Selous Game Reserve

By Farzad Ghotaslou Art in Tanzania internship

Selous Game Reserve is a popular Art in Tanzania safari destination starting from the Madale compound in Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian national park authority (TANAPA) in 2019 proposed and declared a change of identity of the northern sector of this reserve such that it is known as The Nyerere National Park as a way of honoring President Julius Nyerere who was the first president of Tanzania. Today the boundaries of this Nyerere National Park are being properly established but according to sources it is believed that this park will encompass the photographic sector in the northern part of the reserve and stretch out all the way to the wilderness area of River Rufiji to the south.

The Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected game reserve on the African continent covering an area of 54,600 square kilometers comprised of a vast wilderness with forests, grassy plains, mountains and open woodlands. This reserve was named after Frederick Selous Courtney who was a great Hunter and explorer. Selous Safari Holidays are highly recommended as in size this reserve is twice the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and three times Kruger National Park in South Africa. This reserve was established in 1922, and in 1982 it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its rich diversity of wildlife and uninterrupted nature.

The reserve is located in the southern part of Tanzania along the southern Tanzania safari circuit and offers the best escape from the large tourist crowds in the northern safari destinations like Serengeti while offering you a remarkable wildlife experience. It is considered to be among the hidden gems in the county and offers a wide range of Selous Game Reserve Camps for accommodation. The reserve is located about 219 kilometers from the busy city of Dar es salaam and may take about 4 hours drive.

Regions of Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is crossed by River Rufiji (which is the largest river in the country) in the center and forms a network of swamps, channels and lakes to create a very unique ecological system. The reserve is separated into 2 major sections by the river which are the northern and southern Selous.

The Northern Selous: this region covers just about 5% of the total area of the reserve and hunting is completely prohibited in this area which has been exclusively set aside for photographic safaris. See, the best time to visit.

The southern Selous: the southern part of the river is separated into various hunting blocks each covering an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometers however we emphasize that we do not operate or even support wildlife hunting.

Since 2005, the protected area is considered a Lion Conservation Unit. A boundary change to allow the use of uranium deposits has been approved. The approval for the boundary change was given by the UNESCO and seriously criticized by environmentalists and organizations e.g., Uranium-Network and Rainforest Rescue.

Tanzania president John Magufuli has given an approval of constructing a new Stiegler’s Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station of 2,115MW over the Rufiji River. The power station will result to an additional 2,100 megawatts of electricity, more than tripling Tanzania’s installed hydropower capacity of 562 megawatts. The project started on 26 July 2019 and should be completed by 2022. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has criticised the Government of Tanzania for failing to consider, the impact of the flooding of nearly 1,000 km2 will have, on both the people and biodiversity of the reserve. Thousands of people are dependent on the river for fishing and agriculture.

Interesting places in the park include the Rufiji River, which flows into the Indian

Ocean opposite Mafia Island and the Stiegler Gorge, a canyon of 100 metres depth and 100 metres width. Habitats include grassland, typical Acacia savanna, wetlands and extensive Miombo woodlands. Although total wildlife populations are high, the reserve is large, and densities of animals are lower than in the more regularly visited northern tourist circuit of Tanzania. In 1976, the Selous Game Reserve contained about 109,000 elephants, then the largest population in the world. By 2013, the numbers had dropped to about 13,000 – including a 66% drop from 2009 to 2013. Sources blame corrupt politicians, officials and businessmen who help poachers.

The Rufiji River runs through the Selous, pretty much bisecting it into a northern and southern section, with most people tending to visit the area to the north of the river. Visitor numbers to the reserve are relatively low compared to those found in Tanzania’s northern parks, which is partly Selous’ attraction, especially to people returning to Tanzania for a second visit.

The park offers back-to-nature walking safaris along with boat trips along the river and more conventional vehicle safaris. There are several very good camps and exclusive lodges here to choose from, some based on the banks of the river and practically guaranteeing incredible game viewing on your doorstep. A Selous Game Reserve safari is best enjoyed between June – October and in January – early February, although visiting in the green season is equally good.

Most of the reserve remains set aside for game hunting through a number of privately leased hunting concessions, but a section of the northern park along the Rufiji River has been designated a photographic zone and is a popular tourist destination. There are several high-end lodges and camps mainly situated along the river and lake systems in this area. Rather difficult road access means most visitors arrive by small aircraft

from Dar es Salaam, though train access is also possible. Walking safaris are permitted in the Selous, and boat trips on the Rufiji are a popular activity.

The Rufiji River runs through the Selous, pretty much bisecting it into a northern and southern section, with most people tending to visit the area to the north of the river. Visitor numbers to the reserve are relatively low compared to those found in Tanzania’s northern parks, which is partly Selous’ attraction, especially to people returning to Tanzania for a second visit.

The park offers back-to-nature walking safaris along with boat trips along the river and more conventional vehicle safaris. There are several very good camps and exclusive lodges here to choose from, some based on the banks of the river and practically guaranteeing incredible game viewing on your doorstep. A Selous Game Reserve safari is best enjoyed between June – October and in January – early February, although visiting in the green season is equally good.

Wildlife

There are a number of wildlife mammals found within this national reserve among which are: approximately 145,000 buffalos, 4,000 Lions, 100,000 wildebeests, large hands of giraffes, 35000 zebras, 40000 hippos, 250,000 impalas, large numbers of Lichtenstein’s hartebeests, waterbucks, elands and bushbucks, in addition to leopards, crocodiles and hyenas. Furthermore, this is among the few wildlife sanctuaries on the African continent where you will find the puku antelopes the African wild dogs as well as the sable antelope. Previously the Selous was home to a very large number of elephants but because of excessive poaching these numbers have greatly reduced.

References:

  1. “UNESCO sacrifices wildlife preserve for uranium mine”. Rainforest Rescue. Retrieved 2021- 01-26.
  2. “Tanzania to Construct Hydropower Plant on National Reserve”. Voice of America. July 26, 2019.
  3. “Tanzania launches Rufiji power plant”. The EastAfrican. 26 July 2019.
  4. Fair, James (July 2019). “African reserve threatened by dam”. BBC Wildlife. p. 51
  5. Wikipedia

Mikumi National Park

By Farzad Khataslou – Art in Tanzania tourism intern

Mikumi National Park is a favorite safari destination to Art in Tanzania volunteers and interns. It is easily accessible and fair priced trip. being only 2-days trip it is often combined with one extra day at the Udzungwa rain forest.

