Posts by cambridgedevelopment

The Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI) is a non-profit organization that improves the wellbeing of Tanzanians. CDI empowers student leaders in the UK and Tanzania to catalyse change in their societies through innovative projects in the areas of healthcare, education, entrepreneurship, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH). Since 2013, CDI has mobilized over 100 student volunteers to launch sustainable, community-oriented solutions to Dar es Salaam’s most significant challenges.

World Toilet Day, 2018

By Micheala Chan

 

Today (Monday 19 November) is World Toilet Day!

 

World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and declared an official UN day in 2013 by the UN General Assembly.

 

This day aims to address Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. At the rate we are working, we are far behind where we need to be to ensure this achievement. Currently, around the world, 4.5 billion people are still without safely managed sanitation and 892 million people still practise open defecation [1].

 

Exposure to human faeces and the lack of toilets means that problems in public health, living conditions, education and economic productivity still persist. Waterborne diarrhoeal diseases are still responsible for 2 million deaths annually [2] and cholera is still a major problem in many developing countries. A lack of toilets and handwashing facilities also has a large impact on girls’ access to education, with many dropping out of school when they start menstruating.

 

Working in Vingunguti, an informal settlement in the Mjimpya ward of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this is a mission CDI’s WaSH Project has become highly aware of and also wholly dedicated to. 70% of the city’s residents live in informal settlements like Vingunguti [3] and 97% of them are users of pit latrines, with only 6% connected to the modern sewerage system [4].

 

To date, CDI has constructed 54 accessible toilets connected to the sewerage network, serving an estimated 375 people, since 2014. The latrines have been funded either by the community themselves or by DAWASA (Dar es Salaam Water and Sanitation Authority). The construction has been facilitated by local technicians and workers, and designed mainly by the KITE Dar es Salaam team, giving Tanzanian students the opportunity to apply practically the knowledge learned in university. Further, these toilets have enabled women in the community to take on a leading role, for example, as household representatives and Chairpeople of the Sanitation Users Authorities (see https://cambridgedevelopment.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/wash-spotlight-community-engagement/ for more information).

Toilet 1

To date, CDI has constructed 54 accessible toilets connected to the sewerage network, serving an estimated 375 people, since 2014.

When Nature calls, CDI answers.

References

[1] WHO/UNICEF (2017): http://www.who.int/en/news-room/detail/12-07-2017-2-1-billion-people-lack-safe-drinking-water-at-home-more-than-twice-as-many-lack-safe-sanitation

[2] WHO. http://www.who.int/sustainable-development/housing/health-risks/waterborne-disease/en/

[3] Jenkins, M. W. (2015). Pit Latrine Emptying Behaviour and Demand for Sanitation Services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 12(3), pp. 2588-2611

[4] Chaggu, E. et al (2002) . Excreta Disposal in Dar es Salaam. Environmental Management. Nov 30 (5), pp. 609-620

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Meet the Research Director 2018/19!

My name is Luca and I am super excited to be directing the Research Team this year. I have long been fascinated by the question of why some are countries are rich whilst others remain poor and, by extension, what we can do about it. It is why I chose to study Economics. Whilst you can learn a lot in the classroom, CDI allows you to tackle this question head-on and use your insights to help inform real-world projects. How do we best fight gender inequality? How do we assist communities without infringing their autonomy? What new technologies should we help implement in what local areas? These questions need answers!

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This past summer I worked on the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Entrepreneurship Project. Although often at times difficult, it was without a doubt one of the rarest and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I was given an astounding amount of responsibility shaping the project and talking to stakeholders. I had to rise to the many challenges NGOs face and was made to recognize and tackle many of my own preconceptions. With the help of my UK and Tanzanian colleagues, I grew tremendously because of it.

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One key thing I learned was that research is absolutely vital for development, especially the ideation stage. As Research Director I want to ensure that our projects are targeting the most pertinent problems, that our efforts are informed, and that our solutions are sustainable. That means thinking critically and creatively.

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To this end, research volunteers will be able to pursue their own areas of interest with great flexibility, looking to identify new project opportunities and publishing a peer-reviewed working paper by the end of their assignment. Although most research is done in Cambridge, volunteers can expect to collaborate with international organizations, leading development scholars, and our Tanzanian partners. This is a truly unique opportunity to get involved in and see your work directly feed back into real projects.

