WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE ITS EFFECT ON OUR PLANET? PART 4

By Gabriel Andre – Art in Tanzania internship

THE RESPONSE OF INSTITUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

1. UNEP and UNDP 2016-2021 environmental and development strategy

Through a country programme, UNEP (United Nation Environmental program) and UNDP (United Nation Development program) proposed a strategy to counteract climate change issues while improving the Tanzanian economic development. Based on a theory of change where better governance and better placed investment could decrease poverty as well as environmental degradation. In the same way, the goal is to enhance the participation in economic, environmental, and governmental issues of women, youth, and disabled individuals. To anchor sustainable development, UNEP wants to implement sustainable interactions with all institutions such as both private and public partners. In partnership with those institutions as well as the government, UNEP will be able to achieve sustainable development projects. Those projects will mainly focus on environment, natural resources, climate change governance, energy access and disaster risk management.

Þ Forestry, biodiversity, and ecosystems 

The forestry sector is leveraged with the agriculture of the Tanzanian developmental economy representing 90% of the country’s energy resources and ½ of his supplies in construction materials. Because of the high dependency on agriculture and the rapid population growth, pressure on the environment and natural resources have largely increased in the last few years. Deforestation, it’s becoming one of Tanzania’s major challenges. 

UNEP is taking action to improve institutional and regulatory frameworks for safeguarding protected areas and preserving biodiversity. To fight against deforestation and deteriorating environmental quality, the institution is focusing on many interventions: 

  • mainstreaming environmental concerns into development plans
    • Facilitating environmental laws and regulations
    • Scaling up community-based environmental protections initiatives

As well, to protect natural resources and avoid ecosystem degradation, UNEP actively works on: 

  • Improving conservation of forest biodiversity, ecosystems         
  • support efforts to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade     
  • Scaling up sustainable land management practices
  • Supporting community based-forest management initiatives 
  • Promoting conservation agriculture

Finally, UNEP is highly supporting and promoting the REDD+ program. This program creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. Developing countries would receive results-based payments for result-based actions. REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.  

Þ Sustainable Land and Watershed management 

According to the UNEP, the Tanzanian land faces many challenges because of its fast development expansion and its demographic growth. Those challenges are the following: 

  • unplanned human settlements     
  • encroachment into forest areas   
  • inappropriate farming and livestock management practices       
  • unregulated mining activities       
  • poor inter-sectoral cooperation   
  • weak stakeholder linkages            
  • poorly planned and uncoordinated action 

To fight against those challenges, UNEP and UNDP (United nation development program) will take example in the Sustainable land management (SLM) program implemented in other 

Countries that have been successful. The lack of financial resources and adequate capacity in Tanzania remains a key barrier to this program. Both institutions will mainly focus on building institutional capacity and strengthening coordination between stakeholders, implementing practical SLM interventions to land degradation in forest, rangelands and arable land. Finally, they will promote watershed (hydraulic pool) management interventions to show environmental challenges to the Tanzanian community. 

Þ Climate change adaptation and mitigation

As a result of climate change manifestation, Tanzania will face a rise in extreme events as droughts, floods, the rise of sea level, dwindling water sources as well as impacts in the agricultural sector, energy sector and health sector. UNDP’s plan proposed support by promoting the implementation of sustainable strategies through high-capacity building initiatives and the establishment of proper institutional, policy and financial frameworks in collaboration with all key stakeholders, including the private sector. At the local level, implementing small scale climate change adaptation projects to create livelihood opportunities particularly in the agricultural sector as population depends on rain-fed agriculture as a source of livelihoods, income, and consumption. 

For example, promote and help the IITA (international Institute of Tropical Agriculture) in their work with farmers to get agricultural expertise’s. Debate sessions are organized to discuss essential topics such as “What crop can I grow with this irregular rainfall season?”. The final goal is to help those farmers to have sustainable agriculture. 

