Find your belief

“What do you know about development, exactly?”

“What do you know about Tanzania or its people?”

“What do you know about the domain of Education / Entrepreneurship / Health / WaSH?”

“What do you know about managing projects?”

“Can you really run an organisation of 30 people?”

If there’s one feeling that characterised my CDI experience, it was disbelief. This came from all sides – development professionals aghast at our ignorance about development, business leaders doubtful about our experience and competence, academics disappointed by our nosediving grades and desertion of their discipline, friends confused by our disappearance from social events, and family anxious about our safety and our future career.

Worst of all, this feeling of disbelief came from within myself. What if they’re all right? What if I’m really driving into a car crash in slow motion, and destined for failure: in CDI, in my degree, in my early career – and therefore in life?

Coping strategies

First, it’s worth stating the obvious here – none of these issues can be resolved overnight. You can’t just ‘know’ about development, Tanzania, or project management tomorrow. These skills or pieces of knowledge typically take years to develop or acquire. So at the time we could only resort to coping strategies in response to criticisms like these, of which several come to mind.

The first: the stonewall. Ignore all of them, and trudge on. Yes, they have a point, but whatever. I’ve already been doing this for the past year, so I’m going to just keep doing it. Because that feels more comfortable. Kicking the can down the road, and hoping the can will roll into a bin by itself.

Clearly, not an effective strategy. But a surprisingly common one among all of us, dare I say, when faced with difficult problems. And certainly one we frequently employed ourselves.

Another strategy was to admit defeat and throw in the towel. I know I certainly wasn’t alone among past CDI leaders to have given serious thought to just quitting. It just seemed like such a beautifully easy way out – if I just stop, I will be free! There will once again be balance in the universe.

But some part of me wasn’t willing to go down so easily. I’d done so much already. Giving up now would erase all my previous hard work. Plus, I’d be letting down so many – all the volunteers I recruited to my team + promised a summer opportunity, our donors, our partners, stakeholders who generously supported us.

Mostly, I trod somewhere in the middle of all this. I knew these were legitimate criticisms, and we even tried to address some of them e.g. did reading, organised some training, found mentors. And then afterwards we would carry on business as usual (“right, that’s Project Management training done. Project Management skills: checked.“). But deep down I knew these were cosmetic fixes, so I’d continue to let the feeling of inadequacy gnaw away at my existence.

This is otherwise known as Imposter Syndrome. And it was exhausting.

Let your belief co-exist with criticisms

So what to do about this all? In the face of such difficult questions, it’s easy to forget that the absence of criticism isn’t a precondition for belief. It’s possible to both accept criticisms as legitimate and believe in yourself.

Enough of this self-help BS, I hear you say.

Here’s how I think about belief. In my experience, it can come from three sources (not an exhaustive list by any means):

1) Success stories / role models, especially those who were once in a similar position

“If he or she did it, and I’m just like them, then I can do it too.”

Seems to make perfect sense, right? It’s a powerful line of thinking – it’s why biographies can be so inspiring, and why exposure programmes for the underprivileged can be so impactful. Having successful role models, who once struggled just like us, can work wonders for our belief.

And in CDI, we can lean on a reservoir of ~200 alumni role models. They’re all just like you, and it’s worked out OK for them. Find a way to be on the phone with the team member in your position in the last few years!

2) Small wins

“I’ve already done this thing, which is just a smaller version of this bigger thing, so I can probably do this bigger thing too.”

Statistical sampling, if you will. Perhaps your project is divided into a series of weekly goals, and you find yourself worrying about whether you will actually make an impact by the end of 7 or 8 weeks. One way to proceed is to focus 100% of your energies on delivering on your goals for this week only. Or, scope it down even further and just focus on delivering on your goals for today. Check in on yourself at the end of day, and you’ll probably feel a good deal more confident about delivering for tomorrow.

Confession: I didn’t do this. At least not intentionally. When we ran the DAREnterprisers entrepreneurship course for the first time, I had minimal confidence about whether we’d really be able to help Tanzanian students launch viable businesses. It was only after we started running day after day of workshops, and found the participants genuinely engaged with our exercises and style, when my confidence started to grow.

