CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

By Japhet Mgona – Art in Tanzania internship

Introduction to Climate Change

Since centuries ago, climate change has been a matter of grave concern globally. It is also one of the substantial global challenge in the 21st century. Many scientists and local people, through contemporary and indigenous practices respectively, have diverse views pertinent to the meaning, source, and impacts of climate change. In terms of the meaning, it is scientifically agreed that, climate change is a long process at which the components of climate systemvary for many years.

Climate change is further defined by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as a statistically significant variation that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It includes shifts in the frequency and magnitude of sporadic weather events, as well as slow continuous rise in global mean surface temperature.

Historical Background of Climate Change;

Climate change began in the early of 19th century when the ice age and other natural changes in paleoclimate were first suspected and the natural greenhouse effect was first identified. In late 19th century scientist first urged that human emission of greenhouse effect could change the climate, also many other theories of climate changes were advanced involving, forces from volcanism and solar variation. In 1960 the warming effect of carbon dioxide become increasing. Some scientists also pointed out that human activities that generate atmospheric aerosols example pollution could have cooling effect as all. During the 1970s scientific opinions increasingly favored the warming effect. By 1990s, as result of improving observation work and confirming the Milankovitch theory of ice age consensus position formed greenhouse gases were deeply involved in most climate change and human cause emission are causing global warming  

Moreover, there are some scientists who urged on the urgency on climate change, starting by Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) who started talking about something called the greenhouse effect. He knew that the atmosphere protects us from the sun, and he suggested that the composition of atmosphere will change and could lead to the warming of the earth. A few decades later in 1861 another scientist known as John Tyndall(1820-1893), identified the gases that may cause such effects when he was investigated the absorption of infrared radiation in the different gases, he found that water vapour and hydrocarbons like methane and carbon dioxide, strongly block the radiation and lead to cause the warming in the earth. Other scientist like James and peter kropotkin suggested that ice ages and other climate change were due to change in number of gases emitted in volcanism but was only one of possible causes. Another possibility was solar variation and shifts in ocean current which identified by them.  (Croll, 1875)

According to the reportof United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that gathered at Copenhagen in December 2009 to try to reach agreement on global action to combat climate change for the period until the 2012 successor to the Kyoto Protocol that will come from Africa. Based on what is Africa’s interest in this global effort to meet key climate change objectives? how will Africa perform in Copenhagen? will Africa make a difference to the outcomes of the negotiations and the Copenhagen Agreement, given its passive role in Kyoto?

 Most analyses of the impacts of climate change that have influenced UNFCCC agreements focuses on medium to long-term projections of carbon emissions and forecasting models of global warming, and cover mainly countries and regions for which relevant data are readily available. This leaves out most developing countries and regions, particularly Africa, due to unavailable data and trajectories. From an African perspective, this is serious and costly. As the poorest continent, Africa is considered most susceptible to climate change due to its vulnerability and inability to cope with the physical, human, and socioeconomic consequences of climate extremes.

 Moreover, existing adaptation mechanisms and resources under the Kyoto agreement designed to mitigate climate change’s effects on Africa and other developing regions have been directed at limiting future carbon emissions, rather than addressing the region’s vulnerability and lack of resilience to the impacts of climate change on its economies and populations. As lof ate as April 2007, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that Africa was not acting quickly enough to stem the direct economic and environmental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC, 2007). What this report seemed to have missed or overlooked is that Africa’s concern about climate change is not mainly in terms projections of carbon emission and future environmental damages. It is more about the links between climate change and droughts, desertification, floods, coastal storms, soil erosion contemporary disaster events that threaten lives and livelihoods, and hinder the continent’s economic growth and social progress.  (Solomon & Qln, 2007)

Causes of Climate Change

There have been diverse views about the origin of climate change. The debate on the origin covers two major aspects.

First, tells that climate change has been in place for millions, thousands, hundreds and tens of years ago (decades). The proponents of this notion mention the disappearance of flora and fauna species like the dinosaurs which were extinct not because of human, rather due to variations in temperature and rainfalls. They further connect their views with mass extinctions which occurred millions of years ago. Previous studies have presented the first dimension which assert that, climate change is due to natural forces. They associate earth’s orbital variations, Sun rise and set, volcanism etc. as natural events which in turn cause unusual weather patterns out of human control Furthermore, their arguments maintain that, natural forces like land masses drifting, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism etc. fueled climate change. 

The second perspective urges that, climate change began in the early 19th century when ice ages and other natural changes in paleoclimate were first suspected and the natural greenhouse effect first identified. This notion went far to link that, human activities has been the cause of climate change as they rightly observed the industrial revolutions notably mounted from19th with immense greenhouse gases emissions.  They associate Human activities like industrial activities, agricultural activities, mining transportation, and others cause emissions of gases hence lead to drought, floods, etc. not only that but also God’s punishment due to unrepentant human sins, and disobeying fore ancestor’s cultural setups is believed as the cause of climate change to same of the believers.

