The widow of Mwalimu Nyerere has appealed to President Mkapa to solve a water problem that is facing her village of Butiama. She said that mining investors, who were prospecting for gold, were taking away all the water used by Butiama and other villages. “They have money”, she said, angrily “Why can’t they get water from elsewhere instead of punishing the poor villagers?” -Mtanzania

Some 1,600 out of 2,000 hectares of Water Hyacinth have been destroyed in part of Lake Victoria where 20 million Hyacinth-feeding weevils have been introduced -The Express.

East African Breweries Ltd announced on 5th November the launch of a new whisky brand named ‘Hakuna Matata’. With 40% alcohol content, the whisky was designed to avoid hangover pain. “No problem can result from this whisky -it’s cool and enjoyable” said the Marketing Manager -Guardian.

Twenty prisoners in police custody died on November 17 at Rujewa police station. Some 120 suspects had been crammed into a cell designed to hold just 30. An investigation is under way. Five police officers have been sacked and charged with murder.

In an ILO survey conducted in the year 2000 on promoting linkages between women’s employment and the reduction of child labour, it was found that only 4% of respondents said they received all the family income from their husbands to operate the household; 60% said that their husbands gave them none of their income. Of the women who were interviewed, 40 % were married and 35 % were widowed, separated or divorced or married but currently not living with their husbands. This indicated that there were a significant number of female headed households in Tanzania. The report revealed that 30% of married respondents said that they were in polygamous marriages. Women in Tanzania spent about 30 years of reproductive life in the physical stress of child-bearing and rearing. The large number of children they had and the risk of maternal mortality greatly impaired their health and life expectancy. About 70% of women were married between the ages of 16 and 21; the majority of men married between the ages of 21 and 40. The survey showed encouraging results on the number of marriages that resulted from love compared with arranged marriages. 79% of marriages surveyed were love matches -Guardian.

The EU has provided funding for a $14.5 million project to finance a new radar and air traffic service project for the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority at Dar es Salaam International Airport. This project aims at replacing over-aged equipment and is funded from a Euros 4.6 million soft loan from the European Investment Bank. The new equipment, which includes air navigation systems, radio communication systems, aeronautical fixed telecommunication network, aeronautical information systems, data distribution systems, an automatic weather station and working tools for technicians. It is expected to be operational in January 2003.

The number of vehicles imported into Tanzania during 1999 -2000 has more than doubled -from 8,779 to 18,919 compared with the previous year. Already the five-digit letter numerals TZ ‘X’ reserved for the City of Dar es Salaam are almost exhausting the 26 letters in the alphabet. The first TZA registration was in 1987 but in 2002 TZT has been reached. Road congestion is now reaching serious proportions -The Express.

Under the ‘Education (Corporal Punishment) Regulations of 2002’ Minister of Education and Culture Joseph Mungai has reduced the number of strokes which can be inflicted on pupils who are seriously misbehaving from six to four -Guardian.

The Express (13th October) has been praising the attractiveness of the Kipepeo (Butterfly) Holiday Camp at Mwinjimwema, a small fishing village on the southern coast ofDar Salaam and, nine kilometres from the Kigamboni Creek. A taxi ride from the Kigamboni ferry was said to cost just Shs 2,000 and accommodation at the beach camps was from Shs 5,000 in dormitories to Shs 12,000 in beach bandas. There are facilities for beach sports and camel and horse rides.

The Guardian reported on 5th November that two earth tremors had struck Dodoma the day before at 11.25 am. Leaders in parliament including Prime Minister Sumaye and Speaker Pius Msekwa, other ministers and MPs, were reported to have taken to their heels in panic. The main tremor lasted 60 seconds and caused cracks on the second and third floors of the Assembly building but MPs were soon able to resume business. The account in the newspaper went on: ‘When the PM and Speaker came out from their ‘hiding place’ the whole house burst into laughter. The Speaker added further to the laughter when he stated that the reason why he did what he did, was that when he saw the Prime Minister taking to his heels, he decided to follow him. He commended MPs for their efficient use of the emergency exits.

VSO is arranging a fund-raising trek in February/March 2003 to Kilimanjaro. Details from Lisa Russell: E-mail: lisa.russell_AT_vso_DOT_org.uk

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