Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tanzania: Planning is the recipe for success says my mentor

Written by Gladness Hemedi Munuo | 29 August 12 Dar-es-Salaam, 29 August: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" sums up my phenomenal woman, Dominica Haule. I believe that this principle has contributed the success that she enjoys today. It has assisted her to be successful as a career woman, a wife, as well as a mother to her three children. Dominica will never change her plans for anything or anyone unless if it is means someone is dying. Even if you have a close relationship with her, she will not bend her back if the request is late. I have asked her to preside over events a few hours before they start. She will respond, "Gladness, I'm sorry that your request for me to be part of the meeting you are hosting has come in late. Short notice does not work with me, I plan and I have to attend to another equally important programme. I am very sorry." I used to get disappointed and thought of her as an arrogant successful woman, but now I've learnt the trick. I have to send my request three or four days prior to the event so that she can prepare a speech or her contribution depending on the role she will have at the meeting. I admire Dominica, a veteran communications practitioner. She insists on planning all the time. The Information Services of Tanzania (MAELEZO) employed her for more than 25 years before she resigned. She is decisive and she resigned out of choice. Her friends tried to convince her to stay on but she refused, noting that she had given enough of her career to the organisation. She wanted to start her own thing and her next move showed us all that she had thought through her decision. Together with other women, they went on to form an organisation called Grass Root for Female Communicators Association (GRAFCA). I met this phenomenal woman over ten years ago during a gender and media activism workshop held in Dar-es-Salaam. This is when I learnt that she is a gender and media activist and I always consult her when organising workshops targeted at the media. Two years ago, she shared with me that, "if I want my dreams to come true, I should wake up and work." She added that it is also important to put in place a plan in advance and stick to it as much as possible. It has been difficult for me to plan and stick to my plans, but slowly, I'm grasping the principle and enforcing it in my career. She has taught me that an activist should be prepared for anything and to stand by what they believe in. I have become a respected activist in the work that I do with media houses to develop gender policies. I believe that the media should also serve women and deliberate policies are important to ensure that the media includes women's voices. In addition, Dominica is my mentor and when I need guidance from her, I have to place an appointment first and brief her on what I require help on. She will engage with the information and when I go to see her, she will give me excellent advice that assists me to make decisions. She gives her all and is never jealous of some of the things that I will be seeking her advice on. Since she became my mentor, I have witnessed positive growth in my personal life as well as in my career. The valuable lessons and life skills that I have gained from knowing Dominica have to be acknowledged this Women's Month. She is the phenomenal woman in my life and I would like her to know that. I would want to believe that the principle of planning has contributed to the success of many other Tanzanian women including the Speaker for Tanzania National Parliament, Anna Makinda; Minister for Land and Housing, Anna Tibaijuka; former Deputy Secretary General of the UN and now UN Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa Asha-Rose Migiro; and former President of the Pan African Parliament Gertrude Mongella. I also believe that if I stick to what Dominica has taught me, I will also be successful in my work and leave a legacy in the Tanzania media fraternity for championing the adoption and implementation of gender policies in media houses. I envy Dominica Haule. The busy lives we lead today can make us change our plans every minute. They require one to be smart, to manage their time and not agree to work on everything that comes their way. As a married woman, I also have to juggle other tasks. Multitasking and planning become very important. I have learnt this from Dominica and I thank her for teaching me this special skill. Gladness Hemedi Munuo is a media activist based in Tanzania. This article is part of the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service, special series on celebrating phenomenal women, bringing you fresh views on everyday news.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

GEMSA Tanzania engaged in Sexual Reproductive and Health Awareness

GEMSA Tanzania (GEMSAT) is an organization with individual and institutional membership. Most of the GEMSAT activities focused on awareness and advocacy issues concerning gender like education, health, economic, social etc. In every theme we are looking in gender extra eyes.