About Mikumi National Park

Size: 3,230 sq km (1,250 sq miles), the fourth-largest national park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centered on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve. Location: 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.

How to get there

A good, surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, a roughly 4-hour drive.

Also, road connections to Udzungwa rain forest, Ruaha and Selous.

About Mikumi National Park

The Mikumi National Park near Morogoro, Tanzania, was established in 1964. The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to Serengeti. The road that crosses the park divides it into two areas with partially distinct environments. The area north-west is characterized by the alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata. The vegetation of this area consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and some rare palm. In this area, at the furthest from the road, there are spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru. The southeast part of the park is less rich in wildlife, and not very accessible.

The fauna includes many species characteristic of the African savannah. Changes of seeing a lion who climbs a tree trunk is larger than in Manyara (famous for being one of the few places where the lions exhibit this behavior). The park contains a subspecies of giraffe that biologists consider the link between the Masai giraffe and the reticulated or Somali giraffe. Other animals in the park are elephants, zebras, impala, eland, kudu, black antelope, baboons, wildebeests, and buffaloes. At about 5 km from the north of the park, there are two artificial pools inhabited by hippos. More than 400 different species of birds also inhabit the park.

The Mikumi belongs to the circuit of the wildlife parks of Tanzania, less visited by international tourists and better protected from the environmental point of view. Most of the routes that cross the Mikumi proceed in the direction of the Ruaha National Park and the Selous. The best season for visiting the park is the dry season between May and November, warm weather and beautiful sites that are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Mikumi is Tanzania’s fourth-largest national park. It’s also the most accessible from Dar es Salaam. With guaranteed wildlife sightings, it makes an ideal safari destination for those without much time. Since the completion of the paved road connecting the park gate with Dar es Salaam, Mikumi National Park has been slated to become a hotspot for tourism in Tanzania.

Located between the Uluguru Mountains and the Lumango range, Mikumi is the fourth largest national park in Tanzania and only a few hours’ drive from Tanzania’s largest city. The park has a wide variety of wildlife that can be easy spotted and well acclimatized to game viewing. Its proximity to Dar es Salaam and the amount of wildlife that live within its borders makes Mikumi National Park a popular option for weekend visitors from the city, or for business visitors who don’t have to spend a long time on an extended safari itinerary.

Most visitors come to Mikumi National Park aiming to spot the ‘Big Five’ (cheetah, lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). Hippo pools provide close access to the mud-loving beasts, and birdwatching along the waterways is particularly rewarding. Mikumi National Park borders the Selous Game Reserve and Udzungwa National Park, and the three locations make a varied and pleasant safari circuit.

The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centre piece of Mikumi, draws frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.

Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favored also by Mikumi’s elephants.

Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo- covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.

More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated long claw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of waterbirds.

Mikumi is one of the most reliable places in Tanzania for sightings of the eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope can be found in the miombo woodland-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders. The Lichtenstein’s hartebeest is one of the more unusual antelopes found here.

The Dry season, from June to October, is the best time for wildlife viewing in the park. Wildlife is easier to spot because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources such as the Mkata River, the hippo pool and other waterholes. At the end of the Dry season, during September and October, these waterholes are almost constantly visited by big herds of buffalo and elephant as well as other wildlife.

References:

  1. “Tanzania National parks Corporate Information”. Tanzania Parks. TANAPA. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Mikumi National Park”. Tanzania Tourism. Archived from the original on 7 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  3. ^ Collett, Leah; Hawkins, Dawn; ho, Charles; Marwa, William; Norton, Guy (December 2007). A description and evaluation of Malundwe Mountain forest in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. 6th Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) Scientific Conference. Arusha, Tanzania. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  • Wikiepedia

EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

By Godfrido F Mallya – Art in Tanzania internship         

Breastfeeding; means one of the most ways to ensure child health and survival. However, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6months, a rate that has not improved in 2 decades…World Health Organization

Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It’s safe clean and contains antibody which help protect against many common childhood illness. Breast milk provides all need for the first months of life and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child nutritional needs during the second half of the first year and up to one third during the year of life

Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice or water) for 6months. After the introduction of other foods, it recommends continue to breastfeed through the baby first year of life.

How often you should breastfeed your baby depends on whether your baby prefers small, frequent meals or longer feeding. This will change as your baby grows. Newborns often want to feed every 2-3 hours. By 2months, feeding every 3-4hours is common and by 6months most babies feed every 4-5hours.

Signs that will indicate your baby is Hungry

  • Licking their lips or sticking out their tongue
  • Rooting, which is moving their jaw, mouth, or head to look for your breast
  • Putting their hand into their mouth
  • Opening their mouth, sucking on things

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby

  • Breast milk provide ideal nutrition for infants, perfectly mix of vitamin, protein and fat everything your baby need to grow
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Breast milk lower baby risk of having asthma or allergies, eaar infections, respiratory illness, bouts of diarrhea
  • Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies
  • Breastfeeding create a good bond between mother and her baby
  • Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become of overweight as they grow

Breastfeeding benefits to the Mother

  • Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster, it release hormone oxytocin which help mother uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and many reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
  • Breastfeeding lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Also the osteoporosis
  • Breastfeeding save time and money, also provide a woman regular time to relax quietly with a newborn as she bond

ABCs of Breastfeeding

  1. Awareness: Watch for the baby sign of hunger and breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry this is called on demand feeding. The first few weeks you may breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.
  2. Be Patient: Breastfeed as long as your baby wants to breastfed each time. Don’t hurry your baby through feeding
  3. Comfort: Relax while breastfeeding and your milk is more likely to let down and flow. Get yourself comfortable with pillows as needed to support your arms and footrest to support your feet and leg before you begin to breastfeed

A Tanzanian Student in China

INTRODUCTION

My name is Joan Felix, aged 24 and currently in my final year at CHINA UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM, specialising on Petroleum engineering of oil and gas. My study experience being in a foreign land has been extremely exciting, I get to explore on different stuff such as ; multicultural conducts, meeting new societies, learning new languages and specialising on some good courses I would say.

