EAST AFRICA BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED
The very attractively produced and richly illustrated Winter ’89/90 issue of the German publication ‘GEO’ was devoted entirely to East Africa. A well-known group of contributors included Ngugi wa Thiong’o looking back sadly on his earlier dream of a unified East Africa, Richard Hall, Editor of ‘Africa Analysis’ on tribalism, Ahmed Rajabu, Zanzibar-born Co-editor of the same journal on the failure of Tanzania’s experiment with African Socialism, Brian Jackson of the ‘Sunday Times’ on the depredations of elephant and rhino poachers and Roger Lewin of ‘New Scientist’ on ‘bones of contention’ about the origins of mankind at Olduvai and other places. There were also a 24-page photographic essay on people, places and political events, and articles on the booming tourist industry of Zanzibar, the Aga Khan’s aid programme, and photographs of the early days of colonialism.
One extract: ‘Zanzibar resembles nothing so much as an animated salad’ .. .. ‘hot spice-filled air would fill the taxi and suddenly Zanzibar smelled like a baked ham and I would feel hungry’ .. .. . ‘ A year or two from now the Aga Khan will open a 200 room Serena Hotel, the first of many such developments. Alas, Zanzibar will not only have tourist attractions, it will also have tourists’.
And another: ‘For East Africa’s ultimate test of courage you need a narrow bridge, just wide enough for one vehicle to pass at a time and a couple of the small buses (matatus) approaching it from opposite sides at speed. If the road approaches the bridge down a steep slope .. this adds immeasurably to the drama …. ‘
And another: ‘The entrepreneurial gifts of the Tanzanians surfaced in the mid-seventies during the austere days of Ujamaa but they now displays themselves with a cockiness that would embarrass even the greediest of Wall Street insider traders . … Tanzanians have to survive’.
7,000 KILOMETRES A YEAR
According to a recent issue of ‘DIALOGUE’ (No 10) a rural woman in Tanzania walks 7,000 kilometres annually for various activities including fetching water and firewood, the two major energy consuming tasks of women.
The article then went on to describe Tanzania’s progress in providing water in the villages.
In 1971 Tanzania launched a twenty-year water supply plan which aimed to provide water for everyone by 1991. However, by 1988 only 48~ of the people had been so provided and it has now been found necessary to extend the final target date to the year 2000. Furthermore, out of a total of 2,211 piped water projects which existed by 1985, 749 needed rehabilitation while 111 were obsolete.
To cope with rehabilitation and development of new supplies each region has now drawn up a Water Master Plan with the help of donor agencies. It is intended that the people, and especially the women, will in future play a leading role in planning, implementation and maintenance of their water projects.
THE BARABAIG AND THE WHEAT PROJECT
The 20-year dispute between Barabaig people in Central Tanzania and a Tanzania/Canada wheat project (covered in Bulletin Nos. 24 of May 1986 and 35 of January 1990) was highlighted in a paper published on March 12th 1990 by ‘AFRICA WATCH’, an organisation which is part of ‘Human Rights Watch’ that also comprises ‘Americas Watch’, ‘Asia Watch’ and ‘Helsinki Watch’.
The paper stated that Prime Minister Joseph Warioba had issued a statutory instrument which attempted to extinguish the traditional rights of pastoralists who are trying to recover part of the land alienated for the wheat scheme. The paper appealed to people to write politely worded letters to the Tanzanian Government asking, amongst other things, for certain charges of criminal trespass to be dropped and for the Government Notice on customary rights to be repealed.
TAZARA RAILWAY ON HOLD
The United Nations publication ‘DEVELOPMENT FORUM’ in its March/ April issue reported that nine traditional Western donor supporters of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) were withholding further pledges of aid to improve the railway because they think it has ‘a bleak future’. At a conference in Dar es Salaam they gave political reforms emerging in South Africa as the main reason for their reluctance to offer further aid at present.
ADAMSON’S LAST AMBITION ABOUT TO BE REALISED
Tony Fitzjohn is a one-time ‘Boy Tarzan’ who became the protege of the great naturalist George Adamson reported the DAILY TELEGRAPH on February 10th. ‘At the invitation of the Tanzanian Government Fitzjohn is about to supervise a project that was Adamson’s dream at the time of his murder in Kenya last year – the rehabilitation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve. At the recent memorial service for Adamson at St James Church, Piccadilly. a fund was launched in his name. Half the money raised will go to the Mkomazi project, not to rehabilitate lions but to build an airstrip, bush roads and a camp. pay game rangers and workers a living wage and reintroduce two of Tanzania’s most hard pressed animals, the wild dog and the cheetah. Donations can be sent to The George Adamson Memorial Fund, 215E Elgin Avenue, London W9 INH.
