Main Bacteria Epidemic Threats in Tanzania

By Goodness Njakoi – Art in Tanzania internship

In the globally connected world of today, disease threats can spread unpredictably quicker than ever before. Emerging diseases are a global threat to human existence. Every country is exposed to potentially emergence of infectious disease. Several factors such as changes in ecology, climate and human demographics play distinct roles in a complex mechanism contributing to the occurrence of infectious diseases. Important aspects towards control in case of outbreaks are surveillance, preparedness and prompt response.

Tanzania has not experienced a major public health threat except for HIV/AIDS. she should take opportunity of the currently present calm situation to prepare. Talking about threatening bacterial epidemic in the country, two diseases are looked at: Cholera and Tuberculosis.



Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. the disease occurs in epidemics when conditions of poor sanitation, crowding and famine are present. It attacks both children and adults all over the world, but most common in typical areas such as per-urban and slums, where basic infrastructure is not available as well as camps for internally displaced people or refugees where minimum requirements of clean water and sanitation are not met.

Vibrio Cholerae Bacteria

Clinical signs for V. cholerae infection often begins with stomach cramps and vomiting followed by diarrhea, which may progress to fluid losses of up to one litter per hour. These losses result in severe fluid volume depletion and metabolic acidosis, which may lead to circulatory collapse and death. Symptoms of cholera can vary from mild to severe, the most common being sudden onset of watery diarrhea, dehydration, rapid heart rate, dry mouth, excessive thirst, low urine output, nausea and vomiting.

Since the seventh cholera pandemic reached Tanzania in 1974, the country reports outbreaks almost every year and had notified over 250,000 cases and 13,078 deaths by 2018. according to existing literature, Dar es Salaam is one of the endemic cities experiencing cholera outbreaks. From 15 August 2015 through 7 January 2018, 33,421 cases including 542 deaths were reported across all 26 regions of the Tanzania (Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar). Tanzania mainland reported 86% of total cases in the outbreak. active cholera transmission has persisted in Tanzania mainland, with Mbeya and Songwe Regions being the most active.

Irrespective of the fact that Cholera has been a recognized disease for about 200 years, control of the deadly disease still is a challenge. several strategies are being employed to control and mitigate cholera outbreaks, most of these are focus on basic sanitary and hygiene measures such,

as treating water supplies, improving water delivery systems, sewage control, hand washing facilities, latrines and adequate hygiene in food handling. However, control activities based on the provision of safe drinking water and improved sanitation have often failed to contain the spread of cholera, and outbreaks are now common in sub-Saharan Africa. The risk factors for cholera outbreaks in Africa are also incompletely understood, and thus it’s challenging to predict outbreaks reliably.



Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB can be acquired by breathing contaminated air droplets coughed or sneezed by a person nearby who has active Tuberculosis. Humans can also get ill with TB by ingesting unpasteurized milk products contaminated with Mycobacterium bovis also known as Bovine Tuberculosis.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is present worldwide and typically spreads in cramped, overcrowded conditions. There is no evidence that pulmonary TB is more easily transmitted in airplanes or other forms of public transportation. Long-term travelers, those with a weakened immune system or visiting friends and relatives (VFR travelers) in areas where Tuberculosis is endemic are at risk. Humanitarian and healthcare personnel working in communities with active TB are also at increased risk. Persons with active TB should not travel.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Most persons with the illness (90% to 95%) have latent TB infection (LTBI) and do not show any symptoms. The bacteria can remain inactive for many years and the chance of developing active TB diminishes over time. Persons with active TB have symptoms which include excessive coughing (sometimes with blood), chest pain, general weakness, lack of appetite, weight loss, swollen lymph glands, fever, chills, and night sweats. It can be misdiagnosed for bronchitis or pneumonia. If untreated, active TB can fatal.

Tanzania is ranked 14th among the thirty high burden countries (HBC) that contribute 80 percent of the world’s TB burden. TB is highly endemic in Tanzania and is one of the main public health emergencies in Tanzania causing the death of 38,000 people in 2018. The WHO estimates that in the same year, 142,000 people fell ill with the disease but only 75,828 were notified meaning that 47% of all people with TB were not reached by the national health services. the burden of TB is highest in the regions where the two largest urban centers are found, Dar es Salaam and Mwanza.


ManguC. D., ManyamaC. K., MsilaH., SudiL., ChaulaG., NtinginyaN. E., SabiI., & MabokoL. (2016). Emerging viral infectious disease threat: Why Tanzania is not in a safe zone. Tanzania Journal of Health Research, 18(3).

Hounmanou, Y.M.G., Mølbak, K., Kähler, J. et al. Cholera hotspots and surveillance constraints contributing to recurrent epidemics in Tanzania. BMC Res Notes 12, 664 (2019).

UNICEF, (2004). Responding to the cholera crisis: UNICEF in Malawi. (, accessed on 9th/10/ 2013.

Wahed T, Moran AC, Labal M (2013). Knowledge of attitude toward and preventive practices relating to Cholera, study in Dhaka, Bangladesh BMC Public Health 13.242.

Camilli, A., Nelson E, J., Morris J., M., Harris J. B., Calderwood S, B. (2009). Cholera transmission, the host pathogen and bacteriophage dynamic” Nat Rev Microbial, Volume 7, p 693-702.

Jones-Lopez E, Ellner J. Tuberculosis and Atypical Mycobacterial Infections. In: Guerrant, R; Walker D; Weller P, eds. Tropical Infectious Diseases. 3rd ed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: 228-247.

Shin S, Seung K. Tuberculosis. In: McGill, A; Ryan, E; Hill, D; Solomon, T, eds. Hunter’s Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2012: 416-432.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Tuberculosis

World Health Organization: Tuberculosis

Lack of Clean Drinking Water in Tanzanian Schools


School is important not only for it provides a place for children to study but also to inculcate values that benefit the rest of their lives. Nevertheless, In 2016, Schools in Tanzania, only 38% had an adequate number of latrines, 20% had water supply facilities, and less than 10% had functioning handwashing facilities. The Tanzania water source is unevenly distributed, lacks water purification technology, and the water supply is irregular and expensive in most areas; natural disasters are currently raging. 

