Locusts Causing Food Emergency In East Africa

Art In Tanzania Intern Soohyun Won

Environmental Advocacy Internship

At the height of COVID-19 in 2020, swarms of desert locusts appeared in the “Horn of Africa” in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, causing a food crisis for the first time in decades. The number of locusts has increased too much, moving in droves, quickly eating crops, and destroying the land for farming, posing a significant threat to residents’ food supply and demand.

Experts point to climate change as the cause of the sudden increase in locusts. Due to the abnormal climate, the weather in this African area has become humid as the rain has become more frequent. As a result, the temperature level has also risen, which created an environment suitable for locusts to breed. 

Furthermore, the unexpected flood incident in East Africa in 2019 caused another environmental damage despite recovering from the recent effects of climate change. Indeed, the damage made the region’s humanitarian crisis more severe than before.

When ungrown desert locust larvae form a group, they are about 60km long and 40km wide. In Kenya, locusts have raced from Mandera in the north to Marsabit, Wajir and Garissa in the southwest, devastating the Ethiopian area and severely damaging its border in the eastern part of the country. When locusts grow into adults and lay eggs, the cycle of larvae born from the eggs increases quickly and coming adults. This damage inevitably doubles as time goes by. Since most people in East Africa still make their living through agriculture or driftwood, most of the people in East Africa who make use of crops and land have suffered from the food crisis.

In this situation, unfortunately, as COVID-19 restricted the movement of human resources and materials between countries, controlling the population of desert locusts was difficult. Power spray and pesticides, essential for maintaining desert locusts, are mainly imported from Europe and Asia, as regular supply and demand of it have become difficult due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, evaluate is that the assistance of developed countries and the international community to eradicate desert locusts is needed. The FAO formed a task force to eliminate desert locusts, established aviation control and ground control measures in 10 countries directly affected by desert locusts, and allowed more than 740 people to receive education to cope with desert locusts. It also strengthened cooperation with local organizations and on-site rural leaders to immediately update information on the occurrence of desert locusts so that temporary measures take place quickly. Meanwhile, the World Bank has also provided emergency funds. 

The problem that has arisen in one area is no longer a challenge in that area alone anymore. The locusts that swept through East Africa moved at about 13 kilometres per hour, damaging 23 countries through the Middle East and South Asia. This swarm of locusts also appeared in China and Russia, and China launched an all-out war to prevent locusts by releasing 100,000 duck troops. The 2020 plague of locusts is a problem caused by climate change and persistent food shortages, which could lead to a food and hunger crisis in a short time. Furthermore, because climate change has become worse than in 2020, a locust invasion is a crisis that can happen again at any time, and that is why an appropriate response is needed. I hope the international community can cooperate to establish a system to prevent possible risks. There is a precedent in which the international community can take a united approach towards reasonable measures and create a response manual amid COVID-19.

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The Importance Of Mental Health And Well-Being In Africa

By Maryanne – Art in Tanzania intern

Participant in Corporate Social Responsibility program with Art in Tanzania

The importance of mental health and well-being cannot be overemphasized, especially in social and environmental issues. The environment’s state and our society can significantly affect our mental health and well-being. This blog will explore the link between mental health, social and environmental issues, and the role of NGOs in promoting mental health and well-being.

The Link between Mental Health, Social, and Environmental Issues

There is a clear link between social and environmental issues and mental health. People living in poverty, for instance, may experience stress, anxiety, and depression due to their living conditions. In addition, climate change, environmental degradation, and natural disasters can cause psychological distress and trauma. These issues threaten the basic human needs of safety, security, and social connectedness.

The Role of NGOs in Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing

NGOs are vital in promoting mental health and well-being in communities affected by social and environmental issues. They can provide support and services to those in need, such as counselling, mental health education, and access to healthcare. In addition, NGOs can provide programs that empower individuals to take control of their mental health and well-being. For instance, programs that promote mindfulness, self-care, and positive coping mechanisms.

The Importance of Self-Care for Activists and Volunteers

NGOs rely heavily on activists and volunteers to bring about social and environmental change. However, activists and volunteers can experience burnout, anxiety, and other mental health issues due to the emotional toll of their work. It is, therefore, essential for NGOs to prioritize self-care and provide support to their volunteers and staff to prevent burnout and promote mental health and well-being.

The Benefits of Nature and Outdoor Activities

Spending time in nature and engaging in outdoor activities can positively impact mental health and well-being. Being in nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall well-being.

NGOs can promote the benefits of nature and encourage people to spend time outside to improve their mental health.

Addressing Stigma and Promoting Awareness

Mental health issues are often stigmatized, preventing people from seeking help. NGOs can promote awareness of mental health issues, address stigma, and encourage people to seek help when needed. In conclusion, mental health and well-being are essential to a healthy and sustainable society. Therefore, NGOs are crucial in promoting mental health and well-being in communities affected by social and environmental issues. By prioritizing mental health and well-being, we can create a resilient society capable of overcoming the challenges posed by social and ecological problems.