CHLOROQUINE FOR ABORTION
DEVELOPMENT FORUM (March-April) published an article by Charles Mbaga in which it was stated that Tanzania’s Ministry of Health had reported that 50 people died last year in Dar es Salaam from overdoses of chloroquine, the anti-malaria drug. 30 of these cases were of women attempting abortion. One doctor was quoted as saying that young women often die in their rooms and their friends or families prefer to hide the cause of death when it is connected to abortion. Many people felt that the time had come to legalise abortion. Others were strongly against such a move.
BRITISH OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT in its April 1990 issue stated that a ten-year project to provide 114 1:50,000 scale contour maps of North East Tanzania, including Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Arusha, Tanga and Mount Kilimanjaro is nearing completion.
£50,000 RAISED FOR ELEPHANTS PRESERVATION
The MAIL ON SUNDAY reported recently on the success of the fund raising campaign it launched in July 1989 to help the Game Rangers in the Mikumi National park to stop the poaching of elephants. The £51,000. raised has provided two Landcruisers, 67 uniforms, a fridge and a microscope for the laboratory. The newly appointed Warden at Mikumi, Mr John Balosi, who has a Masters degree in Elephant Population Dynamics, believes that the war against the poachers is now being won. “I have not seen a single carcass since I’ve been here” he said .. This was because of the governments ‘Operation Uhai’, a massive six-month sweep against the poachers, backed by the army and air force, and because of the new international ban on the sale of ivory.
THE MANDELA OF ZANZIBAR
According to ‘AFRICA ANALYSIS’
‘NEW AFRICAN’ has been carrying out a survey amongst its readership to determine the most popular Head of State in Africa. President Mwinyi has been placed high up on the list. Above him came only Robert Mugabe first followed by Kenneth Kaunda, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadaffi and Daniel Arap Moi. There were thirty other Heads of State in the poll. Also significant was the fact that in only three countries did the inhabitants place their own country’s President first – Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania. Readers were also asked if they believed in a single or multi-party system of government. 78% preferred a multi-party system but in Tanzania there was a slight majority for the one party state. Asked what they thought about their own government three quarters of the Tanzanians were satisfied. Three quarters of Ethiopians were not happy. Mr De Klerk of South Africa received a surprisingly high poll rating – he came 20th out of 35.
TANZANIA MOVES INTO IRRADIATION AGE
Tanzania will soon start using irradiation to preserve horticultural and fishery products for export reported’ NEW AFRICAN’ in its February issue. Cobalt 60 rays will be used to emit gamma rays to bombard the products in special chambers in plants to be built at Mwanza and Bagamoyo.
NEW PLANS FOR DENTAL TRAINING
Tanzania has 104 Dental officers and 172 Assistants but, according to AFRICA HEALTH in its January issue, a recent government report has stated that this ratio is all wrong. A better ratio would be six assistants for every officer. Accordingly, in future, no more than 15 dental officers will be trained in anyone year. At present one dentist or assistant serves 151,724 people compared with a global average of 1: 80-90,000.
A SHOP AT PASU MARKET
In an article describing the activities of a Community Training institute at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro THE BANK’S WORLD, a publication of the World Bank (February 1990) there was a story about a group of 300 women who were never able to register their shop. The shop, which was started by the Women’s organisation UWT In 1983, sells basic commodities (soap, cooking oil, cigarettes etc). The main problem now faced is lack of goods. They cannot get goods because they are not registered as a cooperative. The Cooperative Officer has been asked to come many times but has never come. How about closing the shop? Impossible without calling a meeting of members. But the meeting cannot be called unless the books have been audited. The last meeting was in 1986. In the same market there are now three other shops selling similar goods, and, right next door, another UWT shop opened in 1986.
60 YEARS OF MISSIONARY WORK
Father Robin Lambourn celebrated 60 years of missionary work in Tanzania on February 14th 1990. The Rufiji Leprosy Trust Quarterly Newsletter No 2 reports that World Leprosy Day was celebrated at the Kindwiti Leprosy Village in January by the opening of newly renovated wards, providing conditions more conducive to patient recovery. In a six month trial of ‘Multi-Drug Therapy’, first introduced into Rufiji in May 1987 there has been a spectacular 90% cure rate in the case of the common type of leprosy, Paucibaccillary. The two-year treatment programme for the more severe Multi-bacillary leprosy has yet to be evaluated but the results are not likely to be so good because many patients think they are cured when the symptoms clear up and do not continue the treatment for the full period.
Father Lambourn, in a speech on Leprosy Day reminded villagers of how different Kindwiti is today from when it was first set up by the Germans 100 years ago. In those days patients were forbidden by law to leave the leper colony. Today they were free to come and go and also free from the life sentence which the disease used to represent. But there are other problems. It is reported that lions tend to walk round or through the village about three times a week roaring ‘to let us know they are still there’!