If even that seems daunting right now, then aim for even smaller wins. Start your day by knocking out a few of the easier tasks that are on your plate – maybe a quick phone call to a stakeholder, a short message to a teammate, or coming up with an agenda for the next meeting – and feel your newly gained momentum pulse through your veins.

OK, this won’t solve all your problems. And there’s a fine line between chasing after small wins and procrastination. For me, though, there were many a day when I woke up feeling totally helpless, but after a few small wins, started to gain some confidence to take on the bigger challenges.

3) Moral belief

“This is the right thing to do for the world, so I’ll keep doing it no matter the result.”

Sounds like something Elon Musk would say, and that’s probably where I got it from. Probably a bit hard for many of us though, if we haven’t developed this level of conviction about anything yet.

But there’s a smaller version of this that could work. Go and talk to one of CDI’s supposed ‘beneficiaries’, and try to understand how (if) our work has impacted their lives. Of course, don’t go in with the assumption that it has – it may not have – but if it genuinely has made their lives better in any meaningful way, I promise that’ll make your day.

At this point it’s worth noting that none of these sources of belief should be categorised as blind faith (i.e. “I want this to be true, therefore I believe it’s true”) – that would be some real self-help BS. There’s an element of logic within them, and that’s why they can work.

Yeah, but about those criticisms…

I know none of this actually directly resolves the fundamental criticisms that are sometimes levelled at CDI. Some of these fundamental criticisms will never be resolved. But the thing is, you have chosen to commit at least 2 months of your life to this work, and you’re planning to see it through no matter what. What’s more useful – to employ flawed coping strategies like I often did (and probably be quite miserable most of the time), or find a source of belief that sustains you through this journey?

To me, it’s perfectly possible to accept those criticisms as legitimate, and yet believe that it’s still possible to make an impact. After all, that’s what others like you had done before, what you’ve already started doing, and the right thing to do for your target beneficiaries.

So, go forth and find your belief!

By Kelvin Wong, CDI Co-founder and Member of CDI’s Board of Trustees


A morning adventure: CDI’s simplified sewerage in Vingunguti

Last week I had my first adventure out of Ardhi University, where we sleep and work, and into the centre of Dar es Salaam, to visit the informal settlement of Vingunguti where the WaSH simplified sewerage project is implemented.

It was an eye-opening experience right from the moment I stepped onto the bus (daladala). The conductor seemed to permanently hang halfway out of the bus entrance as it drove around, yelling the bus route at passers-by in case they wanted to hop on, whilst inside the bus, we all stood like hot and sweaty sardines, swaying and bumping into each other and the few people that were lucky enough to be sat on sticky, padded plastic seats. Outside the window, the roads were lined with dusty paths full of makeshift stalls selling a variety of fruits, street food, furniture and bags of pulses. The traffic was also manic, and all cars seemed to be silver or white with sizeable dents all around their metal bodies, as though everyone was a car crash survivor. Every so often, the conductor managed to push his way through the crowded bodies on the bus, shaking coins in one of his hands to indicate that anyone that hadn’t paid now had to own up and deliver the 40p cost of the bus journey. Transport here is SO cheap!

Once off the bus, it was a short walk along yet another street lined with stalls (this time with loads of electronic stores blaring out recordings of men advertising their products at an extremely unpleasant volume from hidden speakers), and across an unexpected railway line with no barriers or warnings about its presence (I’m not sure if its still in use…). And then, finally, we reached Vingunguti. At its entrance, we were welcomed by the sight of two large lorries there to take away sewage from cesspits, and a massive pond that looked quite peaceful, but I soon learnt was a Waste Stabilisation Pond. For those who don’t know, this basically means I was staring at a massive body of sewage and water, waiting to be broken down by bacteria (anaerobic) after which it would be fed into two other ponds (facultative, and aerobic) as a cheap method to treat the waste releasing it into the environment.

Walking around the settlement itself was a real experience. Vingunguti is an informal settlement in which lower-income individuals have come to live, with housing often not complying with planning and building regulations. Without being led by the KITE DSM Tanzanian members of our team, I would have got completely lost as we picked our way through the rabbit warren of brown-walled housing blocks with corrugated iron roofs. Women sat outside their houses, washing clothes in buckets as we walked past, and young barefoot children danced around us with curiosity. The ground was uneven with unexpected hills, random walls, junction boxes, and the occasional ditch full of rubbish with makeshift bridges made from wooden planks.