Moreover, UNDP wants to focus mainly on the implementation of COP21 Paris Agreement outcomes, under the United Nation Framework on climate Change. They will focus on supporting the government in order to create a framework for the implementation of INDC’S (Intended National Determined Contribution) which will be leading to greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 

Þ Sustainable energy 

To tackle the development of the fossil industry and transit to sustainable energy, UNDP implemented the SE4ALL (Sustainable energy for all) program to be achieved by 2030 in Tanzania. This program focuses on three targets: 

  • Ensuring universal access to modern energy
    • Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency
    • Doubling the share of renewable energy in global energy mix

The institution was able to mobilize significant political support before RIO+20 and continued to provide coordination and technical assistance around those three targets. 

Thanks to UNDP, sustainable energy access for all in Tanzania is moving fast. By coordinating the implementation of the SE4ALL initiative, an Action Agenda and an investment prospectus has been created. It brings poorer communities appropriate, reliable, and affordable energy technologies. This can be possible mainly by improving policy and regulatory framework, improving institutional framework and human capacity, strengthening the M&E (Monitoring and evaluation) framework as well as generate relevant data. 

Þ Resilience and disaster risk reduction

Resilience is the ability of the system, community, and society to resist, to accommodate against hazards. Over 70% of all-natural disasters are hydro-meteorological and the major disasters have included droughts, floods, and epidemic diseases. All of them, affecting humans and wildlife.

As an example, let’s take the “El Niño phenomenon” that occurred in Tanzania in 2011. It causes massive floods which wash away crop farms and damage transport infrastructure, such as roads and railways. As well as destroying houses making people homeless. It also increased diseases. We’ve seen the impact of an RCP 8.5 scenario; phenomenon’s like “El Niño ” will occur increasingly frequently. 

As a response, UNDP’s proposal is to strengthen the institutional framework of meteorological institutions, including the establishment of a 24/7 Emergency center for climatic disaster management. Improve weather and climate forecasting infrastructure throughout the procurement of the installation of highly sophisticated hydro-met technologies to improve collection of the hydro-met data. 

Also, they want to improve analysis, interpretation, and customization of data in order to provide relevant information to groups including farmers, urban and rural dwellers, and aviation. Finally, the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to improve coordination in dealing with disasters between the relevant institutions. 

2. Climate Action Network International implication for Tanzania

Moreover, other than the United Nations institutions, other NGOs stand out for their innovative projects and their response to the global warming threat. It’s the case of Climate Action Network (CAN) International, very active in Tanzania. 

Þ Climate Action Network Annual Strategy Session 2020 in Arusha

In February 2020, CAN organized the Annual strategy session about Climate change in Arusha. This event, which brought together several major climate actors, was an opportunity to discuss two major topics: “What does it mean for society/funders to build power in this climate emergency?” and “What are they doing to respond to the crisis and what do they believe is CAN’S role?”.

Through many debates and workshops all these actors agreed on the priority areas where investment is needed in terms of funding, human energy, and collaborative strength. Centering climate impacts and people to ensure governments act with urgency as well as exposing and undermining the fossil fuel industry, are the two priorities CAN and other NGOs should focus on. 

Major events are going to take place in the next five years depending on the pandemic situation. These gatherings involving actors from all over the world (government, NGOs, the private and public sector industry) will be an opportunity to put these two issues on the table on a larger scale in order to take urgent action for our planet.

Þ CAN interventions and actual projects

In the meantime, while awaiting those gatherings, CAN already started its fight for the climate by working on diverse projects and implementing solutions for the Tanzanian community. Here is the major one’s: 

 Water Purification & Biogas Plant (TAHUDE Foundation) is an initiative to build low carbon and resilient communities by providing access to clean drinking water and energy. 

 Climate-Smart Agriculture (ACT) is a community-led action agricultural initiative, which provides training to farmers on climate smart agriculture techniques such

as water conservation (bases/pots technique), short harvesting period, intercropping and mulching materials. 