GEMSAT as a chapter organization of individuals and institutions who work to promote gender equality in and through the media in a SADC countries, its mission is to promote the mainstreaming of gender in Southern Africa media as integral to the advocacy for freedom of expression, a free and independent media and for the development of democratic societies in the region.

Another major reason for GEMSAT to decide to work on that Project is whereby, after the adoption of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development adopted 17 August, 2008, GEMSAT make a thorough overview and found that there are gaps which need special attention in order to fulfill mission and vision of the Gender Protocol. These gaps one of them is the problem of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for majority women in Southern Africa, particularly in Tanzania.

GEMSAT as a CSO’s works with journalists and other Gender activists found that there are is a need to implement this project to be as a way of reducing health problems to women and sensitization to the government through its Ministry for Health and Social Affairs.

Background information regarding to this project is the agreement made by our state leaders at Maputo, Mozambique on 2006 and this agreement called The Maputo Plan of Action (MPoA).
MPoA is a framework for implementing the African Union’s Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. MPoA was approved by Ministries of Health of African Union member states in Maputo, Mozambique, on September 2006. This plan states that African leaders have a civic responsibility to respond to the sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of their people. The Maputo Plan of Action (MPoA) was intended to be a demonstration of their commitment however three years after being signed it is not clear how the provisions of the plan have been implemented at regional and national level.
Girls and women continue to lack control over matters related to their sexuality and sexual health and rights. Sexual and reproductive ill-health accounts for almost one third of the global burden of disease among women of reproductive age. Sexual and reproductive health information, education and services should be widely available and affordable for all. Yet too often they remain inaccessible.
As a result, the risk of maternal mortality in Africa remains the highest of all continents. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest infant mortality rate and, at the same time, accounts for half of the developing world’s maternal deaths (1 in every 100 births). It also has the lowest rate of contraceptive use in the world (19%). 4.2 million unsafe abortions occur in Africa every year, causing 30% of all maternal deaths in the continent, and taking 90 women’s lives every day. Finally, the HIV epidemic has expanded at a pace that has outstripped efforts to bring services to scale. In 2007, the number of new HIV infections was 2.5 times higher than the increase in the number of people receiving antiretroviral.
Despite the emphasis on integrating HIV with sexual and reproductive health issues, current HIV policies in many countries do not explicitly state the importance of reproductive rights and neither do they provide guidance on how to mainstream sexual and reproductive rights into existing reproductive and HIV programs. The linkages between HIV policies and programs and SRHR policies and services need to be reaffirmed. There is an urgent need for political and civil society leaders to be informed about the provisions of the Maputo Plan of Action, and develop strategies to accelerate its implementation.
On this project, GEMSAT has the following objectives: To raise awareness on the MPoA and related policy instruments such as the SADC GAD Protocol amongst health reporters; to create a pool of journalists that will track the implementation of the MPoA in Tanzania and to increase media coverage on SRHR and how government, private sector and civil society are implementing the MPoA in Tanzania.
In order to make sure that advocating is taking its chance, GEMSAT earmarked to create empowerment to journalists and awareness to Tanzania communities on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Journalists will be able to write in detail all issues on health related to reproductive health, on which we believe after this exercise GEMSAT will develop a group of journalists (Pool) who can be well cooked and being able to write issues on MPoA and the targeted readers will be well informed with SRHR information.

Violence against women and girls children continues to be a serious issue in Tanzania with its devastating consequences that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, to unplanned pregnancies for school children and sexually transmitted infections. These also extend up to the increase of maternal mortality and death of children under five years.

Therefore, during this period, a close monitoring on the published gender sensitive articles concerning MPoA will be done by making a collection of published clippings from the Newspapers. As we expected this project to be extended for nine months, within this period GEMSAT will make a one pull out of detailed researched feature (Special Issue) articles in a newsletter.

It is our believe that through this project, GEMSAT together with other stakeholders will examine more closely how well Tanzania as a country is doing in addressing issues of SRHR in a comprehensive manner as outlined in the Maputo Plan of Action to which Tanzania is a signatory.