If you are interested in joining the Research Team, applications are open now!

APPLY HERE: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd1qxw99WHecECFOTC1ZprXcSvfr_EhBpR9se4OwyML7vIfgw/viewform

FIND OUT MORE:

http://www.cambridgedevelopment.org/uploads/1/0/2/4/102410442/research_info.pdf

Meet the CDI Director 2018/19!

I’m Bahumi Motlhanka, a 4th year Chemical Engineering student. As someone who grew up and still lives in Botswana, I was always somewhat wary of development work and the lens through which Africa is sometimes viewed through in that context. As my interest in the development sector grew, I was keen to get involved in an organization that recognized the importance of local actors and worked in a truly collaborative manner to deliver impactful projects; the work of CDI and Kite Dar es Salaam in Tanzania speaks for itself.  I worked on the monitoring and evaluation of the WaSH (Water, sanitation, and hygiene) project this summer and really enjoyed the broad overview I got. I was able to participate and contribute to strategic decisions being made across the whole project, I felt challenged and valued throughout the summer.

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(Some) members of the WaSH Team at Kite’s First Anniversary Dinner

I made some incredible friendships with the Kite DSM team last summer, and as Director, I hope to use that as a base to strengthen the collaboration between our two organizations. I am also looking to build on the work of last summer and establish research partnerships in Tanzania. In this way, I aim to bring Tanzanian voices to the fore and have them involved in the need identification and ideation stages of project development. There are a number of students and societies involved in research that we’re looking to work within Cambridge to continue to build CDI’s own research capacity.

 

This year is also the five year anniversary of CDI as an organization so we will be taking the time to reflect on the lessons learned, using these to inform how we go forward but we will take the time to appreciate how much work has been done by students from Tanzania and the UK and how this has gone a long way in reshaping the perception of the role of students in development.

 

The CDI Executive Committee offers a lot in terms of how much of the project you get to shape, the connections you get to make within the sector and is a unique way of getting involved with practical international development work. This is an opportunity to work with students in Tanzania to deliver impactful projects. As part of the committee, there is a lot of trust and responsibility on you from day one, I cannot think of anything else that could match this, it is a truly rare opportunity to do student volunteering differently.

 

If you are interested in joining the Executive Committee, applications are open now! Find out more at http://www.cambridgedevelopment.org/get-involved.html.

A Day in the Life of a WaSH Biogas Volunteer

My name is Sam Watson and I am working with the Biogas Team on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) Project.

After hearing about CDI through a lecturer in my university department, I joined CDI because I saw the WaSH Project as an opportunity to implement skills from my Chemical Engineering degree whilst making a difference in communities facing poverty and poor health.

I work closely with two other volunteers on the Biogas Team named Amon and Micheala.

7:20am. The alarm goes off. I usually hate early starts, but not today because I’m going to ‘site’.  The place commonly referred to by CDI volunteers as ‘site’ is the location of the WaSH Project’s latest brainchild – the biodigester. This device is effectively a huge rubber bag lying in a long, deep trench.  Sewage from one of the WaSH Project’s simplified sewerage networks flows into this bag and is turned into biogas which can be burned for cooking or heating.

7:50am. The heavy rain has stopped just in time for me to go to the canteen. I get to breakfast nice and early but the canteen hasn’t started serving food… This is only a minor inconvenience to what I’m anticipating will be a significant day.

Figure 1

Breakfast table accompaniment

8:45am. I am catching a bus to the site.

The key idea behind the biogas project is a business model in which biodigester technology can be used to add value to the sewage by converting it into biogas fuel. This fuel can then be sold to members of the local community. Profits generated from biogas sales can then be used to pay back the costs of the biodigester and sewage network.

Today we hope to do an experiment which should help us to determine whether selling biogas is profitable. It involves measuring the amount of gas produced by the digester in a given time. This will allow us to estimate our operating profit.

9:45am. We stop off at the hardware store to buy two pairs of rubber gloves.