 Climate-Smart Coffee Farming by Solidaridad is also a community-led initiative which provides training to coffee farmers on climate-smart coffee farming practices such as developing pest resistant methods, water harvesting/ conservation, short harvesting cycle crops, nursery practices, intercropping and shade coffee management. 

 Water for Livestock (Oikos) is part of the ECOBOMA initiative which is a project to build the adaptive capacity of the vulnerable Tanzanian community to cope with the adverse effects of climate change and reduce poverty in rural areas. 

 Tree Planting & Forest Conservation (Arumeru District Government)

 Media Training Bootcamp: a practical skills session to build the capacity and strengthen the member’s ability to be spokespersons and to deliver powerful messages for press conferences and interviews. 

 Leadership & Diversity and Building a Grassroots-Driven Network Bootcamp: the objective of this session is to build members’ knowledge and understanding of how to link policies with people and navigate power and privilege to facilitate diverse inclusion and create safe, engaging spaces for grassroots leadership and organizing across CAN. 

 Developing Funding Proposals Bootcamp: the purpose of this session is to provide members with concrete ideas and shared thinking on good and effective fundraising. The bootcamp facilitated discussions on key elements of fundraising,

a good elevator pitch and how to approach funders and keep the communication lines open.

Shape, rectangle

Description automatically generated Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty Bootcamp: this session provided members with a background and overview of the Non-proliferation Treaty for Fossil Fuels Initiative. This initiative uses the experience and outcomes of the Non-proliferation Treaty on Nuclear as a basis and is trying to adapt this to dealing with fossil fuels. The session explored a set of high leverage strategies that this initiative could galvanize around such as the phase-out of fossil fuels and shifting narratives on fossil fuels, strengthening local action to stand against fossil fuel expansion, and encourage international cooperation to stop fossil fuel proliferation through a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

After the announcement of all these projects, we can better understand the involvement and dedication of the institution to change the habits of the Tanzanian community to provide them with a more promising future than RCP 8.5. However, there is one last project that particularly caught my attention, and which demonstrates the long-term impact vision that the institution is trying to establish.  This CAN project is the climate and livelihood center in Bagamoyo. The purpose of this green village is to link scientists to the communities to provide new initiatives. Many activities are organized going from cultural events to environmental workshops. Everybody is welcome regardless of their work sector (fisherman’s, students, small-scales farmers, etc.). The center provides knowledge through training and teaching, the possibility to implement the improvements directly on the site and most of it, the center tried to provide this networking to have a bigger impact and reach more communities and partnerships. 

They organized three workshops in December 2019 to raise awareness and inform the participants on renewable energies (RE) and the necessity of transitioning to clean and affordable energy. 124 participants were representatives of women groups, local government authorities, and civil society organizations. 

Because the baseline study was focused on their own villages, people were highly interested. The survey showed that 92% of the households were not capable of paying the highly initial cost of renewable energy. But the community saving groups might present an opportunity for decentralized energy.  42% were unaware of the potential of RE, only solar was common and most of them (91% of the survey) use charcoal and firewood for cooking 

Because of deforestation, people have difficulties using firewood (takes three hours to collect) and their only alternative is charcoal. Many of the village’s council stated that they did not include RE into their agenda due to the lack of understanding and support from government and non-governmental stakeholders. 

Participants were really curious and interested about identifying achievable and long-term solutions. With the help of CAN in Tanzania, they establish and initiate RE clubs in primary and secondary schools that allow children to be innovative and creative. Finally, those workshops promote awareness about RE. Shumina Rashidi, the councillor of the Bagamoyo District and a businesswoman, for example told the CAN team: “In the workshop I learnt that cooking with gas is very cost effective – especially because I am living in Bagamoyo town, where it is available everywhere. I am going to use gas for cooking – not only for my health, but also to protect the environment. “  

The important point is to understand that these people have no idea of what climate change is, why we said that the globe is becoming warmer, and why we should care about fossil fuels. That’s why it’s essential to sensitize and inform them before taking actions or implementing projects where they don’t understand the environment purpose. 