Throughout the settlement, well-made latrine blocks stood out, painted white and blue with the CDI logo printed on. I was impressed with how many there were (and how they’d managed to find space for them in between the houses!). Their clear presence demonstrated how much of an impact they were having on the lives of the community, who could now have flushing toilets to take their waste hygienically and effectively to the waste stabilization pond for treatment. Previously, these people would have relied on pit latrines which commonly overflowed during the rainy season, and required emptying by hand as there was no way the waste collection lorry would have fit between the houses to carry away the waste! At regular intervals along the path, concrete junction boxes marked the connection point for pipes on the simplified sewerage system. Again, I was so impressed with how well-made everything was, and how much thought must’ve gone into ensuring the height of the pipes would allow a constant flow down to the waste stabilization pond. Exposed pipes had been carefully sealed off with concrete walls to prevent people damaging them. Everything was so well thought out!



Later that week, members of KITE DSM (Our Tanzanian partner organisation) went into Vingunguti again to conduct monitoring and evaluation questionnaires. This was important to ensure that the community was happy with the system we had implemented, and that it would be sustainable to continue to grow the sewerage network (currently 54 latrines have been built, serving 475 people, with another 20 latrines planned this year which would add 200 more people to the network). The response was overwhelmingly positive, with every interviewee saying they would recommend investing in a latrine. They felt the latrines had helped make the community cleaner and improved people’s health, with much fewer occurrences of diseases than had been prevalent before the system was implemented. Success!!

I would like to give a massive thank you to everyone that has donated to the WaSH project so far this year and made the construction of more latrines a possibility. Seeing first hand where the latrines are built and the community’s response to their installation, I can honestly say that every small donation is making a real difference to the lives of the people in Vingunguti. If you still want to donate, it’s never too late! Just head over to our JustGiving page 😉 £10 will help pay for supervision of one day of construction, £50 covers technicians wages for building one latrine, £100 pays for the delivery of all materials, and £235 covers the cost of materials to construct one latrine.

I’d also like to thank the iMechE for helping make it possible for me to finance the personal costs of flying out to Tanzania to work on this project. I would highly recommend all young and budding engineers to look into the huge variety of grants and scholarships they have available to support your studies and extra-curricular engineering-related activities. They’ve supported me so much throughout my degree and opened up opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Check them out!

By Natasha Wilson, WaSH Project Volunteer 2018/19
Natasha is fourth-year studying Engineering at Emmanuel College.

Impressions from my first week in Tanzania: life outside of the project

I’m Emmanuel, a second-year chemical engineer from Homerton College, Cambridge, and I’m this year’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Officer for CDI’s WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project. There are three of us from Cambridge on this team: Micheala, our Project Director, Natasha, a member of the Innovation Team and I, and we’re working with eleven volunteers from KITE, the partner organization of CDI in Dar es Salaam. My KITE counterpart is Chagu, and most days we work together on assessing the impact of the project on our the people of Vingunguti, the rural area of Dar where our project is based.

On a typical day, we wake up around 8 and get breakfast at the canteen (we’re staying at the accommodation of Ardhi Uni) which is the best and also really cheap: they got mandazis, which are like doughnuts and chapatis, which are like crepes (and you can buy Nutella from the supermarket!!). Then we need to be at work around 9, work from one of the classrooms until 1, when we have a lunch break until 2. The lunch options are rice with beans (every day) or rice with meat or chips with eggs (called chips mayai!) or bananas boiled in tomato sauce. We then get back to work until 5, and then in the afternoons we are free to do whatever we want.

So far the highlight was watching The Lion King in the largest cinema screen in East Africa (just five minutes on foot from the campus!) and then going to this karaoke bar which was so much fun (on every Thursday).

Natasha, George and I on the daladala to Vingunguti

We also visited Vingunguti, the WaSH Project’s site, the other day. We got the daladala from the campus: daladalas are small buses which get way too crowded, the people get on and off while it is still crowded, the people get on and off while it is still moving, and can take ages to get through really small distances because the traffic here is crazy but is actually not as bad as it sounds. I thought it was rather fun, maybe not every day though. I found the conditions in Vingunguti rather shocking, with sewage often running on the streets; really made me appreciate all the things I often take for granted back home.