Figure 2

Amon and Micheala at the hardware store

9:50am. Only moments after leaving the hardware store, I hear someone shouting, “I love you!” I turn to see that it is us who are being addressed, by a woman leaning from a window.

10:06am. We arrive at site. We connect our measuring device to the digester but measure no gas coming out.

Figure 3

The measuring device (known as a flowmeter) with the digester in the background, to which it is connected

After over an hour of trying things, the digester has become completely deflated, showing that there is no longer any gas in the digester. The attempt was not successful, so we decide to leave.

Figure 4

The flexigester, deflated to the level of the water (i.e. it has no gas in it!)

 

11:30am. Shortly before leaving, the team discover a mysterious locked chamber next to the digester. After a long while of trying to smash the lock with a bolt, we hire some local technicians who easily break open the lock. The chamber is empty.

 

Figure 5

Amon attempts to break open the chamber by smashing the rusted padlock

 

12:45pm. A long commute and we’re back at base. Time for a quick debrief with one of my PDs before lunch.

1:00pm. At lunch, a member of the WaSH team tells us which Mean Girls characters each of us are.

2:00pm. Back to work. This afternoon is an ideal time to work on my ‘day in the life’ blog.

4:00pm. Time for an exciting meeting with the WaSH PDs about the future strategy and direction of the Biogas Project. We discussed the latest findings and calculations in relation to the biogas business model.

5:00pm. Work is over but my roommate has gone to Vingunguti with the only key to the room and won’t be back for a while. However, I can’t complain as it’s my fault.

Tonight is the Kite DSM fundraising dinner and I’m scheduled to play with a band. I go to help the other band members load the taxi with our kit.

5:30pm. People are starting to leave for the fundraising dinner (which starts at 6:00pm) but my roommate still isn’t back. Luckily, I have a great book in my bag to keep me occupied in the meantime.

6:30pm. My roommate has arrived back and we can now go into our room to start getting ready for the dinner.

7:30pm. I arrive at the dinner with my roommate and next-door neighbour in time for a speech by Kite DSM by Director David Leonce.

8:30pm. It’s time for the band to perform. The ‘Cambridge Groove Initiative’ played three songs, including the classics ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ and ‘Summertime’.

Figure 6

The ‘Cambridge Groove Initiative’

 

11:30pm. I’m on my way back to the accommodation. It’s been a long day and I’m ready to go to bed.

 

Education in Tanzania: The Future

By Sophie Wilson

 

Welcome to Part II of this post on Education in Tanzania. In Part I, I asked:-

What are the challenges currently faced within Tanzania’s Education sector?

I talked about the sector’s key challenges, with specific focus on gender, equity and access inequalities, graduate unemployment, education quality, resource constraints and emotional wellbeing.  

In Part II, my question will be:-

Which trends present future opportunities for Tanzania’s Education sector?  

How far should our expectations for the future of Education in the Global North be reflected in sub-Saharan Africa and Tanzania? To what extent is this future ‘digital’? Will the sector ‘leapfrog’ traditional developmental curves and start embracing the benefits of technological change immediately?

 

Population and connectivity growth

The global population is expected to exceed 9 billion in 2050, with half of this growth expected to occur in Africa, according to the 2015 UN World Population Prospects [1].

Combined with improved infant mortality rates, this growth will increase the under-15 population, which today stands at 41% of the total population of Africa. The 27 most under-developed countries in Africa will also produce some of the highest fertility rates [1].

Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest-growing school-age population of any region in the world – for every 100 primary and secondary-age student in 2014, in 2030 there will be 138 and 148 respectively [2]. This will dramatically increase demand on existing educational resources.

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Caption: Students at Mlimani Primary School, 2018

Already, there is a deficit of trained teachers on the continent. UNESCO has estimated that 70% of countries in sub-Saharan Africa face serious teacher shortages across primary and secondary schools, with this figure rising to 90% when looking solely at secondary schools. As a result, 17 million teachers will need to be recruited by 2030 in order to achieve universal primary and secondary education [2].

Yet alongside this growth in demand, there will be huge leaps in connectivity. 453 million people in Africa already have access to the internet, 35% of the continental population. The majority of these are young people. 23 million internet users live in Tanzania [3].

