Mtwara residents allowed to go back home but threat from storm still looms large
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Mtwara residents allowed to go back home but threat from storm still looms large

  Mtwara residents allowed to go back home but threat from storm still looms large     By Deodatus Mfugale Dar es Salaam Tanzania April 25, 2019   MORE than 5,000 Mtwara town residents who had left their homes early today to avoid the forecasted catastrophic impacts of Tropical Storm Kenneth have been allowed to go back to their homes but stay alert for any signs of the storm gaining momentum. Mtwara regional  authorities had sheltered the residents in six centres as a safety measure against the tropical storm after the Tanzanania Meterological authorities had forecast the storm would make a landfall in Mtwara by noon on Thursday. The weather authority had warned that the storm would lead to heavy floods and destroy various infrastructures, thereby threatening human life. However by 16hrs, about four hours after the   forecast landfall, neither strong winds nor heavy rains were experienced. The Regional Defense and Security Committee thus allowed the residents to go home but warned that they should be alert as the situation could change. The government leaders would keep the public informed of in case of any developments. “The weather has been generally calm contrary to the forecast. By 15hrs the wind speed was 50 kph as opposed to 140kph which the weather authority had forecast. We believe it is safe enough for you to go back home and engage in your daily businesses,” said Mtwara Regional Commissioner Gelacius Byakanwa but was quick to warn the residents to be alert for any changes in the weather. “But it is not yet over! The storm is still there and things might change. So be on the lookout and tune to the news media for any development. We have also arranged for a public address system that will be employed to inform you immediately should any changes happen,” explained the Regional Commissioner. However according to the Director of TMA, Dr Agnes Kijazi, Tropical Storm Kenneth was still active 177 kilometres away from Mtwara, gaining speed from 130kph to 140 kph and heading towards Mozambique. “So things are far from over. The storm is drawing heavy clouds over many areas in the southern part of the country and these areas are likely to get very heavy rain. The public should take precautions as the dangers posed by Tropical Storm Kenneth are still valid,” she said. According t the Director, the storm will make a landfall in Mozambique early Friday morning, about 230 kilometres away from Mtwara with winds blowing at 100kph. “The fact that it is heading to Mozambique does not mean that we are out of danger; the landfall will affect areas about...

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Residents vacate homes as Kenneth slowly lands in Mtwara
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Residents vacate homes as Kenneth slowly lands in Mtwara

Residents vacate homes as Kenneth slowly lands in Mtwara By Deodatus Mfugale Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Hundreds of Mtwara town residents and its environs have  vacated their homes to relocate to safer places before Tropical Storm Kenneth makes a landfall in Mtwara town in the afternoon today. By 6.00am today, light showers had started falling in the town and its outskirts as the wind also became stronger by the hour. Most of those who moved to safer places have their homes located close to shore, thus most vulnerable to the negative impacts of the tropical storm. The Mtwara Municipal Director Col. Emmanuel Mwaigobeko identified safe areas that people should move to as Mtwara airport,Majengo, and Tandika Primary schools, Naliendele army camp and Mitego and Sabodo secondary schools. “ All schools should remain closed. Employees should not go to work today and all should move to safe areas as directed. Do not take anything with you,” he stressed. Earlier the Tanzanania Meteorological Authority Manager for the Southern Zone Daudi Amasi had identified vulnerable areas from which people should vacate as including, Mikindani, Mtepwezi, Kiyanga, Kiyangu, Chuno, Miseti, Skoya and Rreli all of which are close to the shore. ”These are the areas that will probably be most hit by the storm. People must vacate their homes very early in the morning,” he warned, adding that people in other areas must also move to safe places. The Mtwara regional Commissioner Gelacius Byakanwa also warned  Mtwara residents, particularly fishermen to stay away from the ocean the whole day today until the situation normalized.”This warning also applies to all those who use vessels for purposes other than fishing. Please stay away from the ocean,” the RC warned. A resident of Mtwara town Abdallah Mbangile said in an interview that by 8.00 this morning the wind had started to gain strength and there were light showers.” We are leaving our homes and I am relocating to the airport for safety,” he said. However, not everyone heeded to the warning given by the leaders. “Some people are reluctant to leave their places; maybe they don’t realize the danger that goes with storms,” explained Mbangile. A journalist working for Safari Radio in Mtwara town, Baraka Jamal  said that there were light showers early in the morning and a weak wind. “There was a bit of wind at night but then it died off. Right now (8.15 am) there is a bit of wind, a weak one. Maybe it will pick up soon,” he said. According to the journalist all offices have been closed for today and residents have been seen relocating to places identified by the...