Through media advocacy, it is our great hope that the Government of Tanzania may act-upon by increasing health equipments for labour and maternity wards/hospitals, trained staff including clinical officers and qualified nurses will be paid better salaries to increase their motivation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Wanawake wanaharakati wa Jinsia kutoka asasi mbalimbali nchini wakiwa kwenye moja ya vikao vya matayarisho ya Tamasha la Jinsia Tanzania hivi karibuni, kikao hicho kilifanyika katika ofisi za Asasi ya Jinsia Tanzania (TGNP, Septemba,2009)
Mary Rusimbi, Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa kwanza wa TGNP akisimamia shughuli za matayarisho ya Tamasha la Jinsia katika moja wapo ya vikao vyake hivi karibuni.

Gladness Hemedi Munuo

- Watanzania na wanaharakati wanaadhimisha Tamasha la 9 la Jinsia;
- Kauli mbiu imetolewa wakati muafaka;
Nayakumbuka maneno ya mwanaharakati mkongwe wa masuala ya jinsia nchini Tanzania Charles Kayoka Mwandishi mwandamizi ambaye alishiriki katika kuazimisha miaka 20 ya Chama cha Waandishi wa Habari Wanawake Tanzania (TAMWA), na nukuu “ Wanaharakati kwa ujumla pamoja na wana TAMWA wasing’ang’anie kutekeleza yale mambo muhimu machache yaliyo kwenye mpango kazi wao pekee, au mipango wanayopangiwa na wafadhili mbalimbali au iliyokwisha andaliwa na serikali tayari, bali wawe na mbinu zao za kubuni ikiwa ni pamoja na kufanya tafiti kwa umakini kwa kuwashirikisha wanaharakati na wataalamu waliobobea katika fani mbalimbali.”