During our first weekend here, we decided to go clubbing. After buying some Konyagi – a really cheap type of Tanzanian alcohol which tastes a bit like gin – and some really strong red wine (16.5% !!) for predrinks, we went to Havoc, a club near Oyster Bay with very strong and cheap cocktails. On Sunday, some people went to church to listen to gospel and then we all met and got Indian food. We then walked across the beachfront to the fish market which was my favourite part of Dar – it feels very local and everyone seems very welcoming.

Ready for Havoc

Overall, my first week in Tanzania has been both challenging and rewarding, and while it certainly gets some time to adapt to the very different conditions here and to learn how to work efficiently with the Tanzanian volunteers, it is such a great opportunity to meet new people and develop new skills, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the summer.

By Emmanuel Angelidakis, WaSH Project Volunteer 2018/19
Emmanuel is second-year studying Chemical Engineering at Homerton College.

Tunes in Tanzania

By Max Goodall

Music is a massive part of life in any country and Tanzania is no different. Within the urban sprawl of Dar es Salaam, music seems to come at you from all angles; sounds are crammed together as closely as the many small buildings and street vendors themselves. Moreover, although this is generally characteristic of urban city life the world over, Dar also has its own distinct, identifiable identity and this is what you hear as you walk through its streets. The CDI 2018 volunteers are having a great time exploring the tunes of Tanzania and as a music student, I thought it’d be interesting to draw together what we’ve learned about music in Tanzania so far.

Whenever you read or hear about Tanzanian music, the genre you always hear about is Bongo Flava. The genre is undoubtedly dominant in the Tanzanian music scene and is only growing in popularity; artists such as Muzungu Kichaa (listen to ‘Wajanja’) and ALIKIBA (listen to ‘Mvuma Wa Radi’ and ‘Seduce Me’), already ubiquitous throughout Dar es Salaam, are steadily growing their international profile. The most successful exponent of Bongo Flava, however, is undoubtedly Diamond Platnumz. His recent album ‘A Boy From Tandale’ included massive American artists such as Rick Ross and Ne-Yo, the latter track (‘Marry You’) gaining 24 million views on YouTube. I don’t think there’s been a day when a haven’t heard his newest single ‘Jibebe’ since we got here (it’s quality). However, definitions of this hugely successful genre differ wildly and people have consistently failed to agree on what the title actually refers to. In the early-mid 00s Bongo Flava was interpreted both by Tanzanians and Westerners as including a variety of styles such as Zouk, hip-hop, R&B, Reggae, Takeu and Bongo Bangra. However, since the late-00s, the term has generally referred to a more specific body of pop music, not including particularly Tanzanian Rap which is now generally seen as entirely separate.[1] This distinction seems appropriate to much of the Bongo Flava we’ve heard while we’re here. The tunes which constantly flow out of shops as you walk by, as well as out of endless Bhajaji drivers’ radios, have an aural appearance of contemporary R&B and Latin-American influenced pop. However, as with Western music, particularly in the United States, the line of distinction between popular and hip-hop genres is incredibly blurred.


Diamond Platnumz’ album cover, A Boy from Thandale

The apparent Western influence in Bongo Flava is a product of the influx of Western cultural images following the abandonment of socialism and complete self-reliance as Tanzania’s ideological model in 1991.[2] However, although Bongo Flava includes influence from Western styles and is successfully crossing over into the international mainstream, it remains peculiarly Tanzanian. The genre’s roots are particularly identifiable through its utilisation of highly syncopated (off-beat) repeating drum patterns, something common to much modern African music (although It should be noted that the notion of African music’s basis to a greater extent on rhythmic considerations compared to European music has been highly criticised, see for example Kofi Agawu’s article ‘The Invention of “African Rhythm”’[3]). These patterns push the music on, creating a deep sense of excitement and energy; a massive part of what makes the music enjoyable, particularly to dance to (as we found at the club ‘Next Door’ on the first weekend of the trip). Beyond their aesthetic qualities, however, elements such as this can be seen as part of a strategy of the localization of cosmopolitan international styles. The inclusion of elements signifying a sense of African identity within music in this way allows the artists to construct African cultural authenticity and pride, performing Tanzanian identity.