Children in schools cannot access safe drinking water, which creates a negative influence on the regular school operation. High disease infection rates and little supplement of sanitized latrine are lowering student attendance, leading to the schools’ poor education. 

As a result, Water Purification Technology has to be improved to solve the water sanitation problem, and organizations, such as Art in Tanzania, are trying the best to get funding to help children get a better school environment.

Main Cause

There is not a single school in Tanzania that would have clean drinking water. Among the 36000 schools in the country, some even can’t supply water at all; they have no water, no sanitation, and no power. How does this happen? We will look into it through three leading causes.

Surprisingly, Tanzania holds many natural water resources. Yet, many citizens have minimal access to water. This is because those mighty water catchments in rivers and lakes are unevenly distributed around the country, and many arid areas are home to large populations. With no urban water pipelines, villagers in those areas need the stamina to take on a journey to get fresh water. Schools in those areas have no way to provide students with large amounts of clean water, which causes great difficulty for regular and resultful academic achievement.

Besides, the water supply in most areas is irregular and expensive; there does not exist a stable supply channel, or to be more specific, the convenient water supply is way too expensive for most people. People in those areas can only spend large amounts of money buying water if they are not capable of long-distance activity. So this also affects the stable operation for schools.

Despite the minimal amount of water supplies, little available water sanitation measurement is also a problem. The clean water supply in the whole country is exceedingly rare. The possible financial support and domestic technology can not provide a practical approach. The financial support for schools cannot support a reliable water sanitation system, and existing technology can not give answers using this amount of funding.


The water supply and sanitation are affected by the above three causes and generate great difficulty for school operation. Lack of clean water supply affects not only students’ physical health but also the school attendance and regular academic progress. 

The current situation for students is that their health is severely affected by the lack of clean water. Students need to spend time to fetch water from distant places, and these workload stops students from focusing on their academic performance. They are the country’s future, and clean water should not be a first-place concern for them. More seriously, even they get natural water, unsanitized water still leads to a high infection rate of waterborne disease, such as Diarrhoea, Typhoid fever, and Escherichia Coli. These waterborne diseases are caused by the viruses and bacteria in unsanitized water. Students who drink unsanitized water or use those water to clean their hands are easily infected, with poor health conditions, they can not have a colorful school life. 

In addition to this, the lack of clean water leads to little latrines supply in the school. This will lower the attendance of girls since they have requirements for sanitary latrines during their menstruation. According to the NATIONAL GUIDELINE FOR WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE FOR TANZANIA SCHOOLS, more than 70% of schools in Tanzania have fewer latrines than the national standard, “20 girls and 25 boys per drop hole”, and many of the existing ones have low sanitation and hygiene situation. The more students share one latrine, the lower the sanitization condition. Frequent absence from school leads to low academic performance and even a high drop rate, data shows that more than 50% of girls drop from primary school because of poor sanitation conditions. The schools require adequate water and sanitation resources to improve students’ attendance and produce better teaching results.


In order to achieve clean water available in the school, currently, Bore Hole Drilling and Solar Water Purification Technology are the methods Tanzania is trying to use. Bore Hole Drilling is a good tool to secure water sources when the public water source is not available. However, the pilot does not have Bore Hole Drilling option. Comparing with Bore Hole Drilling, Solar Water Purification Technology has no such flaw. The schools can install more purification units to clean the water and reduce the number of waterborne diseases, and the cost of those units are more affordable for clean water. 

To help more children access with clean water, Art in Tanzania is continue working to help and assist children in the local community. With the continued effect of COVID19, the number of volunteers in Tanzania is decreasing, and we lack financial support for schools. If you would like to volunteer or make some donation, please do not hesitate to visit our website for more information:


Definition of Volunteering

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group freely gives time “to benefit another person, group or organization” Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served.It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.

The concept of “volunteer”

The term ‘volunteer’ has been recently introduced in the lexicon of the social sciences and not without ambiguity and vagueness connected to its original connotation of common sense.

It is agreed almost unanimously that the term ‘voluntary action’ identifies a particular type of social action and it is often characterized by the gratuity, that is without financial reward some reimbursement for expenses, stipend-type payments or payments in kind such as provision of meals and transport. Indeed, these kinds of payments are often regarded as good practice as they make opportunities for volunteer action more accessible and inclusive.
The action that qualifies as a form of social altruism or philanthropy is a type of action that takes “a form of gift generously offered”, although most of the times is produced and delivered on an organized basis. 
However, the gratuity alone does not appear a sufficient criterion to distinguish the voluntary action by other forms of action (such as leisure) that are not performed in order to obtain in return an economic reward. The voluntary action goal is in fact geared to produce benefits for the exclusive advantage of individuals clearly distinguished from those who perform the action and it is configured as a service or distribution of goods to others, for the common good. It should directly or indirectly benefit people outside the family or household, even though the volunteer normally benefits as well from the experience. In many cultures, a volunteer is often described as “someone who works for community well being”.

Why volunteer?

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
Benefits of volunteering: 4 ways to feel healthier and happier
1. Volunteering connects you to others
2. Volunteering is good for your mind and body
3. Volunteering can advance your career
4. Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life


EVOLVET (European VOLunteer coordinators Vocation Education and Training) was a European strategic partnership funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, composed by seven organizations working with development projects for social inclusion and education from Austria, Finland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

The project, that took place from the 01/09/2015 to the 31/08/2017, aimed at giving a positive impulsion to the training of volunteer coordinators by providing a standardized tool-kit containing on-the-job training materials for skills and competences commonly demanded to volunteer coordinators across Europe, not only for the management of development projects but also on the concrete education and training of the volunteers taking part on them.
Moreover, the project also run transnational training mobilities that made possible to volunteer coordinators from the different partner organizations to take part in common education initiatives about volunteer management embedded within the activities of the project. 
The creation of such standard pan-European training materials for professional volunteer coordinators is intended to contribute to improve the transparency and recognition of their qualifications and competences using already established systems based on measurable recognitions at transnational level, including those acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning. 
Furthermore, the project was focused on identifying the skills required by professional volunteer coordinators on development organisations, what allowed to compose an standard curriculum of competences for this professional category for being used afterwards for both, vocational education and training centres (to develop new learning pathways, methodologies and degrees) and organisations working with projects for local and international development (to detect which competences should be reinforced on their teams and detect those skills needed for future recruitments).