Nimeyakumbuka maneno haya wakati huu wa maadhimisho ya tisa (9) ya Tamasha la Jinsia Tanzania ambalo limeandalliwa na wanaharakati wa masuala ya jinsia nchini (FEMACT) wakishirikiana na asasi ya masuala ya jinsia Tanzania –TGNP.
Asasi ya TGNP au kama inavyojulikana na wengi “Tanzania Gender Networking Programme” ilianza rasmi kama asasi kamili toka mwaka 1993. Baadaye kwa usimamizi wake waliweza kuunda umoja wa asasi zinazojishughulisha na masuala ya jinsia (FEMACT) ili kuweka nguvu ya ziada kuhakikisha kuwa kile kinachofanyiwa kazi kiweze kupata nguvu katika utekelezaji wake ikiwa ni kwa ngazi ya wilaya, mkoa au Taifa.
Harakati za TGNP pamoja na FEMACT zinanikumbusha haswa maneno ya mwanaharakati wa masuala ya jinsia Charles Kayoka ambapo ukiyachambua kwa umakini unaweza kupata jibu la uhakika kuwa si rahisi kwa asasi moja pekee ikafanikiwa kwa kiasi cha kuridhisha pasipo kushirikiana na asasi nyinginezo zenye mrengo sawa, serikali alikadhalika wataalamu au wasomi wa masuala mbalimbali.
Hii ndiyo iliyopelekea TGNP ambayo ilianza rasmi mwaka 1993 kuona umuhimu wa kushirikisha wanaharakati wa asasi nyinginezo na kuunda umoja ujulikanao kama FEMACT. Hivyo basi, kwenye mchangamano huo unao wataalamu wa fani mbalimbali lakini wote wakiwa malengo yanayolingana.
Hivyo basi, kutokana na ushirikiano huo, umewezesha kuwepo kwa Tamasha la Jinsia nchini Tanzania ambapo linaungwa mkono na watanzania wote kwa ujumla, taifa la Tanzania na kimataifa. Maadhimisho hayo ambayo hufanyika kila baada ya mwaka mmoja ili kutoa muda wa kutosha katika kufuatilia yale yaliyoazimiwa kwa pamoja na wana FEMACT ikiwa ni pamoja na wananchi wengine wote walioweza kushiriki wakati wa Tamasha.
Katika kuhakikisha kuwa Tamasha la Jinsia nchini Tanzania linawashirkisha watanzania wote kwa makundi mbalimbali ikiwa ni pamoja watoto, walemavu wa aina mbalimbali, wazee nk. Hii ni kuhakikisha kuwa mshikamano katika maamuzi au kampeni mbalimbali unajumuisha madaraja ya watanzania wa aina zote.
Mkurugenzi wa Asasi ya Jinsia Tanzania (TGNP) Bibi Ussu Malya alisema kuwa, “Madhumuni makubwa ya Tamasha la jinsia nchini mwetu kwa kila muhula ni kuwakusanyisha wanawake na wapenda harakati za wanawake pamoja na wananchi wote wenye kujali usawa wa jinsia na hasa masuala ya wanawake katika ngazi mbalimbali za maisha ikiwa ni vijijini, wilayani pamoja na pande zote za dunia, kwa malengo ya uanaharakati katika kutoa habari na kubadilishana mawazo katika masuala muhimu”.
Kutokana na mchakato huo ambao Bibi Ussu ameufafanua kwa undani, ndiyo nguzo muhimu inayosimamiwa katika kufanikisha kuwa Tamasha la Jinsia nchini Tanzania linafanikiwa kwa kiasi kikubwa.
Kubadilishana kwa mawazo miongoni mwa washiriki mbalimbali wa kutoka ndani na nje ya nchi hukamilisha safu ya kubadilishana mawazo na uzoefu wa kazi mbalimbali za kiuhanaharakati nchini.
Wataalamu, wasomi na wazoefu wa mazingira ya jamii na dunia kwa ujumla aidha wamekuwa chachu kubwa katika kuhakikisha kuwa Tamasha la Jinsia Tanzania linafanikiwa si tu kwa kushirikisha watu mbalimbali na kufanikiwa bali pia kuhakikisha kuwa mada muhimu zitakazo zungumzwa na washiriki zinafuatiliwa kwa ukaribu ili serikali iweze kutilia mkazo utekelezaji wake.
Kauli mbiu ya mwaka huu ni “ Tupeleke Rasilimali kwa Wanawake walioko Pembezoni”, ujumbe huu kwa nyakati kama hizi na mambo yanavyotendeka ni muhimu sana katika kupigiwa kampeni ya kutosha. Umefika wakati serikali ikaliangalia suala hili kwa jicho la ziada.
Kutokana na idadi ya watu waliopo Tanzania, tunaelezwa kuwa asilimia kubwa ya wakazi wako vijijini, kwa maana hiyo wanawake walio wengi wako huko vijijini. Hiyo haina mjadala, kwa maana hiyo moja kwa moja hatuna budi kuwapongeza wana FEMACT kwa kuchagua kauli mbiu muhimu kama hii ambayo kwa zama hizi suala hili ni muhimu sana.
Imeshasemwa mara nyingi sana kuwa mijini ndiko kwenye kila kitu muhimu kwa binadamu kama vile mashule, hospitali au vituo vya afya, magulio ya kuuzia mazao n.k. Kutokana na hilo imekuwa ni nadra kuona maendeleo muhimu kama hayo yakiongezeka kwa kasi katika maeneo ya vijijini au pembezoni.