EXPERIENCES

HOMELAND FREEDOM 🇹🇿
My experience in China has made me note the difference of what it’s like to be at home in your home land and being in a foreign land, some of the rules and regulations out there made me understand the freedom that is present at home, for example; you can’t own a car even when you can afford it and getting a licence there is kind of not easy compared to Tanzania.

You need a working visa and it’s illegal to work without it, like I’ve encountered people who got deported because of an expired “visa”, I could always book my ticket flights months away to holiday seasons just to go home and spend time with family and it’s always been that, I love my country MUNGU IBARIKI AFRICA, MUNGU IBARIKI TANZANIA.

This could sound am a leisure type but on an honest note it is some of the good things you fail to live in even when they seem normal to everyone else, also applying for visa to do a lot of stuff like living there and there are penalties for being late like it could even lead to being deported.

LIFE IN CHINA 🇹🇷

China is one of the most good places with unique features, their language is not too common as English,it’s filled with characters I had a little problem with my Chinese classes to be honest their foods are health based foods , everything about their food is fresh and healthy, well if I’ll be honest it is sweet too depending on which food you ordered, due to their friendly environment, China has attracted foreigners from different parts of the world and that’s the good part when African meet African, Arabs, Americans, Russians, interactions were at its best point to the point that there are some places where Chinese residents haven’t met foreigners so they’d be so surprised to see you around and would want to have a picture with you or some would just be scared I can say.

CULTURE

The greatest things that I happen to enjoy in China was multicultural explorations, people from different parts of the world would share their conducts of their culture, their dress codes in different occasions, the best part that is food, well I loved  the Ethiopian food and coffee like it’s too beautiful without forgetting the Yemen’s tea , it’s like green in color with an amazing taste but served hot, I managed to encounter some good fashion like that of the Papua New Guinea, they are just amazing and all of that combined.

LEADERSHIP 👑

Being in China, as a foreign land we needed representatives, to stand for us and it’s not an easy task since it’s a collective of responsibilities you share with your fellow leaders, on different occasions and events, you need to stand on your place and position, with integrity and participative in both good and bad times alike.

One of the most excited and the most tiresome events was when some were graduating and we had to organise everything on our own without them involved.

Me and some of my senior leaders were assigned on the location, food and the total costs; (the entrance fee , buffet), it was tiring since everyone had their own kind lifestyle with a different kind of affordability but at last it was all made up.

I enjoyed moving around seeking for a good place, taking pictures, deciding and reasoning out to why we think the choice was a good match, I enjoyed calculating the costs and trying to sum up everything, it was too amazing and when I attended I felt happy to see smiles on people’s faces and life in the party, it was so amazing.

I also remember the cultural event that I had to finish my class and rush to our country’s stall because we lead by example, it was just outstanding. I could say that personally I enjoy serving like it feels too good to help others, to stand for others, to work for the sake of their happiness, feels great.

SCHOOL LIFE 🎓

As a petroleum engineer, well I’d say it’s really a good course but you need to be ready for it, doing everything as required and on time, we learn a lot of things, the basis of petroleum productions, how it forms up, how it is drilled out of the ground, a lot of calculations, could be some kind the small calculations but there are a lot, going to labs and seeing what you write on paper look like in real life.

I happen to have a best friend of mine who was a monitor, I could see how life as a monitor and a student sound like but we were of no great difference because we were both leaders and scholars at the same time, I could help her around with the monitor duties which was also fun.

I managed to collect my assignments on time  going to classes that start early at 8 am and some would end at 9pm , felt like I was employed, the best part was that the best students would be awarded with an appreciation award and I thank God I was not bad at my grades that I managed to attain the awards twice till COVID hit us that it was no longer available, but all in all it was an amazing experience on campus, making sure you are a “good student”.

WEATHER EFFECT 🍂

Living in Tanzania especially being born in Dar es Salaam, where life is simple and the weather is just hot, cold days aren’t deadly cold made my life difficult the first few days in China, my first time was during the autumn ends heading to winter, the cold wasn’t favourable, I felt like I was in a freezer for the time.

I hated school at that point because it was extremely cold and I wasn’t a lover of it, I suffered from a terrible flu that I will never forget, praise God a friend came through with a remedy for it, but with time, I eventually got used to it since we had heaters everywhere you go, in taxis, at home, at school and it was helpful, during summer, it gets to be too hot but again am from Dar es Salaam (not originally but born there ) so it wasn’t much of a problem to me and I enjoyed it especially when spring starts and you just know my favourite weather is on its way.

The first time I experienced snow, was during my physics final exam and I didn’t even know what to do because I was sick and I needed to head home,I lived off campus, it wasn’t a good experience and how many would hype it but again like I said , with time it was just like a normal rainy day.

CAMPUS LIFE🏢

In the first two years in university I lived off campus, well it felt like a grown up who’s independent, I’d go anywhere , at anytime and whatever moment.

I am not going to lie but it was somehow safe for night walks in China so it was so much of a freedom that I never had back home in an African family until I’ve fully grown up as I am now, I was never a going out person like I’d appreciate being in my room all day, but my friend would sometimes opted we could catch up on a movie.

We could go to some restaurants, Mc Donald’s, it was my favourite place among many and many more new places till when in my third year I moved to campus  dormitory life was too much under restrictions. We had a given time to be back in campus, we had locks with face ID entry doors, we had to freak out every moment you’re out of campus because anything can happen and you’ll stay outside until you have your ID with you  but if you have friends outside then you’re lucky but one of the most terrible  behaviours I faced in campus was laziness like I was close to my classes so waking up early wasn’t my thing no more compared to off campus and I’d still make it on time.

Good thing is I was able to do my homework late at night since I was close to classes it was just on the ground floor so at some point it wasn’t a bad idea in campus.

