A major component of BTC’s Water project in Dar es Salaam is involving the community it’s supposed to be helping. This means setting up and training community-owned organisations to manage the newly-built water supply, sanitation and solid waste/drainage systems long after our project team have left the site.
In some ways this “software” aspect – identifying and training the right people, ensuring local support, etc. – is more difficult than the “hardware”– the prospecting, design and construction of systems. Especially when previous water projects have been tried, and failed, in the same districts. And delays in BTC’s project – launched in 2008, construction is only beginning this year – don’t help either.
Desperate in Dar es Salaam
But though frustrated by the delays, communities remain motivated, says Emmanuel Mwampashi, a water engineer from Kinondoni Municipality. Quite simply, “they need this project, that’s why they participate”. In Dar es Salaam, outdated infrastructure systems cannot keep up with rapid population growth and spreading of unplanned settlements. Over 40% of residents have no access to clean water. Lees verder / En savoir plus »
Maasai men and Muslim teachers; single mothers and Catholic Sisters; illiterate farmers and engineering graduates: such is the diversity among our microproject grantees this year.
Last week, two members of each of the grassroots organisations selected under BTC’s Micro Intervention Programme (MIP) came to Dar es Salaam for a workshop to help them manage their project.
The faces in the classroom reflected the diversity of Tanzania’s demography, one that includes 120 different tribes, two major religions, over 100 languages. It led to amusing moments, such as the conversation between a maasai and a nun, with the latter trying to explain to the former that some people actually choose celibacy, and no thanks, she doesn’t want to marry a maasai. Lees verder / En savoir plus »
As SPOC I’m getting lots of opportunities to practice my recently-acquired video skills. A teacher training session organised by BTC’s HIV/AIDS awareness project provided interesting material – even without understanding it all, as the session was of course in Kiswahili. What’s great about shooting in Africa is that there is always music and dancing, always colour, and almost always wonderful light (a bit dark on this particular day, unfortunately). The two primary teachers and the trainer I interviewed also spoke good enough English to save time on subtitles later.
How do you best communicate with farmers? (Banana project, Kagera)
Development communications means asking yourself the same questions, in some form or another, every day. As BTC’s “SPOC” (Single Point of Contact) in Tanzania, the answers can sometimes be elusive. Lees verder / En savoir plus »
I grew up – in a family full of girls – in Ireland, by some measures one of the most gender-equitable countries in the world. Moving to Tanzania, where men don’t cook and women don’t smoke, was bound to reveal uncomfortable truths.
One example: a widow in Tanzania can be left penniless after her husband’s death, forbidden from inheriting his land. Property is passed to the eldest son, or another male relative, who has no obligation to care for her. Lees verder / En savoir plus »