Wana FEMACT wameona awamu hii, suala hili lipigiwe debe la kutosha ili serikali na asasi nyinginezo ziweze kuchukua hatua na utekelezaji ufanyike haraka iwezekanavyo ili wananchi wa Tanzania waweze kurudisha imani yao kwa serikali yao.
Katika nchi yetu ya Tanzania hatuna budi kuwapongeza asasi binafsi, watu binafsi mmojammoja pamoja na mashirika ya dini kwa jinsi walivyoweza kujidhatiti kuanzisha shule za ufundi, vyuo vya maendeleo na hata vituo vya afya ambavyo ndivyo vinawakomboa wananchi wengi waliopo pembezoni.
Ni jambo la fedheha sana mpaka sasa ni muda wa miaka 48 toka nchi yetu ijipatie uhuru wake kwa njia ya amani lakini mpaka leo hii bado jamii iliyoko pembezoni na hasa wanawake hawana mahitaji muhimu hasa huduma za afya na kusababisha kuwepo kwa ongezeko la vifo vya uzazi kwa wanawake.
Umefika wakati kwa huduma muhimu ziegemezwe pembezoni walipo wananchi wengi na wapiga kura wakutegemewa, huduma kama mabenki mfano Benki mpya ya Wanawake ilyozinduliwa tarehe 4 Septemba, 2009 na Rais wa Jamhuri Mheshimiwa Jakaya Kikwete, Benki kama hii ambayo imeanzishwa wakati muafaka ingekuwa vema ikafungua matawi kwa wingi huko wilayani ili kuweza kuwakwamua wananchi wengi na hasa wanawake waliopo huko ambao ndiyo tegemeo la nguvu kazi kwa taifa hili.

Hongereni sana wana FEMACT kwa kuja na dira nzuri yenye mwelekeo wa maendeleo kwa taifa letu. Idumu TGNP! Idumu FEMACT! Wadumu wanawake wanaharakati wa Tanzania!
*GEMSAT ni Asasi ya Vyombo vya Habari na Jinsia Kusini mwa Afrika Tawi la Tanzania.
+255 655 285701

A.Wanawake wanaharakati wa Jinsia kutoka asasi mbalimbali nchini wakiwa kwenye moja ya vikao vya matayarisho ya Tamasha la Jinsia Tanzania hivi karibuni, kikao hicho kilifanyika katika ofisi za Asasi ya Jinsia Tanzania (TGNP)

B.Mary Rusimbi, Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa kwanza wa TGNP akisimamia shughuli za matayarisho ya Tamasha la Jinsia katika moja wapo ya vikao vyake hivi karibuni.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mazingira yakituzwa huvutia watalii

Gladness Munuo

WATAFITI wa mazingira ulimwenguni, wamekuwa wakisisitiza umuhimu wa utunzaji wa mazingira pamoja na kutaka umma uelewe au ujiepushe na uharibifu wa mazingira hasa katika maeneo ya bahari na pwani.

Lengo likiwa ni kuboresha biashara ya utalii na kuwavutia wageni wa nje na ndani kwa kufuata mfumo wa utunzaji wa mazingira (Ecotourism) katika maeneo ya pwani ya Bahari ya Hindi Ukanda wa Zanzibar.

Kutokana na ushindani wa kibiashara na hasa kwa upande wa vivutio mbalimbali vya asili kwa watalii ambao kwa asilimia kubwa wamekuwa wakiingizia nchi fedha nyingi pamoja na mataifa mengine kiwango kikubwa cha pesa za kigeni.

Hilo linachangiwa na uwepo wa hoteli nzuri za kitalii zilizojengwa pwani ya bahari zikiwemo hifadhi mbalimbali za wanyama na kumbukumbu za kihistoria ambazo watalii hujifunza.
Hata hivyo jitihada za makusudi za kuvutia zaidi watalii wanaoingia hapa nchini licha ya kuwepo kwa mtikisiko wa uchumi wa dunia, zinahitajika kuyahifadhi na kuyatunza zaidi maeneo hayo.
Maeneo ambayo kwa lugha ya kitaalamu hujulikana kama ‘Ecotourism,’ kwa kuzingatia mfumo halisi wa utunzaji wa mazingira asilia.

Sasa imekuwa desturi kwa kila sekta za utalii na mazingira kufanya kazi kwa pamoja ili kuhakikisha kuwa hifadhi zilizopo zinalindwa bila kuharibiwa na kujiingiza zaidi kwenye soko la kiushindani kutokana na ubora wake ili kuongeza kipato mara dufu.
Wahifadhi wa mazingira kwa maeneo ya wanyama wamekuwa wakiweka ulinzi na kutoa maelekezo kwa waishio jirani au wapita njia ili kuhakikisha maeneo hayo hayaguswi wala kuchafuliwa au kuingiliwa kwa namna yoyote ile.

