceeds going to the maintenance fund.
The curriculum at the college is traditional, suiting its more rural location. It benefits by having a dedicated tutor for agriculture , Mr Sambe, who also looks after the college livestock.