In Tanzania also there are various human activities which contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases hence influences climate changes. activities like industrial activities, agriculture activities, deforestations, mining activities and burning of fuels are among of the human causes of climate change.

Trigger’s force of climate change and its impacts

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

Over the centuries and decades, climate change has been perceived as a double sword in terms of its impacts to sectors of economy, living, and non-living worlds.

Climate change projection indicates that the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events will increase. In the last 40 years Tanzania has experienced severe and recurring droughts with devastating effects to agricultural, water and energy sectors. Currently more than 70% of all-natural disasters in Tanzania are hydro-meteorological, and are linked to droughts and floods. Climate change Impacts various sectors in Tanzania as follows

Agriculture and Food Security

Changing climate has resulted in a general decline in agricultural productivity, including changes in Agro-diversity. The prevalence of crop pest and diseases is also reported to have increased, posing more challenge to agriculture. Furthermore, due to the change in weather patterns that have disturb the agricultural production has impacted food security.

Adverse impact of climate change in agriculture activities

Fresh Water Resources

Increasing rainfall variability and prolonged droughts cause serious pressure in the country’s available water resources. Severe and recurrent droughts in the past few years triggered a decrease in water flows in rivers, hence shrinkage of receiving lakes, declines of water levels in satellite lakes and hydropower dams. Furthermore, some of the perennial rivers have changed to seasonal rivers and some wetlands have dried up.

Human Health

Variability in precipitation may have direct consequences in infectious disease outbreaks. Increased precipitation may increase the presence of disease vectors by expanding the size of existent larval habitat and creating new breeding grounds. In addition, increased precipitation may support growth in food supplies, which in turn support a greater population of vertebrate reservoirs. Alternatively, flooding may force insect or rodent vectors into houses and increase the likelihood of vector-human contact. IPCC, 2001 indicates that many vector, food and water-borne diseases are sensitive to changes in climatic conditions.

There are also a wider set of indirect impacts from climate change on health, which are linked to other sectors such as food security and malnutrition through reduced agricultural productivity as a result of changes in soil quality, increased crop and livestock pests and diseases, prolonged drought and water scarcity. Reduced agricultural productivity associated with climate change/variability exposes communities to other health risk factors, such as HIV or AIDS.

larval habitat due to floods at Kinondoni

Coastal and Marine Environment

Major climate change related impacts are a result of increases in sea surface temperatures and associated sea level rise. Some of the impacts are destruction of coral reefs, coastal erosion, submergence of small islands, destruction of coastal infrastructures and human settlement, intrusion of sea water into freshwater wells, and degradation of mangrove.

Energy

As a result of increasing climate variability, over the last years, the country has experienced increasing incidents of recurrent and prolonged droughts with severe implications on hydro power generation. Power rationing and black outs have become a common phenomenon in Tanzania. This affects individuals’ household and industrial income generating activities. Consequently, additional resources which were committed for other development programs are sometimes being reallocated for thermal electricity generation

Forestry

The common impacts to all forest’s types include loss of biodiversity; disappearance of wildlife habitats, increased risk of bush fires, limited availability of forest products (timber and non-timber products) and ecosystem shift

Biodiversity

Overall, a very high possibility of irreversible losses of biodiversity as a result of such changes in climate are projected with many terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species being placed at a much greater risk of extinction than before. Water shortage for the large mammals especially in the years with low rainfall is one of the main challenges facing the wildlife. The places that naturally used to hold water during the dry season no longer hold water long into the dry season. For instance, water dependent animals especially hippopotamus, crocodiles, buffalos and elephants are often found crowded in few remaining water ponds, for example in the Ruaha and Katuma River system

Hippopotamus congregation in small water pools due to water shortage in Katavi River system in 2009

Tourism

Tourism has close connections to the environment and is considered to be a highly climate sensitive sector. Climate variability determines the length and quality of tourism seasons thus plays a major role in the destination choice and tourist spending. Climate also has an important influence on environmental conditions that can deter tourists, including infectious disease, wild fires, insects or waterborne pests, and extreme events such as tropical cyclones. the sector is already being impacted by climate change. The manifestations of climate change are highly relevant for tourism destinations and tourists alike. For instance, Mountain Kilimanjaro has lost 80% of its ice cover between 1912 and 2000

Apart from the impacts of sea level rise, which have destroyed cultural, historical, archaeological and heritage sites along coastal areas in the country, heat stress and drought have also caused massive wildlife deaths in the northern tourist zone. Destruction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges are devastating. Road maintenance becomes particularly difficult and expensive during prolonged heavy rains in many parts of the country. For example, the 2006 El Niño rains, left many park roads impassable for a long period of time, and resulted in reduced tourist visits and loss of revenue

Decrease ice coverage at Mount Kilimanjaro as the effect of climate change

Furthermore, climate change has impact on livestock sector, industrial sector, fishing sector infrastructures and transport sector, human settlement, land use and planning and education sector of which these sectors are important for development, employment opportunities and back born of the economy.

CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES IN TANZANIA

In addressing climate change at national level, and local levels various initiatives and programs have been undertaken in Tanzania in the context of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol is further supported by the enabling environment including the National Environment Policy (1997) and the EMA. Not only that but also private sectors and private organizations has played an advantageous part in addressing climate change in Tanzania. Furthermore, climate change adaptation strategy and climate change related programs in the country including REDD and REDD+ projects are among of the initiates towards climate change mitigation, adaptation and coping strategies.

MITIGATION, ADAPTATION AND COPING MEASURES TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

It is evident that, climate change is happening and will continue to ravage sectors and our livelihoods. Various studies have revealed that, people from different areas have been mitigating, adapting and/or cope with it in order to make lives goes on. In Tanzania also communities mitigate, adopt and cope with climate in various ways through in small extent due to poor awareness on climate change and normally the following are some of the measures taken and suggested for mitigating, adaptation and coping with climate change

Mitigation measures to climate change

Mitigation involves the efforts undertaken to reduce anthropogenic (greenhouse gases) emissions or to enhance natural sinks of greenhouse gases so as to reduce the threats of climate change (to lower the risks). Mitigation measures suggested and taken in Tanzania are like:

  1. Afforestation
  2. Reforestation
  3. Intercropping/agroforestry
  4. Building water reservoirs like dams, ponds etc.
  5. Use of environmentally friendly energy sources like geothermal, natural gas, solar, and wind energy than charcoal, coal and fuelwoods.
  6. Use of organic manure which prevent nutrient and water loss.
  7. Soil as the biggest carbon sink on the planet, sequestrate greenhouse gases by proper soil conservation methods like contour planting and no-till farming which do not disturb the soil.
  8. In reducing methane, farmers may prevent submergence of rice fields and cultivate uplands rice or other upland crops.
  9. Destocking
  10. Establishing greenhouse emission reduction projects like Carbon trading, carbon sequestrations, REDD, REDD+, CDM.
  11. Planting tree crops


Adaptation to climate change

Adaptation to climate change involves the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects, in order to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In Tanzania adaptation measures undertaken and suggested are like:

  • Farmers planting different crops for different seasons
  • Levees against sea level rise
  • Temporary and permanent migration
  • Destocking
  • Building water reservoirs
  • Re-use, recycle and Reduction of the use for resources like water
  • Rain water harvesting and retention
  • Changing the planting seasons
  • Intercropping
  • Use less greenhouse gases sources of energy
  • Livelihood/occupational diversifications
  • Growing early matured crops
  • Rearing drought resistant livestock.
  • Formulation of social climate resilient groups venturing in rural savings, table banking schemes, getting funding from innovations funds and micro-financing institutions.
  • Conservation agriculture (mainly reduced tillage soil cover).
  • Crop rotations
  • Establishment of community-based climate change adaptation Organizations
  • Establishing climate early warning systems
  • Farming intensification and extensification
  • Mulching to conserve moisture during droughts.
  • Kitchen gardens
  • Pumping irrigations
  • Chemical weed control
  • Switching to off-farm activities

COPING STRATEGIES/MEASURES

However, once we go deep to explore the adaptation measures, one has to find out that there are measures which take a long time to adapt and others take a short time. In this context, those measures that take a short time are referred to as coping mechanisms, as they may not demand adjustments to ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. Therefore, the coping strategies practiced in Tanzania and those suggested are like:

  • Receiving remittances from children/ relatives living in urban
  • Borrowing cash to buy food
  • Reduce the number of meals per day
  • Renting land for cash
  • Food borrowing

LIMITATIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION, ADAPTATION, AND COPING STRATEGIES IN TANZANIA

  • Population growth
  • Lack of mitigation and adaptation technologies
  • Little awareness and researches on climate change
  • Lack of information on climate change impacts
  • Limited resources
  • Lack of access to early warnings and unreliable of seasonal forecast.
  • High cost of adaptation
  • Inadequate farm inputs
  • Weak institutional coordination and support
  • Low institutional capacity
  • Poor extension services
  • Poor enforcement and implementation of laws and by-laws
  • Too much bureaucracy
  •  Insurance coverage
  • Conflicts between farmers and pastoralists
  • Satisfied that climate change is the will of God
  • Reluctant to take changes
  • Believing superstitions

Generally, most of disasters in Tanzania are related with the climate change impacts there fore mitigating, adopting and coping with climate change links with disaster risks reduction and management activities. And regarding various climate change related impacts Climate change is indeed real and evident, it is inevitable, and it has to be appropriately and sustainably addressed.

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.