CONCLUSION :- life in a foreign land helped me understand the feeling of being in need of help and being the help to those in need.

I highly value leadership, not because it’s a position of power but a position of dedication, a position of putting things into practise, leading is more than just having a good office to chill and order people around, it’s a position of humility and acknowledgement of the level of people’s dependency on your ability and capacity to bring change, leaders do make mistakes too but a mistake is a learning point to greatness and I’d encourage a great demonstration of what you are made of as a leader of your life, a company, family, institute and all that you’re leading on , aim at bringing change and a movement.

谢谢你

Climate Change and Its Impact on Health

Tiffany Lo-Art in Tanzania Internship

Climate change has a big impact on the environment and health. Africa is projected to have an increase of surface temperatures at a faster rate than the global average (Pasquini, 2020). Temperature increases have been linked to increasing mortality and morbidity, and marginalized groups, such as those who are economically disadvantaged, appear to have higher heat-related morbidity and mortality (Pasquini, 2020). Climate change also makes extreme weather more frequent and intense, which can lead to desertification of fertile land and rising sea levels (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). Conflict also tends to increase when a drought results in food shortages, which worsens the impact of economic crises that can result from a variety of causes, such as the COVID-19 pandemic (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). As such, mitigating the effects of climate change is vital to improving health.

Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns also worsen the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). Currently, new diseases are emerging in regions where they previously did not exist (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). A lack of access to clean water due to drought would also lead to higher incidence of diarrhea, which is a major cause of death for children under the age of five (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). With the destruction of ecosystems, climate change could have a great impact on the occurrence of viruses like COVID-19, which emerges from animals (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021).

Climate change also negatively impacts food security, which would worsen health (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). In drought-prone sub-Saharan Africa countries, the number of undernourished people have increased by 45.65% since 2012 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). As agriculture accounts for the majority of livelihoods in Africa, the impacts of drought, increased pest and disease damage as well as flooding would negatively impact livelihoods and health as a result due to decreasing food security and income (United Nations Climate Change, 2020).

Some groups are more impacted by climate change (Pasquini, 2020). Age influences sensitivity to heat, especially in groups such as the elderly and young (Pasquini, 2020). People with underlying health issues such as chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are also more sensitive to heat (Pasquini, 2020). Water quantity also impacts sensitivity to heat, as drinking enough water is important for efficient thermoregulation (Pasquini, 2020). As mentioned previously, climate change leads to drought, and without access to water, it is plausible that already vulnerable groups would become even more sensitive to the possibility of dehydration, heat-related illnesses, and potentially water-borne diseases (Pasquini, 2020).

It is of upmost importance that the negative impact of climate change is reduced in order to improve health. Africa has made great efforts in driving the global climate agenda, with over 90% of the countries ratifying the Paris Agreement, and many African countries have committed to transitioning to green energy within a short time frame (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). Climate change has a big negative impact on health, and reducing its impact through means of clean energy and reducing poverty by promoting socioeconomic growth is vital to improving health (United Nations Climate Change, 2020).

References:

Pasquini, L., van Aardenne, L., Godsmark, C. N., Lee, J., & Jack, C. (2020). Emerging climate change-related public health challenges in Africa: A case study of the heat-health vulnerability of informal settlement residents in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Science of the total environment, 747, 141355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141355

How climate change drives humanitarian crises. (2021, April 22). Retrieved from https://www.rescue.org/article/how-climate-change-drives-humanitarian-crises

United Nations Climate Change. (2020, October 27). Climate Change Is an Increasing Threat to Africa. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://unfccc.int/news/climate-change-is-an-increasing-threat-to-africa

Status of the Microfinance in Tanzania

By James Mathew Mgaya – Art in Tanzania internship

Introduction

The movement of microfinance is started since 19th centaury in the time of European Union and the creation of modern microfinance in Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus in 1983, microfinance was simultaneously created. In 1983, Yunus established Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The goal of Grameen Bank was to initially provide small loans to entrepreneurs. Microfinance is all about financing low-income earner like food venders (mama lishe), farmers, poor communities, micro- enterprises.

We call them low-income earner to financial service providers, but the nature of this industry is too slow and small in fact they misunderstood it with banking services, but they are so different aspect. Moreover, Microfinance is likely to be called micro-credit or micro-loan which most users are low-income earner while apparently women in Tanzania perspective. In rural areas, they are usually small farmers and others who are engaged in small income-generating activities such as an anti-poverty tool for the people living in rural areas. It claims to assisting communities of the economically excluded to achieve greater level of asset creation and income security to eradicate poverty in Tanzania at the household and community level which is not achieved as it initially aimed.

Many microfinance institutions currently operating in urban areas than rural areas. Microfinance are known to Its reputation of helping low-income households to stabilize their income flows and save for future needs; observing facts are too slow build up existence of Microfinance institutions to rural areas are yet to focus to rural areas while remain with poverty and these kinds of financial services remain unknown to other rural and remote areas. Furthermore, microfinance may help families, farms, and small businesses to prosper, and at times of crisis it can help them cope and rebuild rural communities if introduced and operated in these remote areas.

It is must to be regulated by central bank in Tanzania and have mandate to any financial services provider especially Microfinance is well regulated under BoT but also their National Microfinance policy and other supervisory framework. The emphasis on them is too low as for presence of commercial banks with their innovative product which interfered Microfinance financial services.  It’s not bad notion since it is competitive and commercial era, but it seizes to suppress these micro capital institutions to its existence. In good formality must learn to co- exist as alpha be alpha (BoT) and beta doing beta thing (commercial banks) and let omega enjoy the fruits of being omega (Microfinance institution); this interruption redirects the main purpose of microfinance and it main objective in Tanzania.