The process of localization in music is usually then utilized by artists to resist social marginalization. The term Bongo Flava literally means ‘flavour of the brains’ and originally referred to the cunning needed to live in a city like Dar es Salaam (which also used to be known by the term Bongo).[4] The genre was therefore innately connected to the modern metropolitan experience of being a young person in Dar es Salaam. Youth in Tanzania, just as elsewhere in the world are frequently stigmatized as associated with qualities such as laziness and vagrancy. In its original incarnation, the genre was used to refute these stereotypes of youth identity, as well as highlighting societal issues encountered by this marginalized group.


American hip-hop group Migos advertise on the back of a bhajaji

However, this characteristic is one of the issues which has led to the current description of Tanzanian hip-hop and Bongo Flava as mutually exclusive. Many Tanzanian ‘pure’ hip-hop artists self-exclude themselves from the category Bongo Flava on the grounds that hip-hop is supposedly still committed to social critique, while Bongo Flava represents a commercialized version of the original style.[5] This separate style is identifiable not only by its lyrical content but also by its aural similarities to traditional hip-hop, particularly 90s West-Coast tracks – check out, for example, one of the fathers of Tanzanian hip-hop Professor Jay (listen to ‘Zali la Mentali ft. Juma Nature’). Interestingly, therefore, although both are clear examples of negotiations of postcolonial identity and the influence of globalization, from what I’ve heard so far, generally Tanzanian hip-hop fails to aurally localize itself in Tanzania, and Dar specifically, to the same extent as Bongo Flava. Despite this, however, arguably the hip-hop produced throughout Dar remains more concerned with the expression of youth identity within the city, and the refutation of the local stereotypes applied to it than the expression of a broader national identity. Moreover, through their lyrical agility and generic choice of hip-hop, a genre steeped in narratives of Pan-Africanism and urban struggle, Tanzania’s hip-hop artists successfully construct themselves as cultural producers embodying both urban authenticity and sophistication. What should be noted also, is that both Bongo Flava and Tanzania’s hip-hop are absolutely sick.

Luckily so far on the trip, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to hear some quality music. At clubs such as ‘Next Door’ we were delivered a massive variety of tunes, from American R&B to tracks from all over Africa (such as Angola’s Yuri Da Cunha – check out ‘Atchu Tchutcha’). The volunteers have been doing some amazing singing in the newly formed CDI and Kite DSM choir, and some slightly less amazing singing at karaoke nights. Likely due to the advent of the internet and general trends of globalization, there is a massive amount of Western music prevalent throughout Dar, particularly Ed Sheeran (in our first week we were subjected to six consecutive versions of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ at Karaoke). However, the city retains its distinct cultural identity and has some great Tanzanian tunes to show for it.

[1] Sanga, Imani. ‘Muzungu Kichaa and the Figuring of Identity in “Bongo Fleva” Music in Tanzania’ International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Vol. 42, No. 1. (2011). pp. 190.

[2] Suriano, Maria. ‘Hip-Hop and Bongo Flavour Music Contemporary Tanzania: Youths’ Experiences, Agency, Aspirations and Contradictions’ Africa Development, Vol. 36, No. 3/4. (2011). pp. 115-6.

[3] Agawu, Kofi. ‘The Invention of “African Rhythm”’ Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 48, No. 3. (1995). pp. 380-395.

[4] Stroken, Koen. ‘Immunizing Strategies: Hip-Hop and Critique in Tanzania’ Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Vol. 75, No. 4. (2005). pp. 488.

[5] Suriano. (2011). pp. 115.

A Brief Introduction to the WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Project – Overview

The problem

Over 80% of residents of Dar es Salaam live in low-income, high-density settlements without adequate sanitation. [1] Existing waste disposal methods are prohibitively expensive for nearly all residents, resulting in raw sewage spillage on the streets and bringing a range of severe implications affecting the health, environment and dignity of residents.

The vision

CDI and Kite Dar es Salaam’s (Kite DSM) WaSH project aims to find a suitable way to bring the established sanitation technology of simplified sewerage to the informal settlements of Dar es Salaam. These solutions are wholly community-based, as will be highlighted in this blog series.