Participation of Art in Tanzania at the first transnational training for facilitators of EVOLVET

Art in Tanzania is always showing efforts of creating new collaborations with other organizations, whether local or international. This month from June 19th to June 25th the first transnational training for facilitators of EVOLVET which stands for European Volunteer Coordinators Vocation Education and Training is taking place in Vienna, Austria. Art in Tanzania is now part of the EVOLVET project which is co‐funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme. 

Kari Kohonen, the head of Art in Tanzania, is participating at the first training in Vienna. EVOLVET is a two-year long partnership of the Erasmus+ programme that was organized by CONGDCA. This is an organization from Spain and is additionally supported by several institutions, namely LVIA from Italy (, Fund for Intercultural Education from Poland (, Pista Mágica – Associação from Portugal (www.pista‐ , Platforma dobrovolnickych centier a organizacii from Slovakia (, Südwind Agentur from Austria (www.suedwind‐ and of course Art in Tanzania Ry. Art in Tanzania was founded in Finland, but is mainly active in Tanzania.
The emphasis of this training will be on the first meeting, which will involve exchanges of different experiences and will elaborate on materials prepared during previous months. As one of the main aims will be on the process of the implementation of the next phases of this project. This is made possible through the staff conducting workshops that mix formal and non-formal methodologies as a method of bringing together different perspectives and creating interesting discussions and exchanges between the numerous organizations.


What is sustainable tourism?

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing and most important industries and is a major source of income for many countries. Nevertheless, like other forms of development, tourism can also cause its share of problems, such as social issues, loss of cultural heritage, economic dependence and ecological degradation.

Learning about the impacts of tourism has led many people to seek more responsible holidays. These include various forms of alternative or sustainable tourism such as: ‘nature-based tourism’, ‘ecotourism’ and ‘cultural tourism’. Sustainable tourism is becoming so popular that some say that what we presently call ‘alternative’ will be the ‘mainstream’ in a decade. Sustainable tourism, similarly to responsible tourism, relies on the premise of taking care of the environment, society and economy.

Sustainable tourism principles intend to minimize the negative impacts of tourism, whilst maximizing the positive impacts. As the tourism industry continues to expand and evolve, it produces significant impacts on natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution and social systems. It is ironic really, that while tourism, in many instances, relies on the natural environment (think lying on the beach, gorilla trekking or skiing), it also destroys it.


Local Communities Benefits

Local communities benefit from sustainable tourism through economic development, job creation, and infrastructure development. Tourism revenues bring economic growth and prosperity to attractive tourist destinations which can raise the standard of living in destination communities. Sustainable tourism operators commit themselves to creating jobs for local community members. Increase in tourism revenue to an area acts as a driver for the development of increased infrastructure. As tourist demands increase in a destination, a more robust infrastructure is needed to support the needs of both the tourism industry and the local community. A 2009 study of rural operators throughout the province of British Columbia, Canada found “an overall strong ‘pro-sustainability’ attitude among respondents. Dominant barriers identified were lack of available money to invest, lack of incentive programs, other business priorities, and limited access to suppliers of sustainable products, with the most common recommendation being the need for incentive programs to encourage businesses to become more sustainable.




Is sustainable tourism really sustainable? SAN-MARINO

Let’s start with a harsh truth: if we continue to travel as unsustainable as we always have, we will destroy the world we live in. Something must be done and this is where sustainable tourism comes in; this is defined as a form of tourism that involves travelling to a destination as a tourist whilst trying to have a positive impact on the environment, and respecting a destination’s culture, environment, and local communities.

Negative impacts of tourism:

  • Damage to the landscape: litter, erosion, fires, disturbance to livestock, vandalism
  • Traffic congestion and pollution
  • Local goods can become expensive because tourists will pay more
  • Shops stock products for tourists and not everyday goods needed by locals
  • Demand for holiday homes makes housing too expensive for local people
  • Demand for development of more shops and hotels
  • Jobs are mainly seasonal, low paid with long hours




Sustainable Travel in Tanzania

The beauty and wonder of Tanzania are truly the things of legend. Of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, three (Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti wildlife migration) are found in this single dazzling country spanning from the Swahili Coast across forests and savannas to the shores of Lake Tangyanika. But despite its striking aesthetics and abundant natural resources, Tanzania has its challenges.

A Tanzania safari, a Kilimanjaro trek, or a visit to exotic Zanzibar is a dream for travelers around the world, and the tourism industry is a powerful and growing asset to promote the wellbeing of this captivating nation, as well as its people. Growing right alongside it, however, is the need for more sustainable travel practices that ensure maximum benefit for residents and travelers, the local economy and environment, and our planet as a whole. Sustainable travel and development are not new ideas by any means, and they go hand in hand — the latter having been first described in 1987 in Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report.

WhatsApp Image 2020-07-19 at 4.45.04 PM


As the document states, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainable tourism, like any sustainable business endeavor, balances economic, social, and environmental needs to comprise a “triple bottom line,” as opposed to the more conventional business bottom line of maximum fiscal profit. This concept is becoming an ethical choice for all businesses that care about creating a positive global future, and it’s rapidly gaining popularity.

In fact, tourism operators in East Africa and around the world inherently rely on robust local economic infrastructure, intact and vibrant traditional cultures, and an ecologically sound natural environment for their success. And, locally run and managed initiatives that advocate for place-based culture and enterprises built with ethical business practices are popping up more frequently, allowing for more responsible and sustainable tourism and travel.