Microfinance industry

Regulation 

According to “mondaq.com ” The Bank of Tanzania (the BoT) exercising its powers under section 60(1) and (2) of the Microfinance Act of 2018 (the Act) has published the Microfinance (Non-Deposit Taking Microfinance Service Providers) Regulations of 2019 (the Regulations) among other regulations.”        According to Finandlaw.co.tz which said The Central Bank of Tanzania (Bank of Tanzania) has finally issued the regulations governing Microfinance Business in Tanzania. The regulations come in trio containing, Microfinance (Non-Deposit Taking Microfinance Service Providers) Regulations 2019 (GN No. 679 of 2019), Microfinance (Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies) Regulations 2019 (GN No. 675 of 2019), The Microfinance (Community Microfinance Groups) Regulations 2019 GN No. 678 of 2019.Government view microfinance as powerful allied to combat poverty in Tanzania so they establish it regulate it , supervise it and governed it through Bank of Tanzania, some supervisory frameworks and policies.

Microfinance institutions

Microfinance institutions in Tanzania appeared with three faces: first is Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO’s) which include PRIDE, FINCA, Vision Fund, SEDA, PTF etc. Another, banking services which offer similar range of micro- credit and some are large banks like NMB, CRDB, ACB, and most of regional banks and community banks are also providing these kinds of services like Kilimanjaro cooperative bank, Dar es salaam community bank, Mfindi community bank etc. Finally, cooperative based institutions here we are talking about SACCOS, SACCAS, AMCOS, VIKOBA etc. But not only them provide financial services that predominately as saving based and these are not regulated BoT these don’t work directly as financial institution as agency for poverty eradication includes SIDO, YOSEFO, SELFINA, and Poverty Africa and Zanzibar based Women Development Trust Fund.

Recent years their existence of e-banking or mobile banking institution which provide micro- credit to borrowers with access of internet and some no access of internet. In fact, some are not real financial institution but provide micro- credit and micro- saving like M-pawa through M-pesa, Tigopesa, Halopesa, etc. With those include online microfinance are like TALA, Branch, Timiza, TMF, easy loan, mkopo chap chap loan finder etc.

Source of fund and Operation

Source of financing microfinance so they say is from donors, SACCOS, Government, community based and bank loans. International donors play big part to fund institutions and NGO’s and provide not only substantial financial resources but even technical assistance to them. SACCOS and Community based are mostly use internal source of fund by collective fund measure toward membership that provide equal contribution and distribution and some time the get assistance from donors, government through subsides and noninterest loans, also the use banks loan which can be accessed.

Many microfinances operate though micro borrowing, but the market is widespread nowadays when involved the big guns like bank they tend to have saving. But may borrower’s ideology is not saving is about getting micro credit which is main purpose. Since then, microfinance drift to commercial more than serving low-income earner and eradicating poverty as government intended. Microfinance suppose to deal with poor and rural areas and urban, but many operations are urban centered which the get collaterals, easy to reach them than rural areas. The interest pricing can be high because most of the local microfinance providers borrow from bank for 10% to 20% this may lead for Microfinance to charge more than bank rate. Which make borrower to use commercial banks despite of many procedure but for some they still enjoy microfinance though they are affected by it.

Challenges

There many developmental challenges faced by micro credit providers in Tanzania because is substantial to the backbone to low income and unemployed to enter economic activities. And these are some challenges.

Criticisms: their propaganda involve charging low rate and oversimplification of procedures than of those commercial banks. Most of them charge low interest of 1% up to 10% mostly with no transaction cost or restriction of having saving. This approaches and techniques cannot do by banks because they can not take risk on loan but to microcredit provider can offer loan for 24 hours, with national identity cards only, that made accessing loans to be very easy than using banks.

Beneficiaries of the benefits; the aim of microfinance institution by Dr Muhammad Yunnus and other idealist like US President Bill Clinton once said, “the poor are credit worthy and that micro financing effort can be self-sustainable, create growth and widespread peace.” But do poor benefit microcredit? All of this institution focusses on commercialize services drift away from it main purpose. These institutions target civil servant’s government officials by using lawson verdict. In large percent poor and rural areas are outreached and not capable of getting these services but other groups benefit these services.

Insolvent of financial services ingredients; financial literacy, trust issues, repayment measures and access to credit. Borrowers of microcredits are client of banks which have bank accounts in consumer perspective to have MFI’s account is not easy due to misunderstanding of financial services to offer savings as product so, also some low-income earners do not have that knowledge of saving. Trust issue faced by microfinance institutions about borrowers do trust these institution because of the  and repayment measures are not comfortable to consumer as it’s recovery is not smooth transaction the fact that the collateral they use are home furniture’s and some time employer’ concerned this bring fear among borrowers and also institution , targeted poorest people are not able to access credit for claims of geographical and socio economic factor for MFI’s not able to reach them at large; remoteness is fact but also repayment capacity of these projected clients like in rural areas. Inaccessibility of credits in areas and nature of competition and profit oriented with business ideology have made them urban centered mind to the point of loss of clients who uses bank services.

Contribution

The developmental outreach of microfinance institutions is reasonable nowadays which can be accessed through e-banking or known as sim banking/ mobile banking, google apps, telecommunication company services even in the phones so it increases number of borrowers to the easy access to credit. Increase of digital services to borrowers reduce time consuming to loan procedures, it establishes more easily accessible micro loans and other services. Women empowerment is achieved in large number of entrepreneurs are women nowadays. Microfinance institutions boost economy as financial tool to eradicate poverty among urban areas and rural areas, low-income earner are motivated to borrow an start micro enterprises to build their individual / household provision this is baby steps to development.  Competitive market goes with using of technology which open so many unemployment problem and easy access of services and availability of many and different product because of increase of Microfinance Institution and financial services providers. Reasonable and competitive pricing of interest for some MFI’s who use donors and subsidies they offer low interest that benefit customers to encourage other client to apply for credit. Innovative products which have different package like mortgages, leasing of buildings, machines, vehicles and furniture and many other uses for loan.

What should be done?

Most of MFI’s must mobilize savings to client to reduce dependence of international donors which lead to good management of savings and to use them to the loan portfolio and building stable source of fund that expanding operations base on Microfinance institution. There is financial inclusion towards Microfinance institution and borrower or low-income earner to overlook individuals and micro enterprises to access financial services according to income level that maybe useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs to smooth transactions, suitable payment methods and approaches, potential savings, available and accessible credit, and insurance to be delivered in a responsible and sustainable technique like online.