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Education in Tanzania

By Meryem Karma – Art in Tanzania intern

Art in Tanzania Village Education Program

Tanzania is a country in East Africa with over 60 million people. Like many countries in the region, it faces significant challenges in providing quality education to all.

Education in Tanzania is an important issue that has received increased attention over the past few years. However, while the country has made significant progress in expanding access to education in recent decades, there are still significant challenges to ensuring that all children have access to quality education.

One of the critical challenges facing Tanzania’s education system is the shortage of qualified teachers, particularly in rural areas. The lack of teachers has led to a situation where many children are taught by untrained or underqualified teachers, which can significantly impact the quality of education they receive. The government has been working to address this issue by increasing the number of trained teachers and providing incentives for teachers to work in rural areas.

Another challenge facing the education system in Tanzania is the lack of resources, particularly in rural areas. Many schools do not have adequate facilities, such as classrooms, textbooks, and other learning materials, making it difficult for children to learn effectively. The government has been working to address this issue by investing in infrastructure and providing resources to schools in rural areas.

Despite these challenges, Tanzania has made significant progress in expanding access to education in recent years. The country has achieved near-universal primary school enrollment, and the number of children enrolled in secondary school has also increased significantly. The government has also been working to improve the quality of education by introducing new curricula and assessments designed to better prepare students for the workforce.

Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also working to improve education in Tanzania. These organizations are focused on a range of issues, from improving access to education to providing resources and training to teachers. In addition, some NGOs are also working to address broader issues, such as poverty and gender inequality, which can significantly impact children’s ability to access and benefit from education.

In conclusion, education in Tanzania is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach. While the country has made significant progress in expanding access to education, there are still significant challenges to ensuring that all children have access to quality education. Therefore, the government, NGOs, and other stakeholders must continue to work together to address these challenges and ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

SOURCES:

Coulson, A. (2013). Tanzania: A Political Economy (Second edition, Vol.). Oxford University Press.

Ito, K., Madeni, F. E., & Shimpuku, Y. (2022). Secondary school students and peer educators’ perceptions of adolescent education in rural Tanzania: A qualitative study. Reproductive Health, 19(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-022-01418-6

Lugalla, L. P., & Ngwaru, M. (2019). Education in Tanzania in the Era of Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities. Mkuki Na Nyota Publishers.

Is Green Hydrogen Africa’s Answer to the Climate Crisis?

Part 2

By Soohyun Won – Intern at Art in Tanzania

“Africa could play a vital role in the future of climate change if aid is promised.” – William Ruto, President of Kenya

In response to the climate crisis, people worldwide have been paying attention to Africa as a continent that can provide clean energy and leverage as a driving force for growth. Among them, one notable resource is solar energy.

North African countries intend to use their best solar energy capabilities.

The Government of Tanzania has committed to increasing the use of renewable energy sources, including solar power, as part of its national energy mix. The country has significant potential for solar energy due to its abundant sunlight, and the government has established several initiatives and programs to promote the development and use of solar energy. For example, the government has established the Rural Energy Agency to promote renewable energy in rural areas, including solar power for lighting, cooking, and other applications.

Additionally, several private sector initiatives aimed at increasing the use of solar energy in Tanzania, such as developing solar power plants and distribution networks for households and businesses. The government is also working to improve access to financing for renewable energy projects, including solar projects, to encourage further investment and growth in the sector.

At COP27 in November 2022 (the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt), United Arab Emirates global energy company Masdar said in a report that Africa could account for up to 10% of the world’s green hydrogen market by 2050. In particular, Morocco’s credit highlighted, noting that it expects to produce green hydrogen at less than $2 per kilogram in 2030 and less than $1 per kilogram in 2050. The report also said Morocco’s green hydrogen industry is expected to create nearly four million additional jobs and add $60-120 billion (about 76 trillion-152 trillion won) to the continent’s GDP by 2050.

This will be a significant achievement if it materializes, considering that Morocco’s GDP in 2021 exceeded USD 132 billion (about KRW 167.44 trillion). In September 2022, while Morocco was building its first green hydrogen production system, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported that Morocco is expected to produce the third cheapest green hydrogen by 2050.

Meanwhile, Tunur (TuNur: a renewable energy, storage, and transmission developer focused on Tunisia and the Mediterranean region) has committed to investing $1.5 billion (W1.9 trillion) in power plants in Tunisia. Considering that Tunisia’s gross domestic product (GDP) currently exceeds about $40 billion (about 50.74 trillion won), it is indeed a huge investment.

Like Morocco, Tunisia announced its green hydrogen strategy in 2022 and aims to pursue it by 2024. In partnership with multinational company Chariot Energy, Mauritania focused on Project Nour, which aims to make Mauritania one of Africa’s cheapest global green hydrogen exporters by leveraging its world-class wind and solar access.

Traps to Consider

Currently, many exciting projects are taking place across Africa. However, concerns about other factors, such as the bureaucracy of certain governments that could delay such projects and the risk of the investment not aiming to benefit residents, have been lingering. As a result, electricity utilization is often very low in some African countries, while electricity utilization is less than 50% in 24 countries. Therefore, governments and investors must improve their domestic infrastructure so that people across the continent can fully benefit from this energy transition.