Our model in short

Since 2014, the WaSH project has facilitated the construction of four simplified sewerage routes in Vingunguti, Dar es Salaam.  Simplified sewerage is an established technology which is widely used in Latin America and Pakistan. It is better suited to the layout of unplanned settlements than conventional sewerage, as the flexible layout can be constructed around irregularly distributed buildings, and there is no requirement for large trunk sewers. Simplified sewerage is also considerably more affordable than conventional sewerage, due to cost-saving measures such as:

  • The use of junction boxes or inspection chambers in place of the larger and more expensive manholes of conventional sewerage.

  • Shallower pipe gradients and depths, resulting in reduced excavation volumes.

  • More straightforward construction, which can be carried out by technicians with less extensive training and using less expensive machinery.

  • System components which are easier to replace.

Guided by the technical expertise of student engineers from the University of Cambridge and across Dar es Salaam, community members drive the construction of these simplified sewerage networks. Training is then conducted by the WaSH project team and our partners, assisting community members to establish Sanitation Users Associations (SUAs). Each network route has its own SUA – a committee with one representative from each household that deals with problems which arise on the network. The SUAs organise maintenance of the networks once construction has been completed, giving the community full ownership of their sanitation systems. To ensure the financial scalability of this pilot, the latrines are funded by the members of the households which they will serve. This cost is initially covered by CDI and Kite DSM and then repaid by a flexible deferred payment scheme, which is also facilitated by the SUAs.

Our team

The 2018 WaSH team is divided into four sub-teams: network construction, community engagement, biogas and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The role of each of these sub-teams is introduced below, and their work will be explored in later blogs.

Network Construction

The network construction team focuses on the physical installation of the simplified sewerage system. Their role includes signing contracts with the residents who wish to be connected, estimating the cost and technical complexity of those connections and applying for permissions and funding from the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA). Furthermore, they are involved with surveying the area to plan the route of the new network, calculating trench depths and pipe gradients and, finally, supervising local technicians during the construction process itself.

See our Brief Intro To Simplified Sewerage ( for more information about the process.

In response to significant community demand, the 2018 network construction team are adding new latrines to the preexisting simplified sewerage routes rather than building a seperate new route this summer. This connects those residents who initially declined the offer to join the network in their area but have changed their minds since it was built.

Community Engagement

For the WaSH project to work effectively, the community needs to have a sense of ownership over the project and complete ownership over their own latrines and the infrastructure connecting them to centralised sewage treatment facilities. Affordable community ownership over the latrines is achieved through the flexible deferred payment options which the WaSH project offers residents so that they can pay back the costs of the materials and labour required in construction over the course of several years. Workshops are also utilised to educate community members on good latrine maintenance practices, alongside various sanitation issues.

Community engagement means making sure that people living in Vingunguti have the knowledge and agency to improve the sanitation and health of their community in the long term. CDI and Kite DSM plan to facilitate the construction of more simplified sewerage networks in Vingunguti in the future and are working with SUAs this summer to continue improving our community engagement and education model.


Our main focus is on the biodigester, a tank which biologically digests organic material from the simplified sewerage network to produce biogas. This summer, the biogas team will be decommissioning the current biodigester (known as the Flexigester) and using lessons learned from this, as identified by internal monitoring and evaluation, to develop a thorough plan for the installation of a new digester. This plan will detail the business model, justifying its financial and social feasibility, and will be developed through community research and liaising with technical experts in the field.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

The M&E team is responsible for evaluating the whole process of the system and assessing whether it is running in the way that it was designed. They identify any possible problems within the system after it has been implemented, and assess whether deviations from the design indicate a need for the system to be adapted to better suit the community’s needs or whether an entirely new approach needs to be adopted.

The M&E team’s work consists of four major objectives:

  1. Continue to monitor the existing sewerage networks in Vingunguti to see whether or not any issues have arisen since last summer.
  2. Develop the M&E framework to thoroughly assess the planned installation of a new biodigester.
  3. Gather relevant information from residents who are to be connected to the sewerage network this summer to allow for a comparison to be made between their general livelihood before and after being connected to the simplified sewerage system.
  4. Work in collaboration with other sub-teams (especially community engagement) to make recommendations for any changes to the community model which should be implemented in the future, when large-scale expansion is taking place.


How do we plan to expand our model?


A strategic priority for the WaSH project is to establish an  “alumni team” of university graduates to continue working on the expansion of the project throughout the whole year, rather than only during the two months that CDI and Kite DSM volunteers are working full time. This alumni team is intended to employ up to four graduates of the network construction team and one graduate from the community engagement team, pending negotiations and a formalised agreement with DAWASA (Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority).