3. Collaboration between NGOs and Government 

During our interview, Adelaide Mkwawa said “you know there is a huge friction between NGOs and the government. If NGOs tell the truth and the government disapproves, they can remove your NGO license”.  NGOs have to be very careful and clever not to come into conflict with the lack of investment and impact of the government while at the same time making them understand the importance of acting quickly and strongly. 

For Adelaide, who had also worked for the UNAT (United Nation international justice system), NGOs had implemented lots of projects in response to the SDGs. Most of them have being undertaken by the Parliament Group of sustainable development to enter those propositions and projects in the government budget. But at the moment, where those projects and propositions are in the hands of the government then it’s really hard to find their progress because of the lack of information and the lack of knowledge to communicate by the government. Communication between institutions is really poor due to lack of resources and the inordinate amount of time that elapses between the transmission of the first information and its evolution. For Adelaide, this is one of the biggest issues and that’s why projects in Tanzania take so much time. In her opinion, the creation of a communication sector that’s effective will facilitate this collaboration between the government and NGOs. 

Investment for Climate change is all about communication and collaboration. Even for the private and public sector. A close collaboration between institutions on their new methods and techniques to afford sustainable development is a key point to move forward. Some institutions in Tanzania have excellent ideas to fight against this global warming while in the meantime ensuring the economic development of the country. This is the case of TWIGA CEMENT INDUSTRY. 

4.  Combining economic development and environmental responsibility: TWIGA CEMENT example

Tanzania Portland Cement Company Limited (TPCC) also called TWIGA Cement is a cement-manufacturing company. Member of the Heidelberg group and listed in the Dar es Salaam stock exchange, is the largest cement manufacturer and reports a company total asset of 322 billion TSH (141 million US$). 

The challenge for TWIGA is colossal. On the one hand it is one of the biggest employers in the region, employing hundreds (more than 300 in 2019) of people. These jobs are quite simply indispensable for people’s survival from a human and community point of view. Moreover, it is one of the main reasons for the development of the region, where their cement has enabled the construction of many buildings and most of the houses.  However, on the other hand, it is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and is at the origin of many environmental challenges, in particular its production: Soil erosion, soil health, topography, deforestation, pollution of waterways, health, and safety of workers and community. 

We had the chance to visit it and we realized some important facts during this day. First, there is a military base in the company’s own premises which testify an economic state interest and a voluntary security to the factory. Second, most of the workers pass have also a Chinese translation which testify an economic interest from China. 

The largest drivers of climate change are large corporations and industrial factories. Since TWIGA belongs to this category they are holding themselves responsible to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Despite all the prejudices I had on this type of company, I was quite surprised. 

TWIGA Cement counters their negative action by giving to nature what they had stolen from her. About ten years ago they founded the Nursery project to tackle their environmental impact. In order to collect these precious stones for the creation of cement, TWIGA has to dig for hundreds of meters, destroying the surrounding nature. When the digging space is exhausted, they fill it with soil and sand and replant some fast-growing tree species on top. These trees allow the soil to be re-fertilized, thus restoring the basic natural conditions. Once the fertilization has been completed, the fast-growing wood is cut for consumption and various new species are then planted permanently. It’s at this point that the nursery project appears.  

The goal of the nursery is to mitigate damage being done to the surrounding environment, improve the health and wellbeing of underserved groups in the community, such as school children and prisoners by providing free shade trees. The nursery improves air quality and the environment at large through carbon sequestration. In the nursery they have quite a lot of species going to the Averrhoa bilimbi (culinary interest and the leaves serve as a paste on itches, swelling, rheumatism, mumps, or skin eruption) to the moringa oleifera (Its young pods and leaves are used as vegetables. The seeds are also used to purify water, as a detergent, or as a medicinal plant.) and even mint. 