Aidha, ndivyo ilivyo kwa hifadhi za bahari pamoja na pwani zake, wamiliki wa hoteli wamekuwa mstari wa mbele kuhakikisha maeneo hayo ambayo ni vivutio vikubwa kwa watalii mbalimbali yanaendelea kuwa vivutio kwa uasilia.

Awali ya yote neno uhifadhi wa mazingira masikioni mwa wengi lilikuwa lina maana ya maeneo yenye wanyama pori na misitu ya asili pekee.

Ni vema ikatambulika kuwa hata maeneo ya bahari na ukanda wa pwani yanahitaji uhifadhi mkubwa kwa ajili ya vivutio kwa watalii na wenyeji wanayoyazunguka.

Ni wazi kuwa wengi waliowahi kupata nafasi ya kufika maeneo ya pwani watakubaliana nami kwamba kutokana na wingi wa watu, maeneo mengi ya pwani ya bahari yamekuwa na matumizi mabaya ya mazingira yanayosababisha kuwepo na uchafuzi mkubwa wa mazingira.
Maeneo mengine kama vile pwani ya bahari yameonekana ni sehemu ya kutupiwa kila aina ya takataka bila kujali umuhimu wa maeneo hayo.

Leo hii juhudi kubwa zinafanywa na watu mbalimbali kama vile wadau wa bahari na pwani katika kuhakikisha hatua kali zinachukuliwa kwa kuweka ulinzi na nidhamu ambayo kila mkazi wa eneo hilo awe mtalii au mfanyabiashara ahakikishe suala la usafi wa mazingira pamoja na utunzaji ni mambo muhimu kwa maendeleo.

Naomba ieleweke kuwa uhifadhi wa bahari ni mpana, kwa maana ya kuwa upo uhifadhi wa mazingira ndani ya bahari na pwani.
Hatua moja wapo za kuhakikisha kuwa maeneo hayo yanaheshimiwa ni pamoja na kuwekwa kwa sheria mbalimbali za uhifadhi ikiwa ni pamoja na uvuvi wa kiwango maalumu kilichokubalika kitaifa na kimataifa katika kuhakikisha kuwa ongezeko la viumbe hai vilivyopo majini na nchi kavu vinalindwa.

Uhifadhi wa mazingira katika maeneo ya pwani pamoja na bahari kwa nchi za Afrika ni zana ngeni sana na imekuja kwa kasi baada ya ongezeko kubwa la watalii ambao bila ya kufanya hivyo basi pwani zetu zingekuwa zimeshavamiwa vya kutosha.

Kila mvamizi angefanya vile atakavyo na hivyo kuondoa ladha nzima ya eneo husika ikiwa ni pamoja na kutokuwepo kwa usafi au utunzaji wa mazingira halisi ambao ni kivutio kikubwa cha watalii.

Wingi wa watalii pamoja na wafanyabiashara mbalimbali umekithiri kwa kiasi kikubwa katika pwani zetu na hasa za Ukanda wa Bahari ya Hindi, hivyo kupelekea kuwepo kwa uharibifu wa maeneo na hali hiyo ikiendelea ni wazi kwa miaka ijayo hakutakuwa na vivutio halisi kwa watalii katika maeneo ya pwani.

Wamiliki wa hoteli katika pwani ya Bahari ya Hindi wameweka mkakati kuwa moja wapo ya hatua muhimu katika kuhakikisha mazingira yanahifadhiwa ni kuanzishwa kwa utalii unaoendana na hali halisi ya kiuchumi na si utalii wa watu wengi bila ya kipimo ambao husababisha kuharibika kidogokidogo kwa mazingira husika.