Internet access is not yet entirely equitable. 70% of the rural African population have no access and broadband connection remains very low; ½ of the population live more than 25km from the nearest fibre connection [2]. Yet despite these challenges, connectivity presents a sizeable opportunity for online learning.

 

‘Blended’ learning and technological advancement

‘Blended’ learning pairs online and offline resources to create a multi-media educational environment. Internet connectivity is the gateway to a host of free, online learning resources such as Coursera, Google Books and Khan Academy, enabling access to high-quality content and increased choice. The internet is transforming all aspects of conventional learning, from instruction to mentoring, from submitting assignments to sitting an exam.

This on-demand access also allows students the flexibility to set their own schedule outside of the classroom.  In addition, ability-based, personalised learning tools can customise the pace of learning as appropriate. Technology could also ensure that examinations become more transparent and standardised [4].

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Access to free online resources could enable students to learn at a personalised pace

In some areas of the Global North, advanced technology such as augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing and AI may soon be applied to the Education sector [1]. Whilst these trends are perhaps overly-futuristic expectations for Tanzanian students, they provide an exciting suggestion of the direction of the industry.  

However, the Global North will continue to invest in web-based services and platforms which are free, and require no more physical infrastructure than a connected device. Students in Tanzania will benefit from trends like gamification and ‘edutainment’, learning techniques which will become continually integrated into Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Yet whilst connectivity and device access in Tanzania is expected to increase at a significant rate, the use of the internet as a tool for enhancing learning has not yet been systematically integrated into the formal Education sector [5].  

 

M-learning and social media

The fastest-growing and second-largest mobile phone market in the world today is Africa – mobile phone use has increased from 5% in 2003 to 73% in 2014 [6]. Yet though there are 650 million phone owners on the continent, Africa also currently has the lowest mobile penetration rate, indicating that there is plenty of growth still to come [2] [6].

The ubiquity of mobile phones and increasing rates of connectivity have meant that mobile-supported education, or ‘m-learning’, is starting to support and transform traditional teaching methods.

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M-learning could radically transform traditional teaching methods

Mobile technologies can be used to distribute more up-to-date educational reading materials to students. They also facilitate interactivity; students can comment directly on content, or connect digitally with other readers to enable peer-to-peer learning [7]. Short lessons, multiple-choice tests and audio recordings can be communicated via text message, whilst smartphones enable instantaneous sharing of video-media files [6].

M-learning supports contextual, informal and ‘anywhere, anytime’ learning [7]. In combination with social media tools, this presents further possibilities. Social media usage is experiencing a dramatic rise on the continent; as of 2017, there were 177 million Facebook users in Africa [3]. In Tanzania, there are 6 million users [3].  

Already, social networking sites are being used by teachers to distribute resources and host discussions. Communities such as Studentscircle and Brainshare are providing students with communities for learning [7]. These virtual tools are invaluable for geographically dispersed students, as they allow them to access content and participate in discussions instantaneously.

Remote tutoring, improved teacher-parent communication and more efficient administration are amongst the additional possibilities of mobile-assisted education [7].

 

Redefining the classroom: a new infrastructure

The arrival of new digital technologies may come to ease constraints on infrastructure and staffing. The classroom, once the locus of curriculum delivery and student-teacher interaction, is being fundamentally redefined.

As online programs and virtual certification processes start to complement classroom-based learning, student participation will soon require just three core resources: a laptop, camera and Wi-Fi connection [1]. These could eventually reduce pressure on demand for textbooks, classrooms and teachers.

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CDI and Kite DSM’s 2018 initiative KompyutHER aims to teach practical computer skills to out-of-school girls

The blend of formal, informal and non-formal approaches and the requirement for youth to develop more entrepreneurial and contextual employment skills will ‘flip’ the traditional role of the classroom: theory will be learned outside and online through personal devices, whilst practical skills will be face-to-face, interactive and class-based [1].

The success of these approaches will depend on the continued adoption of new technologies and the commitment of teachers on adapting to these new approaches [1].

 

Reshaping school curricula and learning by ‘doing’

Equally, success will depend on the capacity of the Government of Tanzania (GoT) to adapt to these new changes. But the GoT must support transformation in content and curriculum, and promote technology as a means of learning. What is taught must be reshaped and re-defined.