A barren plot of land in close proximity to the cement production has been transformed into a lush haven for biodiverse plant species and crucial pollinator species. Many of the trees grown there have medicinal benefits or are fruit bearing. To achieve their goal TWIGA has undertaken this project and educates the community by engaging with volunteers and hosting students to teach them how to maintain gardens and plant trees. They are also introducing the concept of sustainability to many local youths and giving them the tools to raise their own trees in needed areas. They are spreading the culture of sustainability and changing the mindsets of the young generations. 

However, there are still some challenges to achieve such the six volunteers in the nursery compared to the hundreds of people employed in the factory. Despite all the efforts made, we can still understand where the priority is. 

TWIGA Cement could be a great example to follow for many drivers around Tanzania and even further. Everybody needs cement, unfortunately in Tanzania, wood is the main construction material and the transition for sustainable tools that avoid deforestation and greenhouse gases are not readily available today. The carbon sequestration provided by those hectares of nursery, permits TWIGA to achieve its goal of developing Dar es Salaam district while at the same time reducing its negative impact. 

Investing in R&D (Research and Development) for green energy could be the next step for TWIGA cement to achieve their goal of being a zero-carbon emission company. 

Because at the end, compared to developed countries such as European ones or the United States, African countries and especially Tanzania have only small responsibility in the global warming issue. Tanzanian people because of low incomes mostly consume daily needs. Most of them don’t travel out of their countries because plane tickets are too expensive, and their water consummation is ridiculously low compared to a country like Germany or France. When you drive through Tanzania you don’t see any herds with thousands of animals, in other words no intensive farming and all their agriculture is natural, i.e., without the use of pesticides. Still Tanzania and other African countries will be the most affected by climate changes in the next decades. 

As I said, Tanzania is a small greenhouse gases emission driver. Nevertheless, if the major drivers of those greenhouse gases which are mainly fossils industries. Take the example of TWIGA Cement and how they invest in R&D for clean energy, Tanzania could become an example of sustainable development for all African countries. 

CONCLUSION

Through my internship at the Art in Tanzania institution, I had the chance to participate in many debates classes whose aim was to learn English while debating on sensitive subjects such as religion, waste management or Covid 19. I was very surprised by the open-mindedness and the stance that Tanzanians can take on such subjects. Unlike our European countries where discussions often turn into a confrontation of two ideals rather than the understanding and acceptance of a difference. Therefore, after more than two months of living together and sharing their traditions, I am convinced that the Tanzanian community has a key role to play in their climate issue. The government and the various institutions that want to work towards a more responsible and sustainable economy can rely on the collective strength and openness to change of its people.  Tanzania can become a pioneer in the development of a green and responsible economy. To do so, its community needs to be informed and heard. The government and institutions need to invest heavily in intelligent campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of the environment and the importance of caring for it. As we have seen with the example of the workshops held in the Bagamoyo Knowledge Centre, the participants are more than interested in green energy as it can improve their daily lives, their economy, and their biodiversity. The Tanzanian community is willing to listen and act for the good of their country, if it will improve their life. The next generations have a major role in this awareness, and it is through the youth that these innovations will be born. Of course, nothing worth doing is easy and such a transition will not happen overnight. 

The impact of climate change on water stocks

By Felicity Checksfield – Art in Tanzania internship

Climate change is having an instrumental impact on water stocks in Eastern Africa. This is consequently impacting many citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights. The United Nations suggests that ‘water is the primary medium through which we will feel the effects of climate change’ (United Nations, 2018). This is because higher temperatures and more extreme, less predictable, weather conditions are projected to affect the availability and distribution of rainfall and further deteriorate water quality. As of 2019, 12% of the world population drinks water from unimproved and unsafe sources and more than 30% of the world population, or 2.4 billion people, live without any form of sanitation (United Nations, 2020).

Specifically, in Eastern Africa, 75% of Africa’s population could be at risk of hunger. This is because 75 million hectares of land currently suitable for agriculture is being lost in sub-Saharan Africa due to drought. This is a matter pertaining to human rights for a number of reasons. Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and polio. Inadequately managed water and sanitation facilities expose individuals to health risks that would be otherwise preventable. It is predicted that approximately 842, 000 people are to die each year from diarrhea as a result of unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hand hygiene.