Return to basics of Micro finance purpose; the idea of microfinance is to provide financial services to poor households, microenterprises, women, and youth so as government to reach the goals. There notion says “Poor people need not just loans but also savings, insurance and money transfer services.”

Coping with economic and political environment; economic policies like millennium development goals and sustainable development goals these change in time with political interest of the country. Monetary policy has been accommodative to support credit and economic growth, as it was supportive to poverty eradication as goal number one and decent work and economic growth. Microfinance institutions needs to consider the political environment when creating business strategies. The entire political environment includes looking at government policies and the risk and instability of current political factors and current political party in power, the degree of politicization effectiveness and efficiency of the current government, government policies, current legal framework, the public attitude towards the economy.

Professionalism: expertise in Microfinance institution is very important that can make industry is moving very fast as India’s microfinance sector is fragmented with more than 3000 microfinance institutions in India are estimated to account for almost 74 per cent of the total loans outstanding. The work of expertise it means put right person for right job with standards, awareness, and practises in microfinance sector.

The verdict

Upon the creation of microcredit by Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus in 1983, microfinance was simultaneously created. In 1983, Yunus established Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The goal of Grameen Bank was to initially provide small loans to entrepreneurs. When the movement gain momentum globally: Tanzania 1980’s adopted Microfinance institution as the proper tool to reduce poverty, allowing poor citizens from lower socio-economical classes to participate in the building of country’s economy. Microfinance is a government strategy used to help Tanzanians to fight poverty by providing a variety of financial services to poor and low-income individuals who do not have access to banking and related services for the growth of economy to household level.

Climate Change Effect on National Parks in Tanzania

By Veronica Donald – Art in Tanzania internship

Climate encompasses the statistics of meteorological conditions, that is, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle counts and other meteorological element in a given region over a long period of time. Climate change is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities that alert the composition of global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural variability observed over comparable time period. Variability may be due to internal natural processes within the climate system or variation in anthropogenic external forces. A national park is predominantly unaltered area of the land and/or sea characterized by exceptional and varied natural assets comprising one or several preserved and predominantly unaltered ecosystem and is primarily set aside for conservation of original natural assets.

Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, covering the area of 945209 km2, 60000 of which is inland water. It’s shares the boundaries with eight countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Zambia. Tanzania lies close to the equator in East coast of Africa between parallel 1 S and 12 S and meridian 30E and 40E. By being close to the equator, climate variations in temperature are not very extreme. Tanzania is among of African countries in terms of biodiversity of both flora and fauna species in its terrestrial and marine ecosystem, it has numerous vegetation cover distributed along the diverse landscape. It is a home of endemic plants and animal’s species most of which are of world importance. It has 16 national park such as Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Mikumi, Saadani, Saa nane Island, Katavi, Gombe, and etc.

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Climate trend in Tanzania

Rainfall Pattern

Rainfall pattern in country is subdivided into: tropical on the coast where is humid and hot (rainy season is March-May): semi-temperate in the mountains with short rains in November-December and long rains in February-May: and drier in the plateau region with considerable seasonal variation in temperature. The mean annual rainfall varies from 500 mm to 2500 mm and above, the duration of dry period is five to six months. However recent rainfall pattern has become more unpredictable with some areas receive extremely maximum and minimum rainfall per year.

Temperature Pattern

Temperature in Tanzania also varies according to geographical location, relief and altitude. In the Coastal regions temperature ranging between 27℃ to 29℃, while in central, Northern and Western parties, temperature ranges between 20℃ to 30℃ and higher between month of December to March. In the Northeast and Southeast where there is mountainous and Makonde plateau, the temperature occasionally drops to 15℃ at night during months of June and July.

The following are the effects of climate change to National Parks in Tanzania.

Water shortage for large mammals especially in the period of law rainfall is the main challenge to facing wildlife, the places that naturally used to dry water during dry season are no longer used to dry water and thus water dependent animals such as hippopotamus, crocodiles, buffaloes are found crowded in few remaining water ponds elephant eg in Ruaha National Park. Seriously lack of surface water led to considerably hippopotamus and buffaloes’ mortalities. Suffering from lack of water, wildlife physiological functions are impaired and they are becoming easy targets to poachers and predators. Thus, with changing climate and associated decrease in water availability due to reduced amounts and altered seasonal distribution of rainfall, the existing water related problems are likely to be compounded (Elisa at all., 2011, cf. Kangalawe, 2010).

Human-Wildlife conflicts

Due to climate change, wild animals from National Park are roaming around the adjacent villages to search for pastures and water. So many events of crop raiding occur and thus cause human-wildlife conflicts. The animals commonly involved in these conflicts are hippopotamus, buffaloes and elephants and this may be aggravated with changing climatic conditions example is in Lake Manyara National Park.

Affects nature-based tourism

Tourism has close connections to environment and considered to be highly climatic sensitive sector. Climate variabilities determine the length and quality of tourism seasons, thus play a major role in the destination choice and tourist spending. Climate affect a wide range of environmental resources that are key attraction to tourism such as snow conditions over mount killimanjaro, wildlife productivity and biodiversity. Climate also has an effects on environmental conditions that can deter tourists including infectious diseases, wild fires, waterborne pest and insects.

Glacier retreat in Mount Kilimanjaro

The early retreat of glaciers on the Kilimanjaro was due to natural climatic shifts whilst the warming up of the Earth after the industrial era has led to current faster recession of the glaciers. There is no argument today regarding the retreat of Kilimanjaro glacier; the glaciers have been retreating in unprecedented scale in the recent years directly because of climate change. The   retreat of the glaciers is probably the most iconic indication of climate change impacts in Tanzania (Ibid). The most recent available data shows that the glaciers were about 4.2km2 in 1976 (Hastenrath and Greischar, 1997). In 2000, the remaining glaciers were only 2.6km2 (Thompson, et al., 2002).