Part I of this post called out skills mismatch amongst young Tanzanian graduates as a cause for concern. This reflects a trend in the changing demands of the job market; employers now seek graduates with strong problem-solving capabilities and social skills, who are entrepreneurially-minded and adaptable.

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Effects of noncognitive and cognitive skills on youth prospects [8] 

Relative to cognitive skills, social skills and extracurricular activities are becoming increasingly important indicators of earnings and employment prospects for graduates [8]. This trend is evident in Tanzania.

Alongside the ‘3Rs’, data interpretation, logic and reasoning are expected to become increasingly important skills [4]. Yet with access to MOOCs and online courses, and encouragement from teachers, students will increasingly be able to tailor their own learning and fill knowledge ‘gaps’.

Tanzania Institute of Education (TEA) has altered the secondary school curriculum to include new subjects such as computer literacy, unified science and social skills [9]. Tanzania’s Education Sector Development Plan for 2016/17 to 2020/21 also puts specific emphasis on technical and vocational learning. Emphasis on ‘experiential’ learning in the government’s strategy for education is a step in the right direction.

KompyutHER is an initiative launched in 2018 by the CDI and Kite DSM Education team. It aims to improve computer literacy amongst out-of-school girls, to improve their employability. This complements programmes such as She Codes for ChangeBuni DivazBRAC, and TechChix in Tanzania,  which aim to build coding skills amongst female youth [10].

 

‘Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will wake the world’ – Napoleon Bonaparte

 

China-Africa cooperation on Education is increasing. Less than 2,000 African students studied in China in 2003, increasing to 50,000 in 2015 [11]. For anglophone African students studying abroad, China has overtaken the UK and the US as the top destination of study.

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African student numbers in China have jumped in the last few years [11]

This reflects a new geopolitical dynamic taking place between Africa and China. According to Quartz Africa, “providing education to Africans is an extension of China’s soft power […] the experience that these students get in China can translate into a willingness to work with China and view China’s internal or external policies favourably in the future” [11].

For African students it represents affordable study, the chance to develop business connections and to learn the culture and language of a rising power.

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Top Sources of African Students in China [12]

Tanzania is now the third-largest source of African students studying in China [12]. Collaboration is also evident at the primary level – two modern primary schools were recently built on university campuses in Dar es Salaam at a cost of $3.2 million in 2016 [13]. In future years, it is likely that diplomatic ties with China will continue to shape Education in Tanzania.

 

***

 

CDI and Kite’s work in 2018 has tried to remain mindful of these growing trends, whilst directly tackling some of the problems faced by the sector, as explored in Part I.

Our initiatives in 2018 address a diverse range of issues, from emotional wellbeing amongst 16-18 year olds, to primary school students’ need to learn English; from low tech-literacy rates to the absent soft-skills and entrepreneurial training that older students require to thrive in the job market. You can find out more here.

Yet Part II perhaps indicates where CDI and Kite should look next. From m-learning and social media-assisted education to teacher training and integrating online resources into existing curricula, there are many potential areas for fruitful collaboration.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the challenges and opportunities of the Education sector in Tanzania. If you missed Part I, be sure to check it out!

 

References

[1] Eszter Polyák et al. 2017. The Future of Education. Geopolitika.  http://www.geopolitika.hu/en/2017/10/30/the-future-of-education/

[2] Steve Vosloo. 2014. The future of education in Africa is mobile. BBC.  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120823-what-africa-can-learn-from-phones

[3] Internet World Stats. 2017. Internet users statistics for Africa.. https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm

[4] Christiaan Henny. 2016. 9 Things That Will Shape The Future Of Education: What Learning Will Look Like In 20 Years? eLearning Industry. https://elearningindustry.com/9-things-shape-future-of-education-learning-20-years

[5] Yomi Kazeem. 2017. Mobile subscriptions are still growing faster in Sub Saharan Africa than anywhere else. Quartz Africa. https://qz.com/africa/1027935/ethiopia-tanzania-dr-congo-and-nigeria-are-leading-mobile-subscriber-growth-in-africa/