The consequences of tourism for sustainable water use on a tropical island: Tanzania

Many developing countries in the tropics have focused on tourism to generate additional income sources and to diversity the economy. Coastlines in particular have been on the forefront of tourist infrastructure development. Here, the presence of a large number of tourists has often had negative consequences for the sustainable use of the available resources, which in turn has had an effect on the integrity of the ecosystems. In this paragraph, the situation is described for the use of freshwater resources on Tanzania. This region is water poor, relying on freshwater derived from seasonal rains and stored in less efficient aquifers, which consist of freshwater lenses floating on the underlying seawater.

Tourism in the area has grown rapidly in recent years and is expected to further increase in the future. This development is expected to put additional pressure on the freshwater resources of the east coast, which show already signs of over-use. The consequences of over exploitation can include the lowering of the groundwater table, land subsidence, deteriorating groundwater quality, and saltwater intrusion. These, in turn, determine the living conditions in coastal areas and the effects will be felt both by the local populations and the tourist industry. An investigation is made into the causes and consequences of water abstraction by the tourist industry. The results show that present levels of withdrawal are not sustainable, and parts of the local populations are already experiencing water deficits on a daily basis. In the future, if the expected increase in tourist numbers occurs, the pressure on the aquifers will correspondingly increase. The results could be that the tourism in the area becomes unsustainable, which could have an adverse effect on the national economy and also on the local population and environment. Therefore, a precautionary water-management approach is suggested.

In some developing countries local communities at the tourist destinations, such as in all safari parks in Tanzania, do not necessary gain anything from the tourism which is one of the main challenges for the local communities. Many tourist operations do not benefit the local development country industries/businesses as majority of the tour payments. It stays in the western tour agencies and in the developing countries they may only provide the necessary services (for example: water).

Also, in many cases tourist never meet the local people and societies during their safari trip. Sometimes if they are meeting local people it is because they are visiting to Masai village as short tourism introduction to see how “African people” live to for photo shootouts.

Way to build up a plan for sustainable tourism

To enhance success of sustainable tourism in Tanzania, the stakeholders should develop a sustainable tourism strategic plan to provide, direction, vision and strategic alternatives to the systems. Furthermore, the strategic plan must be implemented.

Secondly, stakeholders within the sustainable tourism framework must ensure adequate exposure, publicity, awareness, education and training to the community and other stakeholders as well is undertaken to enhance the success rates of sustainable tourism.

Finally, there should be increased community participation in development and implementation of sustainable tourism. Furthermore, the government must offer incentives such as subsidies and tax holidays to enhance the success of sustainable tourism. In addition, a reward management system must be introduced to recognize exemplary performers in sustainable tourism!

Fighting for Education Rights


This article is based on an interview I did with another intern, Jesper Andersen, for a documentary, we produced about the school attendance of children under 13 years old *. There are many parts of the story the headteacher of the Tumaini nursery school told us that we didn’t use for our documentary. I was really touched by his story; and found that it’s worth being told. Here is the story of Gabriel Costantino Chaugali, headteacher of the Tumaini nursery school in Madale, Tanzania.

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The land the school was constructed on hasn’t always been Mr. Chaugali’s. In the beginning, this land was used to hold goats. There is a big tree in the corner of the land; Mr. Chaugali’s thought it would be a great place to start something. He went to the owner and asked if he could have the land to teach children under that tree. He began like this; teaching only one student under the tree; her name was Agnes. This was ten years ago, in 2009.

At first, he didn’t want to become a teacher. He just wanted to help kids. “But I believe in God, and each night, someone told me that I really needed to do it for the kids. My family was living on Zanzibar, but something told me that I needed to go back to the mainland and help those children by teaching them; helping the ones who can’t afford school fees.”

Nowadays, the school is attended by 50 children. Depending on the year, the number of students studying for free changes. Some years, it’s 5 kids; some years, it’s half of all the kids.

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“Education is like your eyes. You can’t do anything without your eyes. It’s the same for education; you can’t do anything without it.”

The purpose of Mr. Chaugali’s journey is to help the community. To help the kids to learn and have a good life afterward. He believes that there is no economically developed country without a good education foundation. “People need to know things about their country and about the world to develop their mind and be interested in what’s going on in the world. You can’t have professionals without education, so you can’t have industries. The nation’s kids must be educated to help the country grow when they will be older. Otherwise, the poverty cycle will continue to turn.”

That’s why he is trying as much as he can to accommodate parents. They are only asked to pay for their children’s school uniforms and exercise books. The uniform is about 10$, and the 12 exercises books for the year are about 4$ in total. Some of the children don’t even have a uniform, but of course, they can still attend the school.

The school fees from the children who have parents paying are sometimes not enough to cover the operation costs, such as the food for breakfast and the assistant teacher’s salary. Mr. Chaugali is having extra jobs to cover these costs: he’s also teaching privately, children from families with a higher income in his free time. This allows him to continue to pay his assistant so that the school doesn’t have to close when there is not enough money for one month.

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“The society, which doesn’t want children to get an education, isn’t educated. An educated person would never let this happen.”

The issue that the teacher found is that parents aren’t educated about the importance of school. Most of the time, they didn’t get the chance to go to school themselves. “When parents know they don’t have enough money to pay for school, they sometimes feel bad to put their kids in school for free. They feel like their kids are their responsibility, so they should be able to pay everything; otherwise, they stay home with them.  Sometimes, children are not coming because they have to take care of their siblings. They arrive late or leave early and sometimes miss several days of school.”

“Education is important, money issues aren’t.”

Mr. Chaugali is working a lot to undo this belief. To help the parents take school seriously and to make sure that they are preparing their kids for school every morning, he is doing a walk around the village to pick up the children. This way, parents don’t have a choice to prepare their kids, because they know that the teacher will be at their place soon. He is also bringing them back home after school.