Moreover, as the International Energy Agency IEA pointed out, Africa has 60% of the world’s best solar resources. Still, it is in the early stages of development, accounting for only 1% of the solar power capacity. The pipeline now aims to export natural gas from West and North Africa to Europe. In particular, Algeria is a natural gas supplier, particularly of fossil fuels. However, pipelines require repurposing and can be used to transport hydrogen. Critically, some observers have raised concerns about essential ‘extractionist’ projects.

Africa’s regional resources can aim to benefit global markets outside the continent at the expense of its local population. In addition, some investment projects could cause significant debt to African governments. There are undoubtedly positive aspects, and investment is essential, but whoever the initiator will be must ensure that extensive infrastructure development takes place so that ordinary civilians can also benefit, especially given the continent’s more comprehensive climate vulnerability.

If these projects are carried out ethically, the global and African economies will become more intertwined and positively contribute to the continent’s economic growth.

Contact us or apply to the program.

Climate Change Management in Africa

How is the international community prepared to assist Africa concerning climate change?

By Zarina Abdussamedova, Intern at Art in Tanzania

Climate Change Management in Africa is a part of the Art in Tanzania volunteering and internship programs.

Climate change is significantly impacting Africa, leading to rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and rising sea levels. These changes are affecting the agriculture and water resources in the region, making it harder to grow crops and access water, leading to food and water insecurity. Climate change is also affecting health, particularly in rural areas, where people are more vulnerable to diseases caused by rising temperatures and changes in the distribution of disease vectors. Climate change also exacerbates poverty and social tensions, leading to migration and conflict.

The continent will continue to face significant challenges in adapting to the impacts of a changing climate, particularly in its most vulnerable communities, unless urgent action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support adaptation efforts.

The international community is taking several measures to assist Africa in addressing the impacts of climate change. Some of the ways the international community is providing support are:

Financial Assistance: Developed countries have committed to providing funds through mechanisms to help developing countries, including African nations, transition to a low-carbon economy and adapt to the impacts of climate change. For example, the Green

Climate Fund provides funding for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Technology Transfer: The transfer of clean and sustainable technologies is essential to help African countries mitigate the effects of climate change. International organizations and developed countries are working on transferring these technologies to African nations. This includes access to clean, renewable energy technologies and more efficient agricultural and industrial practices.

Capacity Building: African nations often lack the technical expertise and capacity to tackle the complex issues posed by climate change. The international community provides training, education, and capacity-building support to help African nations understand and address these challenges better.

Policy Support: The international community is providing policy support to African nations to help them develop and implement policies and regulations to mitigate the effects of climate change and promote sustainable development. The international community also works together through international climate negotiations, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to agree on a global response to climate change and provide support to vulnerable countries, such as those in Africa. In addition, several initiatives have been launched specifically to support Africa in addressing climate change, such as the African Adaptation Initiative, the African Development Bank’s Climate Change and Green Growth Department, and the Climate Investment Funds.

These efforts aim to address the unique challenges posed by climate change in Africa and help African nations transition to a more sustainable and resilient future, focusing on supporting the region’s most vulnerable and least developed countries.

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Human Rights in Africa: A General Overview

By: Macy Janine Pamaranglas – Art in Tanzania Intern

Introduction

The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights came into force on the 21st of October, 1986. It established a solid foundation and standards to promote and protect Africans’ human rights.

According to Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status.”

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (source)

Despite the efforts to improve the lives of the African people, the continent still suffers from increasing human rights violations. These human rights abuses include violating socio-economic and cultural rights, illicit killings, discrimination and harassment, suppression of dissent, environmental deterioration etc. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa’s human rights situation worsened; thus, many people were obliged to halt their education and even forcibly lose their homes.

Here are some of the numerous human rights violations which have been occurring across the region:

Restriction of Expression:

Tiseke Kasambala, Chief of Party of Advancing Rights in Southern Africa Program at Freedom House, says that some African countries have been introducing cybercrime and cybersecurity laws; these aim “to prevent the type of organizing and mobilization of social movements, and civil society organizations on the ground”. Kasambala adds that it is not merely shutting down the internet, but it also involves preventing people from discussing and criticizing the State in the online space. Such shutdowns can be observed in southern African nations such as Lesotho. These cybercrime and cybersecurity laws were also under discussion in Malawi and Zimbabwe.

TechCabal (source)

In addition, internet disruptions occurred in countries like Eswatini, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia. As a matter of fact, on June 2021, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter after the latter “deleted a controversial tweet from President Buhari for violating its community rule”. On September 2021, the Tanzanian Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports suspended the operations of a privately owned media outlet called Raia Mwema, for a month. The Tanzanian government justified such action since Raia Mwema was constantly “publishing false information and deliberate incitement”.

Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination

Females still struggle to fulfil their rights as Africa remains subordinate to women and girls. Hence, issues such as child marriage, restricted access to sexual and reproductive health services, and discrimination against pregnant students are prominent in the region.

In South Africa, there was a significant increase in crime rates related to sexual offences, and there were at least “117 cases of femicide in the first half of the year”. For instance, a 23-year old female law student named Nosicelo Mtebeni, was killed, mutilated, and placed in a suitcase and in plastic bags by her partner. In Chad, a 15-year old girl was gang raped, and the cruel act was recorded and posted on social media.

The Conversation (source)

Furthermore, child marriage remains rampant in Africa. For example, a 4-year-old Namibian child was forced to marry a 25-year-old man when she was 2 years old. In Tanzania, pregnant girls were banned from attending school, and these girls were forced by the government to participate in a “parallel accelerated education program”, which is known to be an “alternative education pathway”. The problem with the latter is its inaccessibility in terms of distance and cost. Fortunately, the Tanzanian Ministry of Education officially declared on November 24, 2021, that adolescent mothers are now allowed to attend public schools.  

Abductions, Torture, and Evictions

The lives of human rights activists are prone to abduction, torture, and eviction in Africa. In the case of Zimbabwe, the government fails to hold security forces accountable for their serious human rights abuses, particularly during the “August 2018 post-election violence” and the “killings and molestations during the January 2019 protests”. In Rwanda, a YouTuber named, Yvonne Idamange, was sentenced a 15-year imprisonment as he condemned the State’s policies.

The New York Times (source)

Jon Temin, Director of the Africa Program at Freedom House, mentions their organization’s research on NGO legislation in Africa. Their studies have shown that over the last 15 years, 12 Sub-Saharan African nations “have adopted various versions of repressive NGO legislation”, and such legislation aims to limit NGOs’ ability to register and receive funding. For instance, in Togo, granting and renewing NGO licenses are suspended.

Violation of Refugee Rights

Refugees carry a great burden since not only are they forced to flee their lands, but they are also victims of threats, harassment, and arrests. Tanzania is one of the most important hosting countries for refugees. As of January 1, 2022, it has 246, 780 refugees who are originally from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Human Rights Watch, Burundian refugees were being maltreated by Tanzanian security forces. Moreover, the latter forcibly returned Mozambican refugees to their conflict-ridden northern part of the country. Therefore, the UNHCR raised this concern by stating that Tanzania violated “the principle of non-refoulement under international standards and regional refugee law.”

The United Nations (source)

In South Africa, refugees were being discriminated particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Refugees were not provided with COVID-19 aid programs such as food packages during lockdowns.

Conclusion

Despite Africa’s commitment to promote and protect human rights, there still remain flaws in the government’s response. States should respect media freedom and freedom of expression, for they are human rights. Governments should allow human rights activists to speak for their fellow citizens since criticism is the start of positive change.

African governments must prioritize the well-being of women and children. Females should have equal rights to men regarding education, health, jobs etc. Additionally, victims of malicious gender-based crimes should be protected and given remedies to recover. Whereas perpetrators of the crime should be held responsible for their abusive actions.

Lastly, refugees should not be mistreated; instead, they have the right to be protected and taken care of, considering the unfortunate evacuations they need to execute.

In short, according to Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.”

Sources

Africa Regional Overview Archives. Amnesty International. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/africa/report-africa/

African Commission on human and peoples’ rights. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Legalinstruments. (1981, June 27). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.achpr.org/legalinstruments/detail?id=49

Brookings Institution. (2019, November 21). The state of human rights in Africa. YouTube. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eA5KJRmKH8

Operational Data Portal. Country – Tanzania (United Republic of). (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://data.unhcr.org/en/country/tza

World Report 2022: Rights trends in Tanzania. Human Rights Watch. (2022, January 17). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/tanzania-and-zanzibar#:~:text=In%202021%2C%20Human%20Rights%20Watch,province%20during%202020%20and%202021

Zenda, C. (n.d.). Human rights violations soar across Africa, report finds. FairPlanet. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.fairplanet.org/story/human-rights-violations-soar-across-africa-report-finds/

MARKETING STRATEGY

By Mariam Msangi – Art in Tanzania internship

A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.  A marketing strategy contains the company’s value proposition, essential brand messaging, data on target customer demographics, and other high-level elements. A thorough marketing strategy covers “the four Ps” of marketing: product, price, place, and people.

Understanding Marketing Strategies

A clear marketing strategy should revolve around the company’s value proposition, which communicates to consumers what it stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business. This provides marketing teams with a template that should inform their initiatives across all of the company’s products and services.

Benefits of a Marketing Strategy

The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies by understanding the needs and wants of its consumers. Whether it’s a print ad design, mass customisation, or a social media campaign, a marketing asset can be judged based on how effectively it communicates a company’s core value proposition. In addition, market research can help chart a given campaign’s efficacy and help identify untapped audiences to achieve bottom-line goals and increase sales.

What does a marketing strategy look like?