This post with consider potential climate policies from a variety of time scales and their effectiveness at combating the issue of water scarcity in Eastern Africa. Some of the policies to be assessed will include the re-use of wastewater, to recover water and improved sanitation.

Population data

The current population of Eastern Africa is approximately 451, 600, 500. However, 37% of people in the world that do not have access to safe and clean water live in this region. Access to sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa is in fact declining with only 31% of people able to access a toilet (6% less than that reported in 2006). 

In Tanzania, the population is approximately 60,712,700, with 80% of people living in rural areas. These rural areas are especially sparsely population, with as low as 1 person per square kilometers. This increased to approximately 53 people per square kilometer in the water-rich mainland highlands. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of Tanzania’s rural population relies on use of natural resources to sustain a livelihood, which makes stewardship of these resources a fundamental priority for Tanzania’s continued stability and growth. However, 4 million people in Tanzania lack access to an improved source of safe water, and 30 million don’t have access to improved sanitation.

Agricultural Production Data

These statistics have instrumental implications for the production of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and Tanzania. This is because approximately 93% of water withdrawn from the Tanzanian environment is used for agriculture. It is therefore of great importance that Tanzanian communities have access to safe and clean water. Agriculture accounts for 27% of Tanzania’s gross-domestic product (GDP) and provides employment for the majority of the nation’s population. Moreover, the livestock sector contributes 7% to the country’s GDP. The sector is severely constrained by low livestock reproductive rates, high mortality and high disease prevalence.

By the 2080s, land unsuitable for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa due to severe climate, soil or terrain constraints may increase by 30 to 60 million hectares (United Nations, 2019). It has been projected that, as a result, there will be a 4.9% decrease by 2080 in agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2020). This will have a detrimental impact on the economy of rural Tanzania that relies considerably on agriculture production and livestock to supports livelihoods. 

Human rights and vulnerable groups in rural Tanzania

Climate change, and its effects on water stocks, has a variety of impacts on individuals. Some of the factors include whether they live in rural or urban areas, whether they live in an area that receives high rainfall or whether they belong to a group that is particularly vulnerable or marginalized. 

a) Children

Children and young adults are particularly vulnerable to climate change and water scarcity. Children make up approximately 44% of the Tanzanian population and all are vulnerable to poor health, malnutrition and to the general lack of basic needs, at different levels depending on the structure and assets commanded by their families. Children under-five are mostly vulnerable to diseases, malnutrition, and inadequate care.

By 2002, 4.1 million out of 10.2 million children in Tanzania aged 5-14 years were not attending school. The often-long distances to primary school is a problem to about 30% of households. That may discourage children from attending school and receiving an education which commonly includes information about the importance of access to water and sanitation. As we shall see later on, schools are also increasingly becoming an important place for children to access clean water and sanitation facilities.

b) Women

Women are especially vulnerable to the implications of water scarcity due to their existing lack of social mobility. When this is paired with food insecurity, limited access to health, sanitation and education, the result is a low income. This perpetuates social isolation and as a result it puts powerful constraints on their capacity to make a living. Moreover, poor access to water and other household services, often results in women spending long hours and walking long distances to collect these amenities. Finally, many women experience stressful childbearing and rearing due to inadequate or poor-quality maternal health care, sanitation and a clean environment. 

c) Disabled individuals 

One of the core characteristics of persons with disabilities is their limited mobility, which reduces their opportunities for participating in income generating activities to increase their wealth. This consequently limits their access to basic needs such as food, health services and education. When this preexisting vulnerability is paired with intense water scarcity, disabled individuals can become some of the most marginalized in rural communities.

d) Individuals with a long-term illness

Finally, individuals with a long-term illness are at an acute health risk which water scarcity can perpetuate. In 2001, approximately 28% of the rural people fall into this category. In Dar es Salaam and other urban areas, the figures decreased to approximately 19%. By any means this is an enormous figure as more than a quarter of the population falls into this category. Poor nutrition and health services that weaken the health status of the members of poor households exposes them to the risks of contracting diseases and living with ill health. These individuals could be vulnerable to poverty, as they cannot work. Access to clean water is therefore instrumental in preventing the decline of their condition. 