[6] Rohen d’Aiglepierre et al. 2017. Digital technology can help reinvent basic education in Africa. Quartz Africa. https://qz.com/africa/1128311/africas-basic-education-can-be-reinvented-by-digital-technology-finds-france-development-orange-study/

[7] Steve Vosloo. 2014. The future of education in Africa is mobile. BBC.  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120823-what-africa-can-learn-from-phones

[8] Ishwar Puri. 2018. Is the future of education learning by doing? World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/why-learning-from-experience-is-the-educational-wave-of-the-future

[9] Esther Kibakaya. 2017. When your skills are not relevant in the job market. The Citizenhttp://www.thecitizen.co.tz/magazine/success/When-your-skills-are-not-relevant-in-the-job-market/1843788-3957948-r11ljhz/index.html  

[10] Abdi Latif Dahir. 2018. How Tanzania is betting on coding to help close the gender gap in its tech sector. Quartz Africa. https://qz.com/africa/1214051/how-tanzania-is-betting-on-coding-to-help-close-the-gender-gap-in-its-tech-sector/

[11] Victoria Breeze et al. 2017. China has overtaken the US and UK as the top destination for anglophone African students. Quartz Africa. https://qz.com/africa/1017926/china-has-overtaken-the-us-and-uk-as-the-top-destination-for-anglophone-african-students/

[12] China Power Team. 2017. Is China both a source and hub for international students? China Power. https://chinapower.csis.org/china-international-students/

[13] Xinhua. 2016. China builds schools in Tanzania as Sino-Africa ties deepen. Xinhua Net. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-02/04/c_135072486.htm

 

WaSH Spotlight: Residents

One of the most important aspects of a successful project is the positive and lasting impacts it has on the local community. As part of the WaSH project Spotlights series, we have explored the different sub-teams within the overall project and their place in the model. However, it is time to focus on the residents, who are the most important part of the project.

Residents in Vingunguti choose to opt in to the community simplified sewerage network, following educational discussions explaining the health and environmental benefits of the system. The latrines are a household investment, organised through a deferred payment scheme. As a result, residents own their latrines and are more likely to be committed to contributing to maintenance and community decision-making.

Our community engagement team has spoken to some of the SUA members  of Routes 4, 5 and 6 (for more information, check out https://cambridgedevelopment.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/wash-spotlight-community-engagement/ ). The issues they face have been highlighted below with quotes from the community.

 

The Septic Tank

“I am very regretful to those who haven’t joined the network until now as they will keep facing not only health problems but also the difficulties in emptying their septic tanks when full as the area is unplanned settlement and there is no access roads for the trucks needed to empty the septic tanks when full”

  • Member of Route 4 SUA

 

Before the latrines were introduced in Vingunguti, most houses relied on septic tanks, which had to be emptied regularly. In Dar Es Salaam 80% of households are dependent on pit latrines, whilst only 6% are connected to a sewerage system.[1] Pit latrines collect and store human faeces in a pit direct below a toilet. The pit should be periodically emptied. However, due to cost, most households do not responsibly empty their pits and instead allow them to overflow during the rainy season. Uncovered faecal matter can increase the incidence of trachoma and most waterborne diseases.[2] Simplified sewerage is an affordable, safer alternative.

The septic tank is a tank, typically underground, in which sewage is collected and allowed to decompose through bacterial activity before draining by means of a soakaway. A soakaway is a pit into which waste water is piped so that it drains slowly out into the surrounding soil.

Although there are many benefits of the septic tank system, the residents of Vingunguti have found that the simplified sewerage system is “not only cost friendly but also space saving and environmental friendly.” The convenience of having a system which does not have to be regularly emptied and which also has the capacity to handle larger amounts of sewage makes the CDI and Kite WaSH model very suitable for use in crowded, informal settlements such as Vingunguti.