The teacher explained to me that a couple of years ago, he always saw two kids running around while he was walking to school. One day, he went to the mother and ask her why her kids weren’t in school yet. She told him that she was poor; the father didn’t communicate with her anymore, so she was by herself. Her only income was the local alcohol she was selling. The teacher took the contact of the dad and he called him himself. The father said that he would pay for kid’s school fees. He only paid for one month. Mr. Chaugali took them under his wing. They stayed at the Tumaini nursery school for about three years. They are now in standard four.

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Even after the students quit school and enter primary school, he continues to check on them. He visits their home, and he makes sure that they are doing their homework and that they are doing fine.

If you had one thing to say to your community, what would it be?

I would like to advise the community, or the people with more money, to help the poorest ones. Education is crucial, the poor kids need education as much as the rich ones. I implore two things. First of all, I ask for financial support from the one with more money, to help their neighbor’s kids to attend school. Second of all, I ask help from the community to educate the adults. The parents need to be educated about the importance of school for their children, in order to break the poverty cycle and to help the community, and the country, to grow. Education can break this cycle.


* The documentary referred is available on Art in Tanzania’s Facebook page.

Meet Tassia

Meet Tassia de Cock, a 25 years old Belgian girl who moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after a three-month internship with Art in Tanzania.

Tassia 3

From the beginning, Tassia liked Tanzania and felt at home. She felt less stressed than in her home place. “I found people nice and liked the fact that there’s a lot of energy going on all the time.”

During her internship, she met John; a Tanzanian guy who soon became her boyfriend. When it came time to leave, Tassia had a choice to make. “It took me five minutes to decide: I’ll just move here. I was done with school, I didn’t really have anything waiting for me back in Belgium.” As she explained to me, John is not her main reason for her moving Even when she was a little girl, she knew she did not want to live in Belgium or the western world. “I wouldn’t say that it’s completely because of John that I’m here, the main reason is that I feel more comfortable living here. I get stressed really fast, and in the western world, there is a really big pressure on you to perform.”

Tassia 1

As she explained, a place without stress doesn’t exist. Tanzania is not exempt from stressful situations. Tassia faces many cultural differences in Tanzania that can be difficult to deal with, including commonplace bribery, and the relaxed approach people take with their work. Despite the difficulties in overcoming this culture shock, Tassia still feels far less pressure she believes she would in Western society.

Which parts of the culture are the most difficult for you to deal with?

“I wouldn’t say that people are liars, but they say a lot of things to please you.” They will say what you want to hear, even knowing they can’t do it; promises don’t have the same meaning as in the occidental world. Because people don’t have schedules, you always must remind them of the things you planned with them. “When you’re on holiday, it’s fine because you take it slowly. But when you are living somewhere, sometimes you need things to be done. It’s easily frustrating for a western person. Everything takes time.” It’s the same for appointments; in Belgium, it is rude to be late to an appointment, yet here, people will never be upset if you are not there on time. Their perspective is that a lot of things can make you late, so it’s reasonable for you to be three hours late; at least, you are there now.

The good part is that people here don’t push others to do anything, so you can do your things at the speed you want, and everything is fine.

Social rules are also very different. You have to prove yourself a lot, that you can be part of this culture and this community. Because you will always be a mzungu (white person), so locals expect you to act differently.

Do you feel safe in Madale, Dar es Salaam?

Madale is a small village, everyone knows everyone. People look out for each other, and that makes me feel safe; the community is taking care of you.

Tassia 2

“There are parts of the city where I wouldn’t go at night as a “mzungu” and particularly as a “mzungu girl”, of course, but Madale is safe.”

Criminal justice here is in the hands of the village. If you are a good person, you will be protected. For example, if someone breaks into someone else’s house, people will help take care of it. When the community knows that the person you are calling a burglar has a history of bad behavior, they will not hesitate to stone them. “But as a tourist, you will never experience that.”

How do you adapt to yourself here? What difficulties did you encounter?

In the beginning, it was easy because you know when you are traveling in a third world country, you expect things to be adventurous and different than what you are used to at home. A bucket shower is primitive but funny; you know you are going to go back home. After a couple of months, things are getting heavier because you know you are not going back home; this is your home. This is your new normal. Here you poop differently, you shower differently, you eat differently, you sweat differently, you drive on the other side of the road; everything is different. After a while, it kind of hits you how different things are and how different they will stay.

It took Tassia a month to adapt and become 100% comfortable living here. At the beginning, we want to prove ourselves; we want to prove that we are able to live like everybody else here. “You try to distance yourself from the «mzungu» characteristics, but after a while, you have to find a reasonable and healthy balance between your original culture and your new one so that you are comfortable with how you live.

There is a lot of little communities of persons from the same place or speaking the same language in every country. It’s easy to judge them and ask them to mix themselves with locals. “I think that I just never took the time to understand what they were living. It’s not because they love their culture more than ours, it’s because they need people to connect with and have support because they are facing the same issues. If I was still living in Belgium, I wouldn’t be able to understand their situation, because I wouldn’t have experienced that.” As Tassia said, you have to be out of your comfort zone to understand the power of community and the power of people understanding your issues and needs.

What about the cost of living?

Because I’m mzungu, I make more money than local people; for the same job. I hate it. I don’t agree with it. But I can’t say no to the job because there is no other job. For a mzungu, it’s really really hard to find work. Visas are a complicated thing here. The fact that I’m more paid just increases the image of mzungu needing and having a lot of money. I think that they need to give equal opportunities to Tanzanians. That’s why I want to start my own company, and I would never pay a Tanzanian less than a mzungu. A mzungu has the opportunity to move somewhere else if he wants to earn more money; Tanzanians don’t have that option.

There are a lot of people who are working for free and have been for two or three years because there are not nearly enough jobs for everybody. Companies take advantage of people’s limited options and will often pay them less than they deserve. They know that if people just have a small amount of money, they will stay. But a mzungu will not accept to be paid only 100 $US/ month. Companies know this and so they pay them 10 times the rate they pay locals to get them to stay. It’s such a common practice that even UNICEF are guilty of it. They pay their mzungu employees between 300$ and 800$ US/month, to live in Tanzania. You don’t need that amount of money to live here. My rent is 180 000 shilling (~80$) per month for a three rooms apartment.