Hii inadhihirisha kuwa elimu itolewayo na vyanzo husika, ikiwepo Taasisi ya Wanasayansi wa Bahari ukanda wa Bahari ya Hindi (Western Indian Ocean Marine Scientists Association -WIOMSA), wameweza kuwaelimisha kwa kiasi wadau wa Bahari ya Hindi na pwani kuzingatia kiwango kilichowekwa cha idadi ya watalii kwa uhifadhi salama wa mazingira utaowawezesha kuendelea kuwa na kivutio kwa watalii kwa miaka mingi zaidi.

Mfano halisi wa mazingira ya pwani yanayohifadhiwa kwa kuangalia hali hii ni pamoja na kisiwa kidogo cha Chumbe ambacho ni kati ya visiwa vidogo vilivyopo Zanzibar.
Kisiwani hiki, inasemekana, kina zaidi ya aina 300 ya viumbe hai mbalimbali viishiyo ndani ya maji na nchi kavu.

Ndani ya Kisiwa cha Chumbe yapo makazi maalumu yaliyojengwa kwa ajili ya watalii na watu mbalimbali ambao wangependa kwenda kushuhudia jinsi gani uhifadhi wa mazingira ulivyoimarishwa kiasi kwamba viumbe hai vilivyopo vinaendelea kuwepo bila kuathiri kwa hali halisi ilivyo.

Makazi hayo yaliyojengwa kiufundi kwa kutumia malighafi iliyopo hapo hapo kisiwani ni pamoja na ujenzi wa majumba makubwa 7 (Bungalows) ambayo ndani yake kuna vyumba vya kulala vilivyojengwa kwa kutumia malighafi ya asili.

Meneja Mradi wa kisiwa hicho, Frida Lanshammar, anasema utunzaji wa mazingira na matumizi ya vitu vinavyoendana kimazingira ni wa hali ya juu.
Anaeleza kuwa msisitizo unafanywa kwa kila mkazi au mgeni wa eneo hilo kutunza mazingira ikiwa ni pamoja na kutumia karatasi za chooni (Toilet paper) badala ya maji hasa wanapoenda kujisaidia; huku utayarishaji wa maji ya kunywa yasiyo ya chupa za plastiki yakisisitizwa.
Lanshammar ambaye ni raia wa Uingereza anasema makazi ya Kisiwa cha Chumbe kwa Pwani ya Afrika Mashariki ni ya kwanza na ya aina yake.

Kuna uhifadhi mzuri wa mazingira ulioonyeshwa katika makazi hayo na kujipatia sifa kubwa katika soko la utalii na kushinda kwa kiasi kikubwa kutokana na kuonyesha uhalisia wa hali ya juu katika mazingira yake.

Lanshammar alitoa maelezo hayo katika mafunzo ya waandishi wa habari wa Kenya, Tanzania na Seychelles waliopatiwa mafunzo ya uandishi wa mazingira katika maeneo ya Pwani ya Bara Hindi kama yalivyoandaliwa na WIOMSA wakishirikiana na Fojo –Taasisi ya mafunzo ya habari iliyopo nchini Sweden.

Makazi yaliyopo kisiwani Chumbe mbali na kuwa ni kivutio kikubwa cha watalii, vilevile imekuwa ni sehemu ya mafunzo kwa wanasayansi na wanafunzi mbalimbali.
“Watalii huweza kukaa kwa muda wa siku tano mpaka saba na gharama kwa watalii ni dola za kimarekani 100 kwa siku,” anasema Lanshammar.

Aidha, anasema kwa upande wa wanafunzi mara nyingi bei hupungua wakati mwingine huwa ni bure kabisa ili kuwawezesha kujionea na kuutangaza kwa nguvu zote utalii huo nje na ndani.
Kutokana na maelezo ya Lanshammar, ni wazi kuwa kulingana na hali halisi ya uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa kuna hatari maeneo hayo kukosa wageni na ndio maana ulinzi wa kutosha unakuwepo kwa kushirikiana na wananchi hali iliyoleta mafanikio makubwa.