Tanzanian Government Policies for Climate Change

There is an abundance of legal provisions that support the securing of access to clean water. Africa is particularly advanced in comparison to the rest of the world in this respect. The African Charter of Human Rights was the first broadly ratified international document which stipulated the right ‘to a general satisfactory environment’ and referred to the right as one of ‘peoples’ in a community, as opposed to individuals. This has the effect of emphasizing both the rights and duties of individuals consistent with African conceptions of human beings as integral members of a larger community.

The Tanzanian government have provided the Environmental Management Act 2004 which aims to provide the goals of this charter. Section 4(1) provides that every person living in Tanzania shall have a right to clean, safe and healthy environment and section 4(2) states that this shall include the right of access by any citizen to the various public elements or segments of the environment for recreational, educational, health, spiritual, cultural and economic purposes. 

The 2004 Act established the existence of the Tanzanian National Environment Management Council. As per section 17(1) the object and purpose for which the Council is established is to undertake enforcement, compliance, review and monitoring of environmental impact assessment. As per section 17(2) the Council shall prepare and submit to the Minister a bi-annual report concerting how it has implemented the provisions of this Act and fulfilled the objects and the purpose for which it was established. 

However, these provisions provide of no more than a broad and general right. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has suggested five policy responses to implement such a goal.

  1.  Include adaptation and mitigation measures for agricultural water management in national development plans.
  2. Promote technical and management measures to improve the flexibility of rainfed and irrigated agriculture and reduce water losses in irrigated production systems.
  3. Improve knowledge on climate change and water and share good practice among countries and regions.
  4. Promote risk management in national policies through better monitoring networks and innovative insurance products.
  5. Mobilize adaptation funds to meet the challenges of water and food security under climate change.

5.1.      School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (SWASH) guidelines

The School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (SWASH) guidelines provide one example of the Tanzanian government adopting some of these policy responses. The guidelines aim to increase education and awareness of the importance of access to water and sanitation. It is a toolkit with both hardware and software aspects to bring about changes in the hygiene behavior of students and, through these students, in the community at large.

They suggest a number of systems and methods to improve sanitation, water preservation and water collection.

Protected springs offer a source of water that is often free from pathogens. If the dissolved minerals are within permitted parameters, they can provide good quality drinking water. SWASH advices that at the collection point of the spring, appropriate civil construction can prevent this water from being contaminated. Moreover, the surrounding environment of the spring should not be degraded, and advices against deforestation or contamination in this area especially. 

Shallow wells or hand dug wells are a simple method of making use of groundwater. They are only suitable for regions that have an especially high-water table and good water quality. However, SWASH provide two systems – one automatic and one manual – for the collection of water. Rainwater harvesting is another simple and yet effective way of collecting water. 

However, as SWASH highlights, the weakness in these methods often comes in the form of sanitizing the water before drinking it. It is necessary to follow the methods provided and removing any solid material and boiling the water to remove any bacteria. This reduces the chances of contracting waterborne diseases. 

With regard to sanitation, ventilation improved pit (VIP) latrines serve to provide a clean and cheap way to store human waste. A draft is passed through the collection area of the pit which means that the smell and insects cannot linger. This improves sanitation and the appeal of using the facilities. 

Finally, the guidelines significantly stress the importance of using hand washing stations. This is a simple but highly effective way in which students can reduce the likelihood of carrying diseases on their body and spreading infection. 

What next?