A marketing strategy will detail the advertising, outreach, and PR campaigns to be carried out by a firm, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives. They will typically follow the “four Ps”: product, price, place, and people. The functions and components of a marketing plan include

  • market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries 
  • tailored messaging that targets specific demographics and geographic areas
  • platform selection for product and service promotion
  • digital, radio, Internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and their reporting timelines.

Is a marketing strategy the same as a marketing plan?

The terms marketing plan and strategy are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. In some cases, the strategy and the program may be incorporated into one document, particularly for smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. The plan outlines marketing activities monthly, quarterly, or annual, while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

Four types of marketing strategies

Cause Marketing

Cause marketing, also known as cause-related marketing, links a company, its products, and services to a social cause or issue.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing focuses on customer retention and satisfaction to enhance your relationships with existing customers to increase loyalty.

Scarcity Marketing

Scarcity marketing creates a perception of a shortage which aims to entice customers to purchase out of fear that they may not be able to get it in the future.

Undercover Marketing

Undercover marketing, also known as stealth marketing, involves marketing to consumers in a way that they do not realise they are being marketed to.

The first two – cause and relationship marketing — are considered “positive” marketing techniques that focus on the benefits to others. The second two – scarcity and undercover marketing – are more unconventional and potentially controversial techniques.

What are the 5 P’s of Marketing?

The 5 P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People – are key marketing elements used to position a business strategically. The 5 P’s of Marketing, also known as the marketing mix, are variables that managers and owners control to satisfy customers in their target market, add value to their business, and help differentiate their business from competitors.

Product

Product refers to the products and services offered by a business. Product decisions include function, packaging, appearance, warranty, quality, etc.

Customers need to understand the features, advantages, and benefits of buying goods or services. Therefore, when thinking about a product, consider the key features, benefits, and the needs and wants of customers.

Price

Price refers to the pricing strategy for products and services and how it will affect customers. Pricing decisions do not include just the selling price but also discounts, payment arrangements, credit terms, and any price-matching services offered.

When determining a pricing strategy, it is essential to consider the business’s position in the current marketplace. For example, if the company is advertised as a high-quality provider of mechanical equipment, the product pricing should reflect that.

Promotion

Promotion refers to the activities that make the business more known to consumers. It includes items such as sponsorships, advertising, and public relations activities.

Since promotion costs can be substantial, it is essential to conduct a break-even analysis when making promotion decisions. It is necessary to understand the value of a customer and whether it is worth running promotions to acquire them.

Place

Place refers to where the product/service of the business is seen, made, sold, or distributed. In essence, place decisions are associated with distribution channels and getting the product to targeted vital customers.

It is essential to consider how accessible the product or service is and ensure that customers can easily find you. The product or service must be available to customers at the right time, place, and quantity.

For example, a business may want to provide their products over an e-commerce site, retail store, or third-party distributor.

People

People refer to the staff, salespeople, and those who work for the business. People’s decisions are usually centred around customer service – how do you want your employees to be perceived by customers?

CONCLUSION: Through marketing strategy, it allows the company to oversee from far how it will be moving from the current situation to its desired position.

LIGHTINING AND THUNDERSTORM

By Amon Samwel – Art in Tanzania internship

Lightning is the brilliant electric spark discharge in the atmosphere occurring within a thunderstorm, between the clouds. The flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity and a flashing of light is the result of discharge of atmosphere electricity within a thunderstorm cloud way up into the sky. Many small bits of ice frozen raindrop bump into each other as they move around in the air. All of these collisions create an electric charge and usually occurs to the areas that are mostly concentrated with metals.

Lightning can occur during anytime of the year but lightning casualties are highest during summer. July is generally the month with the most lightning and the strikes mostly occur in the afternoon. In fact, two thirds of all lightning casualties occur between noon and 6pm.

Examples of places or countries that are affected with lightning are the all regions of USA, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina. Florida is considered as the lightning capital of the country with more than 2000 lightning injuries over the past 50 years.

According to the U.S department of health and human services, they have reported some categories which are:

  • Males are, five times more, likely than females to be struck by lightning. Around 85% of lightning fatalities are men
  • People aged 15-34 years account for almost half of all lightning strike victims (41%). The majority (89%) of lightning deaths occurs among Caucasians.
  • About one third (32%) of lightning injuries occur indoors.

Lightning is the results of thunderstorm from a charge in the normal electrical field between the surface and the atmosphere, in fair weather the surface is negatively charged, and atmosphere is positively charged. Owning to intense friction of air within the Cumulonimbus cloud, higher charges are built up with positive charges in upper portion and negative charge in lower portion. When the potential difference becomes more pronounced, discharges [lighting] occur from the cloud to the ground, from cloud to cloud or within the same cloud.