Be confident and know what you want, don’t be afraid to ask people. Most people yell at you because they want to help you and they want to touch you because you seem exotic to them. This can make people feel that they are in danger, but it’s the opposite. I understand that people are just curious. Understanding Swahili helps you to understand that things that seem scary at first glance are not at all.  I have never felt like I was in danger. I don’t get scared easily in life, I give people the benefit of the doubt so for now everything is fine.

You learn to truly appreciate the things you have. I’m just happy to live a simple life with few luxuries, and I really appreciate the small luxuries I do have. I don’t have a lot of stuff, which has reduced my stress level. When you feel hungry, you have to deal with what you have in your fridge because there is no supermarket around. It forces you to look at your priorities from another point of view, and that’s nice.


Florence Dupuis

Religions in Tanzania


The cohabitation of religions in Tanzania is a fascinating aspect of Tanzania’s culture. The country has many religions and over 50 different tribes.






Although Christianity is the main religion, followed by Islam, there are followers of many other religions inside Tanzania. Including Buddhism, Hinduism, and African traditional.

In the 14th century, the location of Tanzania on the coast of East Africa was strategic for Arab traders and slave traders. During the 15th century, German Christian missionaries were sent to Tanzania to expand Germany. Upon arrival the Christians were chased away by local Muslims; Christianity came back in the 19th century, and the relation between the two was hostile. Arabic arrived in Tanzania mainly for business in the slavery industry, to which Christians opposed themselves. Later, the slave trade was abolished. From this, the relationship between the two religions groups improved and has not been hostile since then. (1)

This relationship on Tanzania’s mainland is peaceful and civil. However, nowadays Zanzibar Island is composed of 99% of Muslims people (1). When Christian locals are traveling to Zanzibar and are not dressed according to Muslim beliefs, with skin on show, Muslim people speak negatively towards them; not aggressively or violently, but in a way that can make mainland locals feel uncomfortable.

“The government of Tanzania and the semiautonomous government of Zanzibar both recognize religious freedom as a principle and make efforts to protect it.” (3)

Tanzanian society has been shaped by the presence of its different religions. Islam and the Swahili language have been introduced by Arab Muslims. The Indigenous Spirituality people helped in keeping the Tanzanian traditions alive. Christian missionaries provided education and health care to the population, which helped develop the nation as a whole. Every religion is celebrated equally: “religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Eid-el-Fitr, and Prophet Mohammed’s birthday are all given equal emphasis.” (1)

For people living on Tanzania’s mainland, religions are not a big deal. People are believing in the God they want, and everyone is accepting it. Mosques are making a lot of noise, but so do gospel churches. People are respectful of other people’s beliefs: they see each other as human beings and don’t emphasize other religious belonging.

I talked with Ruth Mgalula and Hadija Mohammed, respectively Christian and Muslim. These are some of the stories they told me to help me understand the cohabitation of religions in Tanzania.

Ruth’s quote:

When people are about to fight about religion issues, one of the two clans always stop it; people know it is going to end badly otherwise, and it’s not worth it
“People respect other people’s religion, but when it comes to marriage, sometimes, it’s more difficult. “I remember my friend was Christian, and she wanted to marry a Muslim guy. They didn’t say it to their parents, because they knew they would have a bad reaction. They got married to a government marriage. Soon after the parents find out, both sides were shocked and mad. A lot of fighting appeared, and they had to divorce.” Obviously, it’s not like this in all families. When you introduce your partner to your family, it’s in the first and basics questions, to ask: what is your name? Where are you from? What religion are you from?

The common thing to do when the two aren’t from the same religion is for one to change religion for the other one. The thing is, when you change religion, you change a lot in your beliefs. People will notice that you change, and they may talk to you about it, but no more. People are letting others be.

Hadija’s quote

“All my family is Muslim; we believe in God, and my mom prays five times a day, as well as my sister.” Her other sister changed when she met this Christian man. Everyone was fine with it, except Hadija’s grand-dad. He was really against it. He felt like he was losing one of his grand-kids. When you change religion, it is viewed as if you wanted to reach a higher level of religious perfection. Which discredits your initial religion in your choice to change. Afterward, it went fine. He was against it in words, never in a violent way.

“When someone died, Muslims can go to the church and attend a funeral; same with Christian. Everyone can befriend everyone, no distinction of religion.”

Tanzania is different from other countries, especially from other African East coast countries. “The first president we had told us: there will be no war in this country.” Julius Nyerere stayed 30 years has Tanzania’s president. He never installed a dictatorial or authoritarian regime. There is over 50 different tribes and many different religions. Everybody can believe in what they want and practice whatever religion they want, as long as it doesn’t break the rules of the government. “When we were seeking independence, Julius Nyerere went to one of the mosques in Bagamoyo, even if he is Christian, and prayed with Muslims all night for the independence of the country. It just shows that we have the same God. He said to us: we are not going to fight for independence, there will be no blood in our hands. We are just going to have a peaceful way of getting independence. Let’s pray to God together.”

Our first president created this strong belief: we are all related. Believe in whatever you want, but don’t break the constitution’s rules, because they are the same as what the Quran and the Bible say: don’t kill, because you will be punished.


“Every neighborhood is full of different religions, but when something happens, everyone is there for others. Our differences have nothing to do with our religion, or in whom we believe. As human beings, we have weaknesses, and this is our biggest difference, either we like it or not.”