 Ecosystem shift

Climate change is altering environmental niche and cause species to species their habitat range, as they track their ecological niche. Species shifts allow species to persist but may negatively affect existing species in these areas because the shifted species may be a primarily source of food to the existing species..

Speciation is an evolutionary process by which new ecological species arise. Due to various natural processes including geographical separation and drift, some species become separated. In consequences, under changing climatic conditions and due to natural selection, new species are established. Climate change and invasive species pose ecological challenges to the world. The impact of climate change and rise in average global temperature can have a profound effect to the specie’s geographical ranges that are often set primarily by climate and the host environment. Climate changes alter destination of habitat and increase vulnerability to invasion because of resource scarcity and increased competition among native flora and fauna. Example, Argemone mexicana in Ngorongoro CA.

Strategies for climate change

Enhance resilience of wildlife Ecosystem to impacts of climate change.

This can be done through promoting wildlife management practice that increase resilience to climate change, establishing a wildlife climate change related monitoring and information management system and enhancing protection and conservation of wildlife habitats.

Ensure water quality availability and accessibility in a changing climate.

This can be achieved by protection and conservation of water catchment areas, invest and promote appropriate water management technology, invest exploration and extraction of underground water and conduct vulnerability assessment in water resources.

Undertake research on climate change impacts.

Undertake a detailed and coordinated research on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, mitigation measures and develop technology that will ensure sustainable response system for minimizing impacts and risks associated with changing in climate.

Adequate financial resources for climate change adaptation.

This can be done through effective and efficient system for planning and mobilization and management of climate change funds.

Conclusion

Climate, tourist attraction, wildlife habitat is closely associated to National Parks. Change in climate have directly influenced tourism seasonality and indirectly affect natural attractiveness of the parks by changing tourism flagship species and natural landscape. Decreasing rainfall and increasing temperature have led to more drier conditions and increased aridity resulting to shortage of water for wildlife.

References

Elisa, M., Gara, J.I., and Wolanski, E. (2011). A Review of Water Crisis in Tanzania’s protected areas with emphasis on Katuma River-Lake Rukwa Ecosystem. Journal of Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology [DOI: 10.2478/v10104-011-0001-z]

Fischlin, A., Midgley, G.F., Price, J. T., Leemans, R., Gopal, B., Turley, C., Rounsevell, M. D.A., Dube, O. P., Tarazona, J., and Velichko, A.A. (2007). Ecosystems, their properties, goods, and services. In Parry, M.L., Canziani, O.F,. Palutikof, J. P., van der Linden P. J., and Hanson, C.E. (Eds.), Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Workin Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 211-272.

Kangalawe, R.Y.M. (2010). Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in the management of freshwater resources in the Rufi ji Basin. A consultancy report submitted to the Ruaha Water Programme. WWF-Tanzania Country Offi ce, Dar es Salaam.

United Republic of Tanzania – URT (2002). Population and Housing Census 2002. United Republic of Tanzania. National Bureau of Statistics, Dar es Salaam.

Hastenrath S, Greischar L. 1997. Glacier recession on Kilimanjaro, East Africa, 191 89. Journal of Glaciology 43: 455-459.

Thompson LG, Mosley-Thompson E, Davis ME, Henderson KA, Brecher HH, Zagorodnov VS, Mashiotta TA, Lin PN, Mikhalenko VN, Hardy DR, Beer J. 2002.Kilimanjaro ice core records: evidence of Holocene climate change in tropical Africa. Science 298: 589-593.

PROTECTION OF THE EARTH IS A MAN FUNDAMENTAL DUTY

By Godfrido Mallua – Art in Tanzania internship

Genesis 1:26-28

Then, GOD said Let Us make man in our image according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over cattle, over all earth and over creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So GOD created man in His own image, in the image of GOD he created him; male and female. Then GOD blessed them, be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

Background

Recently the world has observed human activities that contribute on environmental destruction and leads to climate change. This situation has much been contributed by a lot of factors, some to be Demographically, Politically, Economically etc. Though different initiatives are continuing embarked by government, society, multiple organizations but still the nature and living organism reported to be at high risk of being exposed to unsafe living environments

What should be a man continuing effort on earth protection?

Man efforts depends on several factors which lies behind the policies made by those in power that enforce every human being take responsibility to protect our nature as per country regulation. But also policies itself are never enough to bring change, it also demand self awareness and self initiatives of every human to support those initiatives up on nature protection wisely and meet the will of GOD.

Some efforts which can be embarked by each member of community on protection are elaborated below…

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle: Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three Rs to conserve natural resources and landfill space
  • Volunteer: Volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed too
  • Educate: When you further your own education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
  • Conserve water: The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in ocean
  • Shop wisely: Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag
  • Use long lasting light bulbs: Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions, also flip the lights switch off when you leave the room
  • Plant trees: Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air and help combat climate change
  • Limit industrial sewage towards water sources: sewage contain a lot of chemicals of which tend to pollute water and even kills living organisms found in water sources
  • Bike more drive less
  • Discourage fire burning into farms and forest areas, illegal pouching, deforestation etc

                   Photo: climbing man around the mountain forests

Tunza mazingira Yakutunze… DBE Jane Goodall Nobel Prize, Un Peace Ambassador once said.

THE PROSPECT FOR TANZANIA ECONOMY AFFECTED BY COVID -19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC

B Nyamboge Mwema Nyawangwe – Art in Tanzania internship

As well as it is known COVID-19 is a global pandemic in the whole world today. Tanzania is among one of the many countries that has been affected in many ways and one of the major areas is in the economic sector. Since last April to May 2020 there was a huge rise of cases regarding COVID-19 which led to lockdowns including shutting down of various public places like schools. The average has reduced highly since last year since and people are no longer quarantined, despite that, the recently new president ordered for more research/investigation with regard to COVID-19 and measures to prevent it from spreading are still taken. Despite Tanzanian boarders being still open several measures are still undertaken by the government and individuals to protect against the spread of COVID19. Some of these measures include the one’s set by WHO like wearing face masks, social distancing in public places and washing hands or using hand sanitizers.