The occurrence of lighting involves different process as explained bellow;

  • The sky is filled with electric charge. In calm skies they are positive + and negative[-]charged
  • Inside a thunderstorm the electric charge is spread out differently.
  • A thunderstorm is made up of ice crystal and hailstone.
  • The ice crystal have positive charge (+) and the hailstone have a negative charge (-).
  • The hailstone is pushed to the bottom of the thunderstorms by its downdraft.
  • During the thunderstorm the Earth surface has a positive charge. Because the positive charge attract the negative charge at the bottom of the thunder clouds wants to link up with the positive charge of the earth surface.
  • Once the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud gets the large enough, a flow of negative charge rushes towards the earth surface. This is Known as the “stepped leader,”
  • The positive charge of the earth surface is attracted to this stepped leader so as a flow of positive charge moves into the air. When the stepped leader and the positive charge from the earth meet a storm.

THUNDERSTORM

Refers to violent convective storm accompanied by thunder and lightning usually localized and lived. Vertical air motion, considerable humidity, and instability combine to create towering cumulonimbus clouds. Frequently occur in conjunction with other kinds of storms like hurricanes, tornadoes, fronts especially cold fronts in mid latitude cyclones and orographic lifting

Types of Thunderstorm

  • Orographic thunderstorms – caused by air that is forced up by a mountain or hillside.  
  • Air mass thunderstorms – is the result of localized convection in an unstable air mass.
  • Frontal thunderstorms – occur along the boundaries of weather fronts (e.g. cold front).

 Characteristics of thunderstorms

  • Thunderstorm last for a short duration, seldom two hours
  • It consist of down and updraft of air with electric charges and thunder.
  • It is associated with heavy precipitation or hail.
  • It is usually destructive in nature as, it can kill people, animals, and destroy property.

Condition leading to the formation of thunderstorms

  • There should be prevalence of atmospheric instability such that air updraft can set off.
  • There should be availability of ample supply of atmosphere moisture for condensation to take place and maintain a storm.
  • There should be some agent to start convection as uplift over a hill or mountain.

STAGES OF THUNDERSTORM

The thunderstorm has three main stages which are cumulus stage, the mature stage, and dissipating stage.

The cumulus stage; this is the first stage of the thunderstorm .its dominated by updrafts that create the cloud formations which are cumulonimbus cloud necessary. The continuous strong updrafts prevent precipitation from falling .This occur where super cooled water droplets and ice crystal coalesce, then fall initiated a downdraft.

The mature stage; this once the storm has developed it will enter the mature stage. This stage is dominated by both updrafts and downdrafts and is the most dangerous stage. Falling precipitation is indicator that the storm has reached the mature stage. Lighting severe turbulence and hail can all be encountered during this time. It is also most active at this time.

The dissipating stage; this is the last stage once the updrafts begin to die out the storm is dominated by downdrafts and enters the dissipating stage. This signals that the thunderstorm is dying out. In this stage it is where downdrafts dominate and turbulence cease.

          THUNDERSTORM FORMATION

The action of warm air rising and cool air sinking plays a key role in the formation of severe thunderstorm, if the warm surface air is forced to rise because is less dense than the surrounding air. This occur when the cold air and warm air meet each other whereby the warm air is forced to rise due to be that it is less denser and the cold air sinks, so the warm air in the atmosphere will settle and condense slowly. 

Two of the most important ingredients for thunderstorm formation is instability and moisture Normally in the atmosphere, there is unstable air that causes the disturbance in the atmosphere and also the moisture that is caused by the cooling of warm air in the atmosphere might result to the occurrence of precipitation, even the presence of moisture and unstable air results to the thunderstorm formation

Thunderstorms are formed by uplifting of warm and humid air, the air that is formed is forced to move upwards due to it being denser normally it becomes cooler and mixes humid air clouds and water droplets that lead to precipitation or rain.

When humid air is lifted , it will be cooled and the moisture in the air will condense to form cloud. So, after the warm air rises upward to the atmosphere, it normally meets the moist air or moisture that forces it to cool and become humid, this situation leads to the formation of the clouds known as cumulonimbus. Normally these clouds are formed after the cooking of warm air containing the cloud within positive charges and negative charges and negative charges that once come into contact leads to the occurrence of thunderstorm.

Upon further uplifting, the clouds will extend higher water droplets in the clouds continue to grow in size as the clouds extends further upwards ice crystals may form because of low temperature. This means that due to the denser air rising upwards higher in the atmosphere forces and causes the clouds known as cumulonimbus to be formed higher away in the atmosphere and also due to the cool temperature in the higher atmosphere forced the water droplets became pieces of ice crystals so this becomes very essential for the clouds formation.

Finally thunderstorms are produced by the cumulonimbus cloud normally the cumulonimbus clouds contain two different charges that is positive charge known as crystal and the negative known as hail so once these come across they produce a steeper light known as lightning that comes with a heavy and huge sound known as thunderstorm.

What should we do during lightning and thunderstorm period?

In summary;

The Creative Activist

Martin Saning’o Kariongi Ole Sanago

Weeks have gone by, my national exams were nigh, since Mr. Martin Saning’o had passed away from COVID-19. I had a dream. In the dream, Mr. Martin said to me, in Swahili, with rough translation to english as, “Dare to dream big, never give up and always have a spirit big enough to achieve your dreams. Never give up my son and remember I love you!”. I woke up emotional that day but I also had a thought. He has done great works that most don’t know of. I wouldn’t want his works to go unnoticed – I would want people to know of the works that he did and the benefits he has brought to the Maasai community in Terrat, Simanjiro. This is his story.