– Hadija

Florence Dupuis






A report on CSR in Tanzania- What it is, why it matters and how it can help Tanzania

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a consistently used business practice in Tanzania, with huge corporations such as MIB Bank. Twiga Cement and Coca-Cola endorsing and investing in a large number of CSR schemes. Despite its potential to greatly help local communities, it is a concept that has not taken root in Tanzania. For a number of reasons, whether it be poor organization, a failure to engage and educate local communities or businesses being held back by a desire to put its shareholders and profits first, CSR seems to be misunderstood and at times misused. This holds Tanzania back, especially considering how important sustainable practices and further community engagement could greatly help both Tanzania and the corporations that operate within them. It can improve employment prospects for Tanzanian men and women across all sectors, help Tanzania’s environment become cleaner and safer and it can ensure sustainable and continued economic growth for Tanzania, which benefits everyone from the business directors to the local farmer.

What is CSR?

CSR stands for social corporate responsibility. It involves companies using their resources and money to try and benefit the communities they work in. This includes keeping pollution down, providing more energy and resources to the community and working alongside the community to improve conditions for the local people. This can take many forms, from making its manufacturing or extracting processes more sustainable to helping pay for classroom equipment to ensure local students have the tools to succeed. It can also involve companies donating some of its profits to local projects such as building new irrigation systems or helping refurbish local community centers. By providing these resources and funding, the companies can enhance their reputations both locally and across the region they operate in by helping to gain a loyal customer base, who trust and support the business due to their positive investment in the community.. When done well, CSR has the potential to improve society for the better and benefit everyone within it.

Why is CSR important to Tanzania?

While CSR schemes can be a huge benefit to any country or region willing to embrace them, it can be even more important for Tanzania. Firstly, by working with businesses to implement sustainable practices, it can ensure that Tanzania can maintain its key resources. Around a quarter of Tanzania’s economy is taken up by mining, industry and construction. In particular, as of 2013, 89% of Tanzania’s mineral export wealth comes from gold, although diamonds and tanzanite also contribute to Tanzania’s export wealth. Therefore, it is vital that businesses mine these resources sustainably so that more people can use and profit from their natural resources for many generations, not just for short term profitability.

Another key aspect of the Tanzanian economy is farming, with agricultural workers representing around half of the employed workforce in Tanzania. However, climate change and unsustainable irrigation and farming practices mean that it is becoming harder and harder to farm successfully in Tanzania. Due to these challenges, people will struggle to grow crops or earn money, in turn leading to more people in poverty.

CSR projects take many different forms, but a key aspect is that they encourage businesses to use sustainable practices. This includes reducing water, soil and air pollution that can badly damage the farming land and environment. This will hugely benefit local farmers, who with more clean water and high quality land can continue to grow crops and farm successfully.  It also means convincing extractive industries that they can still grow and produce profits for its shareholders without drying up Tanzania’s natural resources, which need to be preserved to ensure long term profit and economic growth for Tanzania. Therefore, CSR can be crucial in protecting Tanzania’s economic and environmental future.

Another factor to remember is the disparity between the economic growth in Tanzania and how much of it is reaching the people of Tanzania. In a recent World Bank report, they state how while the country has enjoyed sustained economic growth for the past 20 years, Tanzania’s wealth per capita- the sum of all its human, physical and natural capital has decreased. This reflects how Tanzania’s natural resources, which as mentioned previously contribute heavily to Tanzania’s wealth overall, are not being managed effectively and are therefore not creating sustainable economic growth for the whole of Tanzania.

Tanzania also has one of the largest poor populations in Africa, with around 21.3 million citizens living below the poverty line. The World Bank report also states how with the population in Tanzania set to grow exponentially (the Tanzanian population is expected to triple to 138 million by 2050), there will be huge pressure on natural resources and necessities. This will be compounded by increased urbanisation and climate change. In simple terms, more people (who are already struggling with poverty and rely on natural resources) will have to compete for less space, farmable land, water and reliable energy supplies.

CSR can help manage the worst affects. By getting businesses to commit more funding and expertise to local communities, they can help limit the worst effects of poverty, whether it be improving energy supply, helping to educate people and protecting the land from environmental damage, or by introducing schemes that will help jobseekers gain further qualifications and skills that will help them earn the money to improve their living standards.

How is CSR operating in Tanzania now?

The good news is that progress is being made. Government legislation implemented in 2017 has made sure businesses carry out their social responsibilities to the areas they operate in, whether through education and training, more sustainable practices or through providing funding equipment and facilities in the local communities. It also forces them to commit a small percentage (around 0.7%) of their income to CSR schemes. It is a huge step forward from businesses using their own discretion when deciding what their social responsibilities were.

In a recent article by the Citizen, they report on and highlight the key points of a recent social responsibility forum held in Dar Es Salaam focusing on women employment in extractive industries. At this forum, they commend extractive industries for their steps towards taking up greater social responsibility. However, they also recommend that more should be done to educate girls at the school and university level. More women should be trained and educated in these industries to ensure in the future that these companies can cultivate local women to help them implement more effective and sustainable practices. They emphasized how it would be both economically valuable and socially beneficial to include more women in the extractive industries. What this conference reflects is that while steps are being made to make CSR better understood and more effective and better understood, more can always be done, especially at the local level.

Without continuing to highlight the importance of CSR schemes to both businesses and the community, their positive impact is reduced as companies sacrifice genuine positive change for profitability or some quick publicity. This is reflected in a 2017 study looking at the CSR policies implemented in the Msalala district of Tanzania by extractive and mining industries. While the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Company did provide dispensaries, latrines and school desks, the majority of the public response from those surveyed was negative. They felt they were not included in the use of CSR funds and companies in the region also scored poorly amongst the public on dealing with issues of environmental pollution, inflation, healthcare and poverty. This shows how even with the legislation, CSR schemes can still struggle to deliver positive change to local communities

This is not just an isolated case. A comprehensive study of CSR in Tanzania done by a student at the university of Dar Es Salaam concludes that while businesses are quick to proclaim how effective their CSR schemes are, in reality these companies often use these schemes to generate further publicity and create a greater demand for their service/product. Supporting the local community is often a secondary concern. To solve this, the study concludes that more needs to be done to educate and involve the community in CSR schemes and help push the government to act as a coordinator and enforcer to ensure these schemes are a huge success for both businesses and the local people. This reflects that there is still much more that can be done to raise awareness of the concept in the local communities and ensure businesses help communities by aiding gender equality in employment, implementing sustainable business practices and helping to engage and solve problems within the local community.

