COP 23: Addressing  Loss and Damage in Tanzania
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COP 23: Addressing  Loss and Damage in Tanzania

COP 23: Addressing  Loss and Damage in Tanzania Many people remember the last rainy season in May. It has started unusually late. But it has affected people.There are views that the erratic rainy seasons and the high intensity of rainfall are caused by climate change and some negative impacts are now unavoidable. These consequences of human-induced climate change often result in loss and damage.  Analysis by DeodatusMfugale*.     Dar es Salaam July 14, 2017 Many people lost their property Many people remember the last rainy season in May. It has started unusually late. But it has affected people. Residents of Tanga city, located on the Tanzanian northern coast close to the Kenyan border, were pounded by  heavy downpour recently. It was not happened in this town  and around for over four decades. As a result, some sections of roads were washed away by floods while several houses were pulled down. Many people lost their property as some houses were submerged under floodwater. In other places, in one village in Kilimanjaro region, a pastoralist could do nothing but watch helplessly as some of his livestock disappeared during a night. A farmer in Mvomero district of Morogoro region also lost several hectares of maize crop after his farm became waterlogged following heavy rains. Experts said that maize plants cannot survive in pools of water. Several people also lost their lives due to severe flash floods. Agricultural productivity is hardly affected by climate change in Tanzania: soils can no longer support growth of traditional crops. It is forcing people to leave their villages . According to the Ministry for Environment, 61 percent of Tanzania suffer from desertification. “Desertification makes land unsuitable for agriculture and livestock keeping, and Rising sea levels threaten to sink island and saline water has infiltrated freshwater sources, said Sabine Minninger, Climate Change Policy Advisor, Bread for the World. She emphasized: “These have forced members of vulnerable communities to migrate to other areas where they have lost their identity.” Understanding Loss and Damage There are views that the erratic rainy seasons and the high intensity of rainfall are caused by climate change and some negative impacts are now unavoidable. These consequences of human-induced climate change often result in loss and damage.“Loss refers to things that are lost forever and cannot be brought back, such as human lives or species , while damages refer to things that are damaged, but can be repaired or restored, such as roads or embankments, ” explained Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Strengthening flood barriers, planting trees, using new crop varieties and other forms of adaptation...

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Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights
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Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights

Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights   By Deodatus Mfugale Issues surrounding disputes over land ownership  are many in Tanzania and in Africa generally. From 2000 to 2010, several violent conflicts in various parts of Tanzania occurred between agribusiness investors and communities. The conflict thus involved three parties, the government, the investor and the local community. The villagers found that the government had colluded with the investor to deny them the right to own land. “The government had given us a raw deal. It was bad enough to sell the farm to the investor when people in the village needed that land. Giving the investor additional land made our situation worse,” said Alex Kyando, a resident of Kapunga village. In 2006 when the Tanzania government decided to privatize the Kapunga Rice Farm located in Mbeya Region ( Southern Highlands) to Export Trading Company, local communities were very disappointed and responded in a violent manner. In Babati District of Manyara Region, communities set on fire Tanzanian investor of Asian origin’s houses, stores, machinery, tractors. His relatives were also killed. The bloody incident was a climax of a long-standing conflict between the two parties: local communities alleging that the investor had unlawfully taken their land and they wanted it back. But the land was sold to the investor for a 100 years lease agreement. The local community originally offered the land to the government to create a state farm. But   the government had failed to manage it. Government Now things are changing and the demand by communities to uphold the right to own land is paying off.  In 2015,  the government declared that it would give back to the community the 1, 875 hectares of land that were sold to the investor of Kapunga Rice Farm which were over and above the original size of the farm. The government declaration became effective last year when the Minister responsible for lands announced that the parcel of land in question had been handed over to Mbarali District Council. “We have revoked the title deed for the land that was not originally part of Kapunga Rice Farm when it was sold to Export Trading Company. The Mbarali District Council will survey the land and give it back to the villagers,” said William Lukuvi, Minister for Lands. Arguments Until January this year, the survey had been completed and the land handed over to Kapunga Village Government for allocation to community members. Although there are complaints from some individuals that the allocation was not done fairly, most of the community members are happy with the government’s decision and the subsequent actions by the district council...

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COP 22- Bangladesh- Energy: Women are game-changers in promoting access to clean energy
Oct23

COP 22- Bangladesh- Energy: Women are game-changers in promoting access to clean energy