Martin was born in the early 1960’s in the Simanjiro district of northern Tanzania. This is in the Maasai heartland – the high arid plains south of Arusha. In common with many Maasai of his generation, Martin and his family cannot be sure exactly when he was born. But Martin believed it to be born in 1960 or 1961.

                                                       Simanjiro

Martin was one among the minute number of Maasai children to have received education at the time. He used his education well. He wanted to give back to society that brought him up, so in the early 1990’s he founded IOPA – Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement. Although IOPA’s first priority was to deal with land rights, it also eyed health problems and water supply problems that the Maasai in Terrat faced.

Martin became an activist, and made critical moves to ensure that the Maasai aren’t displaced from their traditional lands – The government had been displacing the Maasai at the time from areas they claimed to be ‘National Park areas’. His moves were seen to be ‘too critical’ to some in high places, and as a result the government initially refused to register IOPA.

As impossible as it may seem, Martin sued the government for displacing the Maasai from their traditional lands. At the time, more than 6000 Maasai had already been displaced by the government form National Parks. IOPA, led by Mr. Martin, filed a number of cases against the government which later on resulted in a landmark ruling by the High Court in IOPA’s favour.

Martin recognized that education was the key to enlighten the Maasai on a number of things: land rights, their own health, their livestock, the ongoing changes in the outside world, and a number of other things. He figured that a community radio would effectively serve this purpose. He took measures to establish a community radio, the first ever in Tanzania. He worked his fingers to the bone – a lot of sleepless nights – and finally the ORS FM first broadcasted news in 2002. The radio was in fact the first ever community radio in Tanzania – or in a larger perspective East Africa. It broadcast news in Kimaasai (the Maasai native language) and also played Maasai music.

After the idea of the community radio, Martin also realised that there was a need for electricity – not only for the radio station but also for the receivers of the information they portrayed. He worked on a number of projects, in association with different international organisations, to bring electricity to the Maasai people.

Martin also worked to help women facing different challenges, most especially those in the maasai areas – they were more prone to treacherous practices – such beatings from husbands, mutilation and harassment. IOPA created a safe haven where beaten women would go to and tell their stories. It also tried to prevent female genital mutilation, FGM, child marriage, and women oppression. IOPA dedicated some of its resources to educate women and raise the status of women in the Maasai society. IOPA also sought to help women economically. IOPA established dairies in Simanjiro with a long-sighted view of enabling women to sell milk and get money, they used to acquire their needs and the needs of their families. In the maasai culture, the only resource that belongs to women is milk.

Martin had broad and liberal outlook in his work, which touched each and almost every age group and social class by the time. For children, IOPA helped establish more than 50 pre-primary and primary schools across the region.

Martin’s work didn’t go unnoticed – he was elected an Ashoka fellow in 2003 and got the attention of a Dutch philanthropist, Dini de Rijcke, and began to work with her through her foundation, Strichting Het Groene Woudt (SHGW). Through working with Ashoka and SHGW, IOPA achieved many of its objectives. The Dutch foundation provided IOPA with 5 dairy plants and generators to power them across the region, and each dairy could process up to 2000 litres of milk into yoghurt, cheese, ghee and butter per day. These products were sold throughout the country. In cooperation with these organizations, IOPA was also able to work on a number of water supply projects, that bore fruits as the people in the dry Maasai lands got water with much more ease than before.

The women’s refuge centre was expanded to also be guest houses that could accommodate visitors to the area. IOPA also added additional generators to build one of the first mini-grids in the country to supply more than 1000 people in Terrat village with electricity, since the government had considered it too expensive to connect Terrat to the national electricity grid.

                        The IOPA centre in Terrat with guest house, community hall and dairy

Martin was bestowed various awards for his great work such as Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum Africa, the Ford Global Community Leadership Award, and Dubai Global Innovator Award.

Martin suggested that IOPA had to try and create viable micro businesses, so that even after funders ended their collaborations, IOPA would still be able to run its activities and thrive. As of today, IOPA’s remaining running projects include ORS FM radio, a few dairy plants, the conference centre, the water business, the guest house, and education and health support project in Terrat.

In 2019, IOPA was changed to Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI) – an NGO – because of government laws and regulations, and by the end of 2020 Mr. Martin had achieved most of his goals and dreams.

On March 1st, 2021, Martin passed away. I can say that he hasn’t truly died because his works still live on – he lives through his works. He has left a legacy and very big shoes to fill. This story of Martin is supposed to be a motivation to anyone with big dreams, anyone who is fighting against all odds to achieve their dreams. I hope I have done his story justice.