So, what more can be done? 

With this article looking at how useful CSR is and how it can benefit Tanzania, it is also important to outline the steps that are needed to make it successful.

Community engagement is a key aspect, and ensuring that local businesses, schools, workers and groups are aware of CSR schemes and become more and more invested in making sure that these schemes truly benefit the community. As part of this, it also involves educating people on the key reasons why CSR schemes are important. It is also crucial that young students are educated on the importance of CSR, as they can then take these ideas with them as the progress into further studies and a career. Therefore, outreach into schools and universities is important, whether it be through lectures, debates, seminars or even longer educational programs. These ideas will help them become more employable but also help integrate these important ideas into whatever sector they go into, whether that be the private sector industries, into government or just into public life. This can then create more engagement on these issues with businesses, meaning there are more people who are ready and willing to work in tandem with businesses to ensure the greatest benefit to the local people and communities.

Alongside this, a crucial step is trying to continue to push businesses to invest in the local community. This can be done not only through creating demand for CSR schemes by educating the markets and consumers these businesses are selling too, but through negotiating agreements between non profits, businesses and local institutions that will bring about even more mutually beneficial CSR schemes. In the long run, it will also be vital that the government becomes increasingly involved in co-ordinating CSR schemes to ensure that both business and societal interests are met. In an ideal world, they will come up with even stricter guidelines that ensure companies are forced to carry out their responsibilities and that they work with local communities to ensure that the local people are able to participate and improve their areas.

CSR therefore offers plenty of opportunity for businesses and communities to work together and create truly positive change, but there is plenty of work to do to ensure that the CSR concept can deliver on its huge potential.


-Citizen Article on CSR forum, March 30th 2019:

-World Bank Report May 2019:—new-world-bank-report

-2017 Study on the impact of CSR studies in the Msalala District by Jonas Kilave:

-Shukrani Mbirigend, Corporate Social Responsibility in Tanzania, Misconception, Misuse and Malpractices, Chapter 7 in particular, Dar Es Salaam Student Study:  

-All Statistics not found within other cited works were taken from the publicly available archives of the National Bureau of Statistics, done by Tanzania’s Ministry of Finance

A passion for helping the kids in need

Interview with volunteer Rukiye.

All photos are from the day we spent in Snakepark with the kids of Amani orphanage.

Let’s begin with a hard one: Who are you?

I’m Rukiye, 26 years old and I come from Denmark but originally I’m from Turkey. I’m almost done with my studies and soon I can say that I’m a graduated careworker. I already work in nursery schools where my focus is on early childhood development. In addition I have two other jobs and I do volunteer work in Denmark too.


Rukiye and Alex.♥

Why did you decide to come to volunteer in Tanzania?

I have always wanted to come to Africa because since I was a child I have been dreaming of having my own orphanage in this continent. I was looking around in Internet for a long time and visited many web sites of different organizations. I noticed that AIT was the cheapest option so that played a role in my choice too. Couple months ago I finally decided that February would be a good time to go. After that I wrote to a Facebook group and asked if someone would want to come with me because I was too afraid to go alone. Luckily I got one girl to come with me and now we have spent almost a month here. What comes to the country, I didn’t prefer any but I could not be happier that I chose Tanzania.


What kind of volunteer work have you been doing here?

Before coming here I arranged a fundraising through Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels. My family and friends helped me to share the message and I was so happy about how much I managed to collect: 2 739 dollars along with the money I put into it. With this money I bought a lot of toys from Denmark and brought them here because I wanted to give them to the schools and nurseries. Playing is learning and it especially improves children’s motor skills. That is why I wanted to bring toys here. It took from 1 to 2 weeks to visit different places, play with the children and give them the toys and games.

After that we have been visiting more schools and orphanages, observing them and asking what kind of things they would need. Then I have been buying more things such as backpacks, pens, books and other school things, toys, diapers, food… I learnt that you need to be careful when doing this because unfortunately some people only want the money and don’t think about the children’s needs. I have, with the help of others, also arranged a day out with the children of Amani Orphanage and we together also cleaned and painted the walls of a school nearby. I have also been talking to the leader of the orphanage about what it takes to open an orphanage here, how she started etc.


Has something surprised you here?

I really did not expect Africa to be like this. Media gives us only one side of the continent: hunger, poverty, insecurity… Those things exist here but still it is so much more than that. I didn’t expect it to be this green and many places remind me of other countries even in Europe. In addition people, especially children, have surprised me because they get so happy with so little: just by seeing you. I have to say that it feels like home here and I feel safe. Before I came here I was so nervous and scared that something bad would happen to me but here I have not felt fear at all. Despite of that it is important to always be careful.

DCKV8743 (1)

What has been the best thing here?

People. I’m shy when I don’t feel safe and before this trip I was scared that I wouldn’t find any friends. But I have got so many new friends and I can talk to anyone here. It feels like I have a new family because normally I get homesick very quickly but here I haven’t felt that almost at all.


What has not been that great?

The toilets… Hygiene is obviously not that great here and the dry toilets were not very tempting at first and it took two weeks to get used to them. But that’s just a small thing and you learn to live with everything.

VGER8927 (1)


What have you learnt during this trip and what can you bring with you to Denmark?

When we were arranging the day out with the kids, it was the first time in my life when I had to be the leader and people were asking me about everything. I definitely had to come out of my comfort zone and just do it because it was my own plan. Now I feel that I can be responsible for these kind of events and for so many people. But especially here I think you have to have locals helping you and people who you can rely on. I’m glad that the team leaders helped me in so many ways.

This trip has in many ways been an eye-opening journey. I have learnt that I can’t do anything alone and that loyalty is very important. I have gotten many new contacts which could help me when I begin to work towards my dream: my own orphanage. But the most important thing I got from here is friends.