Kwa upande wake, mwandishi wa habari za mazingira kutoka Sweden, Eva- Pia, anasema wanahabari wanapojifunza na kuandika zaidi habari za mazingira wataisaidia jamii kuwa mstari wa mbele kuyatunza na kujua umuhimu wake.

Eva-Pia anasema kuwa kurejesha uasili wa mazingira katika maeneo ya pwani za bahari kutasaidia viumbe hai waliopo kama samaki wasiathiriwe na wavuvi haramu na sehemu za mazalia mapya kuogezeka ili kuweza kukuza uvuvi wa kitalii katika maeneo hayo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Zanzibar villages seek their niche in tourism

Women in Fumba display their ornaments to visiting journalists


Tourists are swarming all over the beaches of the Zanzibar archipelago not for adventure, but there is definitely something there for everyone to make a trip of a lifetime.

Of late, these East African off-coast islands have seen increased investment in tourism infrastructure and facilities, which in a way are reviving Zanzibar’s visibility that had blurred with the decline of the clove industry.

A visit to the islands takes one, informatively and entertainingly, through their long cultural and trading history with mainland Tanzania and the Arab world.

Though scarred by long years of Arab slavery and suffering, the islands today are uniquely enchanting and welcoming with their changing landscape.

Authorities on the isles, however, face immense challenges to modernize its transport and communication systems both on land and at sea. In addition, there is a glaring need to develop all the ephemera that go with holidaying such as guide books and adverts that would enable tourists find their place of interest.

Tourism here is obviously still in its infancy and as an industry it provides minimal employment to the rising force of local job seekers, men and women as well.

“The government, let alone the society in general, pay little attention to the plight of women”, said 29 years old Rahma Mussa, who was married at age 17 to an ordinary fisherman.

According to Rahma, many women on the islands are frustrated with their banal rural and suburban life despite the efforts they make either individually or as groups to break ground into small business ventures.

Fortunes and industries that usually accompany a booming tourism into new destinations such as Zanzibar still elude the local population.

“Tradition and outdated customs keep housewives in coastal areas in coastal areas economically dependent on their husbands who make very meager earnings from fishery business,” explained Rahma, a resident of Fumba village.

Thanks to a brief visit to the village last year by a staffer of the British consulate in Zanzibar, the women of Fumba village have picked skills that could, with modest incomes over time, make a big difference in their way of life.

Rahma recalls the visit as an eye-opener that gave the women an insight of the natural resources around the village that could be exploited to transform their lives.

“Over the course of some days the diplomat taught us how to make earrings, necklaces and decorations from seashells. We are now in full business. We sell these items to various visitors, especially those who want mementos of their trip to Zanzibar”, she added. Other groups, bringing men and women together, have been set up at Fumba Bondeni, Bweleo Villages and Chaza craft Association to grow seaweed, manufacture soap and make handicrafts.

The words earrings, necklaces have feminine overtones, but the idea of manufacturing such decorative items at Fumba village foreruns the need for transformation of the East African coastal people’s economic way of life.

With that notion, founders of Western Indian Ocean Maritime Science Association (WIOMSA) set out in 1994 to advance regional cooperation in all aspects of coastal marine sciences and management for sustainable development.

The association groups marines scientists and coastal practitioners as well as related institutions of Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoro, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius and the small Island of Reunion in research and development.

At the end of the day WIOMSA has relised that its R and D work, tourism and the people’s income generating activities have to run in tandem to make appreciable impact on national development. But this raises the question of how to maintain the linkage.

Though the association did not state its partner for keeping all sides connected, by hosting a journalists’ regional workshop on coastal marine issues it affirmed their vital role to keep the public well informed on the issues that preoccupy the coastal communities. Journalist from Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles took part attended the workshop in Zanzibar.
Women in Fumba display their ornaments to visiting journalists
The sandy beaches of Zanzibar are a great attraction to tourists