If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay

                                                                                    – Thomas Herzl –

Martin Saning’o Kariongi Ole Sanago

The Creative Activist

By Saruni Martin- Art in Tanzania internship

Martin Saning’o

Weeks had gone by, my national exams were nigh, since Mr. Martin Saning’o had passed away from COVID-19, I had a dream. In the dream, Mr. Martin said to me, in Swahili, with rough translation to English as, “Dare to dream big, never give up and always have a spirit big enough to achieve your dreams. Never give up my son and remember I love you!”. I woke up emotional that day but I also had a thought. He has done great works that most don’t know of. I wouldn’t want his works to go unnoticed – I would want people to know of the works that he did and the benefits he has brought to the Maasai community in Terrat, Simanjiro. This is his story.

Simanjiro

Martin was born in the early 1960’s in the Simanjiro district of northern Tanzania. This is in the Maasai heatland – the high arid plains south of Arusha. In common with many Maasai of his generation, Martin and his family cannot be sure exactly when he was born. But Martin believed it to be in 1960 or 1961.

Martin was one among the minute number of Maasai children to have received education at the time. He used his education well. He wanted to give back to society that brought him up, so in the early 1990’s he founded IOPA – Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement. Although IOPA’s first priority was to deal with land rights, it also eyed health problems and water supply problems that the Maasai at Terrat faced.

Martin became an activist, and made critical moves to ensure that the Maasai aren’t displaced from their traditional lands – The government had been displacing the Maasai at the time from areas they claimed to be ‘National Park areas’. His moves were seen to be ‘too critical’ to some in high places, and as a result the government initially refused to register IOPA.

As impossible as it may seem, Martin sued the government for displacing the Maasai from their traditional lands. At the time, more than 6000 Maasai had already been displaced by the government form National Parks. IOPA, led by Mr. Martin, filed a number of cases against the government which later on resulted in a landmark ruling by the High Court in IOPA’s favour.

Martin recognized that education was the key to enlighten the Maasai on a number of things: land rights, their own health, their livestock, the ongoing changes in the outside world, and a number of other things. He figured that a community radio would effectively serve this purpose. He took measures to establish a community radio, the first ever in Tanzania. He worked his fingers to the bone – a lot of sleepless nights – and finally the ORS FM first broadcasted news in 2002. The radio was in fact the first ever community radio in Tanzania – or in a larger perspective East Africa. It broadcast news in Kimaasai (the Maasai native language) and also played Maasai music.

After the idea of the community radio, Martin also realised that there was a need for electricity – not only for the radio station but also for the receivers of the information they portrayed. He worked on a number of projects, in association with different international organisations, to bring electricity to the Maasai people.

Martin also worked to help women facing different challenges, most especially those in the maasai areas – they were more prone to treacherous practices – such beatings from husbands, mutilation and harassment. IOPA created a safe haven where beaten women would go to and tell their stories. It also tried to prevent female genital mutilation, FGM, child marriage and women oppression. IOPA dedicated some of its resources to educate women and raise the status of women in the Maasai society. IOPA also sought to help women economically. IOPA established dairies in Simanjiro with a long-sighted view of enabling women to sell milk and get money, they used to acquire their needs and the needs of their families. In the maasai culture, the only resource that belongs to women is milk.

Martin had broad and liberal outlook in his work, which touched each and almost every age group and social class by the time. For children, IOPA helped establish more than 50 pre-primary and primary schools across the region.

Martin’s work didn’t go unnoticed – he was elected an Ashoka fellow in 2003 and got the attention of a Dutch philanthropist, Dini de Rijcke, and began to work with her through her foundation, Strichting Het Groene Woudt (SHGW). Through working with Ashoka and SHGW, IOPA achieved many of its objectives. The Dutch foundation provided IOPA with 5 dairy plants and generators to power them across the region, and each dairy could process up to 2000 litres of milk into yoghurt, cheese, ghee and butter per day. These products were sold throughout the country. In cooperation with these organizations, IOPA was also able to work on a number of water supply projects, that bore fruits as the people in the dry Maasai lands got water with much more ease than before.

IOPA centre in Terrat

The women’s refuge centre was expanded to also be guest houses that could accommodate visitors to the area. IOPA also added additional generators to build one of the first mini-grids in the country to supply more than 1000 people in Terrat village with electricity, since the government had considered it too expensive to connect Terrat to the national electricity grid.

Martin was bestowed various awards for his great work such as Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum Africa, the Ford Global Community Leadership Award, and Dubai Global Innovator Award.

Martin suggested that IOPA had to try and create viable micro businesses, so that even after funders ended their collaborations, IOPA would still be able to run its activities and thrive. As of today, IOPA’s remaining running projects include ORS FM radio, a few dairy plants, the conference centre, the water business, the guest house, and education and health support project in Terrat.

In 2019, IOPA was changed to Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI) – an NGO – because of government laws and regulations, and by the end of 2020 Mr. Martin had achieved most of his goals and dreams.

On March 1st, 2021, Martin passed away. I can say that he hasn’t truly died because his works still live on – he lives through his works. He has left a legacy and very big shoes to fill. This story of Martin is supposed to be a motivation to anyone with big dreams, anyone who is fighting against all odds to achieve their dreams. I hope I have done his story some justice.