Widows and Orphans Development Foundation

Key facts Tanzania

  • Tanzania which is located in East Africa has about 765,284 widowed persons and 1,696,349 orphans out of the total population of 44,928,923 according to the National Population Census Report of 2012. (No recent official statistics are available).
  • Some of the widows are children under the age of 18 (Mhoja, 2018).
  • Majority of the widows live in extreme poverty after the death of their husbands as a result of lack of an income since many of them were dependent on their husbands, or as a result of property grabbing by their in-laws.
  • Majority of the widows live in rural areas and lack awareness about their rights.
  • Many widows have no means to reach the courts to claim their inheritance rights, too poor to hire a lawyer, too scared to testify against their in-laws mainly after being threatened by the in-laws.
  • Some of the widows are threatened by their husbands’ relatives that they will die with their children if they refuse to be cleansed and marry their brothers-in-law.
  • In some parts in rural areas, orphans work to support themselves and their families (working on neighbours’ farms, selling firewood, farm produce, and brick making) whereby they earn between TZS 500 (US$0.23) and TZS 1000 (US$ 0.45) per day.