  COP 22- Bangladesh- Energy: Women are game-changers in promoting access to clean energy   A group of Tanzanians visited Bangladesh a few weeks  ago to learn about renewable energy initiatives in this country with the aim  to help Tanzania  “achieving 100 percent use of renewable energy”. The Tanzania delegation comprised representatives from the Parliament, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral resources, the civil society and the media.   Report by Deodatus Mfugale Dhaka, Bangladesh Rural women training Modhukhali village in Bangladesh-  Here is Shahana Begama in a classroom, speaking to 20 women. The women are listening deeply. On a table, one can see various components: a solar system, a bulb, a solar panel, a control panel, battery…These tools are used by Mrs Begama during a training. Today, she explains how to use the  Solar Home System ( SHS), a cheap and a simple solar equipment. It provides electricity to poor family. The aim of the training is to assure families that they can have access to energy easily  . The training programme helps also families to used  solar systems. It creates a positive social force in the village as it promotes renewable energies technologies. “By implementing this programme, those women who come from poor, disadvantaged families will be able to contribute to the family income, especially  improving the education and health  of their  their children,” explained Dipal Chandra Barua, Chairman and Founder of GGEF. Over 400 women in rural Bangladesh have been trained in servicing solar systems installed in their homes since 2010. This is thanks to the Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF) which strives to provide access to clean energy to poor families in the rural areas. By December last year (2015), four million solar homes systems had been installed while almost 50,000 SHS are being installed in rural homes every month. Women Empowerment Besides repairing and maintaining their own Solar Home System, the women also provide maintenance services to other community members and train other rural women to become “green technicians, according to Mr Barua. “Some women technicians assemble and repair solar accessories: they can earn more than Tk6000 (approximately USD 76) per month. This is not a very big amount of money but it helps rural families to meet their needs,” he said. “We have taken the assembling and repairing of solar accessories to the rural areas at the users’ doorstep and created ‘green’ jobs for rural women while promoting women entrepreneurs of the future,” he added. Strategy Building capacity and helping people having access to energy is really needed and helpful said  trainees. “My children can now study and do their homework at home...

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COP 22- Bangladesh: Beyond grid connectivity
Sep28

COP 22- Bangladesh: Beyond grid connectivity

  COP 22- Bangladesh: Beyond grid connectivity   A  delegation of Tanzanians  came to visit Bangladesh recently.  Basically, it was for  learning  how to accelerate access to energy for poor people in the rural areas without having to link them to the national grid. By Deodatus Mfugale   Rural: access to energy     Two things are known to change quickly the lives of the rural population and lift them out of poverty. One of them is the provision of electricity. When poor families are provided with electricity the quality of life improves for the entire family as well as for individual members of the family.   Some research in Bangladesh, for example, has shown that the children’s average study time had increased by about six percent and their absence from school due to sickness reduced by 20 percent with access to electricity . Small retail businesses run by poor families had also shown to rise by eight percent due to provision of electricity.   The challenge however, is to provide electricity to many people within a short time so as to scale up poverty reduction at family level. Many developing countries tend to take the path of connecting rural families to the national grid, with the result that only a few people are connected after a long time and usually at a high cost.   However some countries have shown that small off-grid systems are the answer when the goal is to supply many poor families with electricity within a short time.   “Some people think that supplying many rural families with electricity from a 100 percent renewable source is abstract,” explained  recently Mr. Dipal Barua Founder and Chairman of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF) of Bangladesh.   “Yet this is feasible if  we aim at small and simple solar systems that can supply individual families enough power to light their homes and provide other simple services like charging mobile phones,” he added.   Between 2010 and 2014, 3.5 million households had for the first time been installed with simple solar systems which benefited about 15 million people. Since then about 50,000 families install new solar systems of between 10Watts and 135Watts every month.  The target is to provide electricity from simple solar systems to six million households by end of next year.     Linking to Tanzania   For people in the rural areas having electricity from non-grid sources is a leap that takes them to new levels of development. Otherwise they would have to wait for decades to be connected to power supply from the national grid.     More importantly, such a family would stop...

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REDD+ Tanzania : More transparency needed for the communities
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REDD+ Tanzania : More transparency needed for the communities

REDD+ Tanzania : More transparency needed for the communities By Deodatus Mfugale While global leaders are continuing to discuss how to develop and implement national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation strategies ( REDD+), some countries like Tanzania are facing dualities. The benefits of the Participatory Forest Management programme In Tanzania, the Participatory Forest Management (PFM) programme, a strategy to achieve sustainable forest management by encouraging the management or co-management of forest and woodland resources by the communities living closest to the resources, is better assimilated by the communities than the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme. In Kilwa district, villages have created village land forest reserves which they own, conserve and harvest, according to sustainable resource consumption principles. It is part of the Participatory Forest Management  programme. This programme intends to achieve sustainable forest management by encouraging the management or co-management of forest and woodland resources by the communities living closest to the resources. This programme allows villages to own 100 percent of the forests and thus become equally responsible for 100 percent of the revenue that comes from sale of forest products. The process to declare a village land forest reserves takes time, a couple of years . It also requires a substantial amount of money to meet costs such as surveying the forest land. However, all activities are done by the village with some technical and financial support from the district council or NGO. With the Participatory Forest Management programme, villages like Mchichiri in Ruangwa district found it worthwhile to borrow money from a neighbouring village which had accomplished the programme. « We asked Nahangwa village, our neighbor, to borrow us some money. With our own funds and this money, we’ve started the process to have our own forest reserve. We have completed the process and paid the debt. After one year we will be ready to realise the benefits,” says Charles Sumula Mchichiri village executive officer. The Participatory Forest Management programme has won hearts of villagers. It gives them sustainable tangible benefits. This programme become a driving force for communities to take forest conservation seriously. In Kilwa district for example, villages have built classrooms for primary schools and equipped them with desks. Others provide uniforms and lunch to school children which number more than 400. REDD+ : a different story For Mr. Cassian Sianga, Coordinator of the Tanzania Forest Working Group of Tanzania Natural Resources Forum, the Participatory Forest Management  programme is easy to understand as it is a local initiative. Whereas, the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)  programme is a foreign concept. « REDD + provides little chance for locals to...

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