The SWASH guidelines provide an incredibly important educational tool for schools to implement these systems. However, a lot of the structures require advanced infrastructure in order for their long-term effectiveness. There consequently needs to be much more investment in these rural communities in order for these systems to be of the best quality they can be. For example, the VIP latrines require a high level of construction to prevent the human waste from contaminating the surrounding groundwater and soil.

Moreover, in order for the program to work as intended, its information and guidance needs to be spread beyond the school environment and implemented in rural communities. This distribution of information is arguably the most effective way of mitigating the impacts of water scarcity in these regions. The important work of Non-Governmental Organizations such as Art in Tanzania in distributing and educating local communities is an example of this. 

PROBLEMS WITH HOUSEHOLD HYGIENE

By NARMY RICHARD MWANBOZI – Art in Tanzania internship

The Tanzanian economy is poor and annual household income is low.  According to the world bank The Gross Domestic Product per capita in Tanzania was recorded at 985.50 US dollars in 2019. 

The GDP per Capita in Tanzania is equivalent to 8 percent of the world’s average, many people depend on seasonal jobs such as in agriculture, which is for survival, while others are totally unemployed. Agriculture is the key activity to many people in Tanzania since about 60 percent of citizens depends on it. 

Many households in Tanzania are poorly constructed and resulting to development of unplanned settlements in the towns. For example townships like Keko, Mbagala and Manzese in Dar es Salaam and Mwanjelwa and Mbalizi in Mbeya, that are dominated by unplanned settlements and poor infrastructure and supply of social services. Infrastructure as connectivity between houses is inefficient due to poor roads, water systems including sewage systems and safe and clean water supply.

Lack of clean water for drinking and cleaning conducts results to household dirtyness and causing contamination base for illnesses.

Also, waste removal is poor especially at the areas that were constructed at the time when the population was still small, but today are highly populated but still dependent on the original basic infrastructure lacking the capacity to manage the need of water and waste management.

Towns like Keko are prone to diarrheal diseases related to hygiene such as typhoid and cholera highlighted by rainy seasons. This is because excess rains reach household and spread the supply of waste including faeces.

People living in poverty their education is low and their knowledge of health and the importance of clean household management is a problem. People believe in witchcraft not necessarily understanding the serious health problems are caused by poor hygiene and sanitation. So there is need for advocating people along with infrastructural development.

Many Tanzanians fail to build good and healthy toilets because of their small income. Visiting some villages in Mbarali, Mbeya such as Itamboleo and Mapunga and observing that toilets are sub-standard or completely missing. The Itamboleo village council come up with a plan to ensure construction of proper toilets in the village and instructing that those failing to follow-up the plan must pay sanctions. The plan did not work properly as villagers blame, they do not have enough money to construct those toilets. Also, the mentality of the leaders is that toilets with septic tanks are the only safe toilets not being factual. 

Thus, we need to educate people in villages about healthy household with affordable cost.

Water supply in the Tanzania is gradually improving in many towns, such as in Mbeya rural districts, Northern regions of Tanzania and Dar es Salaam. But water supply is still a problem in many parts resulting to poor household hygiene and sanitation in Tanzania.

Along the major issues on household hygiene and sanitation smaller issues also largely affect our health. The kitchen appearance and settings is traditionally ineffective. Many households prepare their food in the kitchen full of dirtiness and storage of charcoal, food, and various kitchen appliances in the same place, the light supply is poor, and the kitchen may act as a place for rats and rodents to live thus spreading diseases.

Our bodies hygiene and sanitation are the key factors for our everyday success and activities. It is our choice to make a call for positive changes in household hygiene.

Lack of Clean Drinking Water in Tanzanian Schools

Introduction

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.

Results

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.

Future

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: www.artintanzania.org

Sources:

https://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2018/04/02/tanzania-investing-in-water-and-sanitation-reaps-benefits-for-poverty-alleviation

https://www.jica.go.jp/english/news/focus_on/water/water_6.html

https://lifewater.org/blog/7-most-common-waterborne-diseases-and-how-to-prevent-them/