The long-term goal of our biogas pilot is to fund further expansion of the simplified sewerage networks by selling biogas to members of the local community as a clean and sustainable energy source for cooking. The funds generated by these sales are intended to recuperate the original investment into the network, which will provide future funding for scaling the model. Forming a business model around biogas and simplified sewerage would incentivise the expansion of reliable sanitation access by local entrepreneurs, reducing the need for government funding and increasing the rate of expansion. Ultimately, this furthers the WaSH project’s overarching goal of providing a scalable sanitation solution that is accessible to all. It also tackles the issue of clean energy, as 90% of people across Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa currently use charcoal for cooking which drives deforestation and also has several negative health impacts from smoke.


[1] Jacqueline Thomas, Niklaus Holbro, Dale Young. A Review of Hygiene and Sanitation in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam: Msabi (2013).

CDI Summer Blog 2018 is back!

Half of the CDI committee have now arrived in Dar es Salaam and are working with our Tanzanian counterparts from Kite to plan our strategy for the rest of the summer trip. The rest of the committee will be arriving this week or with the volunteers next week!


Keep an eye on this blog to find out what we are up to this summer and find out how you can get involved!

Take a look at what we got up to last summer for a taste of what is yet to come!

As always, your support is greatly appreciated. Take a look at our justgiving page here:

Winter Trip and Project Updates!

At the beginning of 2018, a few of the CDI Executive Committee headed out to Dar es Salaam for the annual winter trip. The Deputy Director, Billy, the four Project Directors and I travelled out to Tanzania in early January to make a start on the preparations for the annual summer trip. The time was filled with a mix of internal and external meetings along with some down time to relax and socialise with our Tanzanian team.

David and I met with a variety of external stakeholders including government officials, and major partners. A large amount of time was also dedicated to working with David and Glory and the UK and Tanzanian project directors to affirm our overall goals for the year and project strategy for the summer. We were also able to meet the newly recruited Kite Dar es Salaam volunteers and introduce CDI, generating excitement ahead of the summer. The trip has proved invaluable for the Project Directors, Billy and me. It gave those who hadn’t yet been to Tanzania on the ground experience, enabled preparations to begin for the summer and allowed us to work directly with our Tanzanian team, building personal and professional relationships.

Since getting back to Cambridge, it has been straight back to business. CDI had it’s first board meeting of 2018 at the end of January and volunteer interviews have been happening throughout January and into early February.  We have now recruited our full UK team of volunteers and are currently finalising our research team. We have just had our first CDI wide training session which provided an overview of the organisation as well as logistical information and expectations. The evening ended at Pembroke bar with a social to get to know our team. We have 3 more CDI wide training sessions coming up which will focus on working abroad, design thinking, monitoring & evaluation and research. This training series should help to prepare our volunteers effectively for the summer trip to Dar es Salaam.


Lizzy (Director)

Project Updates


Continued collaborations with Bridge For Change and in the process of signing an MOU with Restless Development. Two cycles of the Careers Network Support (CNS) will be held in February and over the summer. These will be run mostly by Bridge For Change and support from Kite and CDI. Continuing to develop Kompyut Her into a full-scale programme and setting up new initiatives; Careers Hub and Reading Spots.


Publicity in January for CDI and Kite at UDSM’s Entrepreneurship Event. DarEnterprisers businesses won the top 3 prizes in the competition. Check in meetings held with DOT partners, AIESEC and UDIEC. New project research and development is underway. Idea is to pilot a speakers series on business and entrepreneurship-related topics.



Health plans to run two project streams in the summer: women’s workshops and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) workshops. The team plans to train nurses to deliver workshops on maternal health and family planning and set up partnerships with local radio for the NCDs workshop. They have obtained permission from the Vingunguti government, reached a partnership agreement with E-fm presenter and carried out community surveys on desired content.



On the January trip CDI and Kite directors held consultations with the Vingunguti community, especially the technicians and SUA chairpersons. They met with partners to discuss expansion and collaboration plans with DAWASA, Bridge For Change and Scan Tanzania Ltd. They plan to install a new biodigestor on the site and expand the sewage network.