Given the fact that majority of Tanzanian’s are backward economically and can’t afford means of protections such as hand sanitizers, face masks etc., this people are forced to stay at home as to avoid crowds, hence a lot of people have failed to keep up with their daily jobs. This is especially to rural people who are self-employed hence when they don’t work means no income generated and therefore reduction of expenses reducing general revenues. Some companies also have been forced to deduct  workers’ salaries and also expel some workers as to keep up with the financial flows.

Despite the rate of COVID-19 gradually falling but other countries are still highly affected by the disease which is more likely contributing to affecting Tanzania economy, currently and the future. Some of the major areas directly linked with the economy have shown this impacts.

In Public financing/ Government.

The government is facing and will continue facing problem in public budgeting and social services delivery to its people, this is because it has increased demand for public expenditure mainly in procuring tools needed due to COVID-19 such as sanitizers, medical equipment’s and so forth. The government revenues are expected to keep failing due to variety in cash flow obtained in direct and indirect taxes, levies and fees. As it is known with COVID-19 most of companies decreased workers and also most of workers payments were declined also others were forced to stop working naturally due to factors within.

In tourism sector; 

One of the major sources of the government income in Tanzania is through tourism. Which has far more tattered, very few tourists are coming to the country due to restrictions set in countries hence the demand has quite declined. The government has reckoned that this year probably only few tourists will come to Tanzania for the holidays which is about a quarter of the normal rate. Places like Zanzibar has been so much affected since most of their economy depend on tourism. The chain that links from the places that tourist visited and stayed like hotels to the people working there and the suppliers of products or services their jobs have frozen due lack of tourist.  

                

Trade

Tanzania mostly depends on exported products and very few are made within. Trade global chains are disrupted, and some factories have been shut down, most of products are running out hence sellers lack products to sell and money circulation has been declining. Most of the country boundaries have been closed not allowing products to go out or come in for some time. This has also led to rise of prices of some products causing some people not to afford them which leaves these products unsold especially those that are not basic needs or that are luxurious products. Export and import of products has been generally affected due to shutdown of some factories which has highly affected the economy.

In banks and financial institutions;

This are among major helpers of the economy that have been highly affected due to COVID-19,  there has been reduction of bank deposits given all factors generated that has causes slow generation of income, Foreign financial flows have fallen due to no transactions of money from other countries due to the lockdown hence lack of foreign currency within, also there has been deterioration between the customers and bank relationships since it has been hard  to establish a common ground due to operational challenges from both sides.

Conclusively;

As for Tanzania as long as COVID 19 continues to exist despite it being within the country or outside its impact on the economy will always be valid and continue to affect the major sectors of the economy, which will keep causing decline of general income gained by individuals and the government at large. Such hard times require hard decisions on best measure as to what should be undertaken as to try and maintain the economy to avoid great depression.

Already some measures have been taken as to help overcome the economic problems generated due to COVID-19 for example in banks and financial institutions follows the Bank of Tanzania policies measures, this is by issuing relief packages towards their customers especially the small and medium enterprises which include payment holidays ranging from 3-6 months and restricting of loans to extend repayment periods.

The Impact of Period Poverty in Tanzania

Art in Tanzania Internship-Tiffany Lo

Managing periods in Tanzania is challenging due to a lack of access to menstrual products and sanitation services. Over 50% of Tanzanians do not have access to improved sanitation and access to clean drinking water is often limited (Moloney, 2020). With a lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, information, and appropriate sanitation services, women and girls are put at risk for poor physical or reproductive health (Moloney, 2020). This also has detrimental effects, as it limits opportunities for girls and women in Tanzania (Moloney, 2020).

Water facilities are not available in 38% of Tanzanian schools, the water facilities are not operational in 46% of the cases, and 64% of school latrines do not have a place to dispose of sanitary pads (Maji Safi Group, 2020). 85% of girls are forced to use unhygienic solutions such as strips of cloth, which can spread fungi and infection due to a lack of sanitation services and menstrual products (Maji Safi Group, 2020). The severe lack of resources often forces girls to use other unsanitary options such as leaves, pieces of a mattress filling, or used cloth (Maji Safi Group, 2020). Using these options could result in infections (Maji Safi Group, 2020).

Because of misinformation, menstruation has negative connotations, girls often face stigma and are made to feel ashamed of themselves and their bodies (Moloney, 2020). Girls often isolate themselves at home during menstruation, sometimes even missing school (Maji Safi Group, 2020). According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), about one in ten African teenage girls that reside in remote areas miss school during their menstruation cycle and eventually drop out of school due to issues that surround period poverty (Maji Safi Group, 2020). According to a study by Tawasanet Menstruation and Health Management, 62% of female students miss school due to physical illness that is a result from menstruation (Maji Safi Group, 2020). As a result, these young women face negative long-term socio-economic and educational effects (Maji Safai Group, 2020).

Pads and menstrual products are also often expensive—for example, sanitary products costs a typical Tanzanian woman 3.4% of her monthly salary, compared to 0.15% for the average American woman (Kottasová, 2018). For some women in rural communities, it can cost even more—even as much as 10% of a woman’s salary (Kottasová, 2018). Period poverty also negatively impacts the economy, as female workers may have to miss several days of work a month when menstruating (Kottasová, 2018). The Tanzanian government reports that 60% of women live in “absolute poverty”, and due to period poverty, women who are already economically disadvantaged to begin with face greater economic hurdles due to factors such as missing and dropping out of school and missing days of work due to being unable to afford menstrual and sanitary products (Kottasová, 2018).

Increasing education on menstrual and reproductive health is essential in combating period poverty in Tanzania (Moloney, 2020). Many organizations are dedicated to ending gender-based discrimination and destigmatize female hygiene, such as the Maji Safi Group, which uses a comprehensive approach which includes community outreach, providing learning materials, after school programs and employing Tanzanian women as community health educators (Moloney, 2020).

Sources:

Kottasová, I. (2018, October 3). When pads are a luxury, getting your period means missing out on life

Maji Safai Group. (2020, December 23). Period Poverty in Tanzania: Menstruation Issues & Sanitation.

Moloney, R. (2020, September 29). Fighting Period Poverty in Tanzania.