Living in the remote, rural village of Managha, the 2012 Tanzania team have probably the least opportunity to use the internet and get in touch out of all the summer teams this year, however desperate not to leave you all out of the loop the team have phoned this update in….thanks guys!
The team have been doing some fantastic work in Managha, and coming into their final week of project work so far they have complete the construction of 2 fuel-efficient stoves for the school kitchen, and have almost completed the construction of the kitchen itself – just the window and door to install, along with a lick of paint to finish things off.
The team have also been working with Frederick Sumaye Secondary School, and have been working alongisde students to complete the construction of a third fuel efficient stove there. The majority of cooking in Tanzania is done traditionally inside but on open fires, with the main fuel being wood this has led to a high level of deforestation in the Managha & Frederick Sumaye area and the soot generated causes a lot of respiratory illnesses. The fuel-efficient stoves are not only cleaner and healthier for use indoors but are much more (as the name suggests) efficient. As such less fuel is needed – this lowers local deforestation rates as communities are able to plant trees at a more equal rate. Households and schools buying wood supplies save as they don’t need as much – and children who have to collect wood for their families have more time for homework or to attend school. By working with the secondary school students on this project, they also get the opportunity to learn how to make the stoves, and hoepfully take that knowledge home with them.
Rachel has put her artistic skills to good use, designing and this week will be painting a science mural for the back of one of the classrooms at the school. This will explain the water cycle and photosynthesis, and will hopefully be a useful teaching tool in science lessons. We’re also told that the artistic strreak makes her scarily competetive during evening pictionary games!
The team have also started developing a new market garden at Managha school – both to provide the school with its own supply of food, but to also teach children basic agricultural techniques. The majority of children at Managha will not progress to secondary school but instead will remain in the local area as subsistence farmers. In the highly agricultural Tanzanian economy, knowing how to farm sustainably and productively is a vital skill. Felix has been a shining star on the team’s market garden efforts planting 5 banana trees single-handedly….good going! The Mchicha, a fast growing green leaf (like spinach), which the team planted earlier in the project is now almost ready to eat …a nutritious extra for the school lunch.
In other news we’re less thrilled to report that much like their Olympic counterparts, the Tanzanian team’s volleyball efforts against the Frederick Sumaye teachers and students ended in a resounding defeat, we’re told that Rob has taken 5 days to wash 1 pair of boxers (a collective eeeewww from the office here!) and that the team have adopted a chicken named Rafiki (‘Friend in Kiwwahili). The non-vegetarians on the team will be eating Rafiki later this week.
Keep up the good work Team Tanzania 2012!