 

Reducing Disease

“Currently the situation is very impressing as there is no diseases such as Typhoid that used to occur. We are really thankful because this project has not only helped to reduce waterborne diseases but also has promoted hygiene”

  • Member of Route 4 SUA

The number of people involved in the project so far is only about 400 people, and detailed data from health centres is difficult to obtain due to confidentiality so a thorough investigation into the occurrence of water-borne diseases has not been done. Research from the WHO states that the “safe human excreta disposal brings about huge health benefits”[3]. It is reasonable to extrapolate that the occurrence of diseases in Vingunguti has decreased if the simplified sewerage network is working. Comments made by members of the SUAs has confirmed this fact anecdotally.

[1] Chaggu, Esnati, et al. “Excreta disposal in Dar-es-Salaam.” Environmental Management 30.5 (2002): 0609-0620

[2] Montgomery, Maggie A., and Menachem Elimelech. “Water and sanitation in developing countries: including health in the equation.” (2007): 17-24

[3] http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/om/linkingchap8.pdf

Reflections on the Into Business Seminar Series

By Izzy Monnickendam

As the last week of 2018’s Entrepreneurship project approaches, we would like to reflect on our Into Business Seminar Series pilot project, thinking about what has gone well, what we have learnt and how we can move forward next year. But first, what actually is this year’s entrepreneurship project? The IntoBusiness programme is a 5-week seminar series on practical business skills, aimed at encouraging young Tanzanians to start their own sustainable businesses. Our project endeavours to tackle crippling youth unemployment amongst recent graduates. One shocking statistic that highlights the need for such a project is that approximately 800,000 young Tanzanian professionals compete for just 416,000 formal jobs each year.

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Working with our counterparts this year has been an invaluable experience.

So what have we done so far? We have run eight seminars and are excited to have our final four this week. The summer started with a rush to decide and flesh out the seminar series’ content. Then it was the communication team’s task to confirm speakers for all twelve or so seminars. We have had to make some changes along the way, such as removing seminars that had little interest or no available speaker. On the whole, our speakers have been engaging, enthusiastic and enlightening. One seminar that I particularly enjoyed was with Khalila Kellz Mbowe, who immediately got to know all the participants and sparked a varied discussion on different aspects of gender issues in business.

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Khalila posing with some of our team and participants.

A very different but equally stimulating seminar was on business economics and given by two of our own team members, Vincent and Luca. Rewarding participants with chocolates when they answered questions helped create a fun atmosphere in the room.

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Vincent and Luca presenting their seminar on business economics.

Reflecting on what we have done so far, it becomes clear that teamwork has been crucial to the success of the seminar series. With so many people working on the same project, it has been essential to collaborate and communicate as much as possible. Sometimes things don’t work out smoothly and our team has certainly gone through ups and downs. However, any difficulties have only made us stronger and taught us more, individually, about working in a challenging environment. That’s why we have come up with the entrepreneurship team’s top ten tips for teamwork!

  1. Always be polite and friendly
  2. Discuss all important issues
  3. Be honest, never hide information
  4. Listen to whoever’s talking at any moment – keep phones and laptops away
  5. Stay positive even when things go wrong
  6. Confront any issues head on and then move onwards and upwards
  7. Question decisions that you don’t agree with, but in a constructive way
  8. Be ready to adapt and adjust to challenges coming your way
  9. Set clear goals for everybody every day
  10. Believe in what you’re working for
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The entrepreneurship team at the beginning of the summer.

Thinking ahead to next year there are several ideas to be considered for the future entrepreneurship project and team. The impact and success of the seminar series will be assessed and, as it is a pilot project, there will be a decision about whether it will continue. If so, attendance for next year will be a key focus, as well as reviewing speakers to make sure the seminars are as interactive and informative as possible. Reflecting on the digital resource bank we have been working on to complement the seminars, it will be exciting to track its success and think about how it can be expanded, in terms of both content and access. Furthermore, proposals about a student consultancy pilot project will be contemplated. This idea would involve teams of professionally trained students pairing up with local business to maximise their entrepreneurial success. This is in very early stages of planning, however, and a lot more research needs to be done. There is a lot to be excited about!

Finally, one thing we have been reflecting on since the very beginning of the seminar series is how to define its success. Is it about how many people come to the seminars? Or about how many people use the information we give them to start their own business? Or maybe it’s about what kind of people attend, whether graduates, women or business owners? Perhaps it is all these things and more. Hopefully, we will find out in our end-of-project M&E report!