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Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report
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Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report

Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report   In a recent workshop held in Dar es Salaam ( Tanzania), experts discussed the recent publication  of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance Tenure. Feature.   By Deodatus Mfugale in Dar Es Salaam “Inadequate and insecure tenure rights increase vulnerability, hunger and poverty and can lead to conflict and environmental degradation when competing users fight for the control of the resources,”  an  UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), published recently.   The eradication of hunger and poverty, and the sustainable use of the environment, depend to a great extent on how communities gain access to land, fisheries and forests which in turn is regulated by the exiting tenure systems. Tenure systems define and regulate how communities gain access to natural resources, whether through formal law or informal arrangements.   However tenure systems increasingly face stress as the world’s growing population requires food security, and as environmental degradation and climate change reduces the availability of land, fisheries and forests. This has sparked stiff competition for resources among the various users with marginalized communities getting a raw deal. Many developing countries are endowed with abundant natural resources that could be used to improve the lives of their people and boost the economy of the respective countries. Countries with natural resources like forests, land, fisheries and wildlife could be treading with firm steps on the path to sustainable development but are struggling to feed their people most of whom live in abject poverty. Governance failure in ensuring secure tenure and access to natural resources has denied Tanzanian rural communities from benefitting from existing sources of livelihoods. They have thus failed to attain food security and reduce poverty at family level. How to understand the management of natural resources?  In a recent workshop held in Dar es Salaam to discuss the report, Dr Zacharia Ngeleja of Ardhi University said that the Guidelines contribute to achieving sustainable livelihoods, social stability, housing security, rural development, environmental protection and sustainable social and economic development. While the Voluntary Guidelines merely present principles and internationally accepted standards for practices for the responsible governance of tenure, countries can develop their own strategies and other conditions that may ease the application of the Guidelines. During the workshop participants underscored the need to educate communities on laws, policies, rules and procedures governing tenure of land, forests and fisheries so that they understand their rights and obligations. “If they understand the issues then they can demand for tangible benefits from their responsibility to conserve natural resources and only then can Responsible Governance of Tenure come into play. It...

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Climate Change in Tanzania: Farmers are Waiting for solutions
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Climate Change in Tanzania: Farmers are Waiting for solutions

Climate Change in Tanzania:  Farmers are waiting for solutions By Deodatus Mfugale* The farmers in Nyamwage village in Tanzania are facing two challenges:  changing climate and a new disease is affecting the rice crops. The rainfall patten is a real problem in this village. Sometimes it rains unexpectedly: in June, while the rainy season had lond ended in the area and farmers had just harvested their crops , part of the crops was destroyed by “out-of -season rainfall”. These farmers do not know where to find alternatives and they feel left behind.         Deodatus Mfugale is an experienced freelance environmental journalist based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. He is a media consultant/trainer specializing in environment, climate change, extractives industry and investigative journalism. He works on voluntary basis with the Journalists Environmental Association Of Tanzania (JET) in the areas of writing features, editing and conducting short term training sessions. Currently, he writes as a correspondent for Daily News and The Guardian newspapers, two Tanzanian newspapers. But he was formerly employed by The Guardian Ltd where he served as a news editor, and a features editor before he resigned in 2009. He is now a Board Memberof Shahidi wa Maji (Water Witness). Between 2012 and 2014. He served as a Member to the Advisory Committee of the Climate Change Research, Education and Outreach Programme of the University of Dar es Salaam. He has attended many climate change meetings and other international...

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Small Grants to empower rural communities
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Small Grants to empower rural communities

Small Grants to empower rural communities By DeodatusMfugale Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. August, 30 2017 Recently the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) disclosed  5.2  billion shillings to 60 rural communities in Tanzania ( mainland  and Zanzibar), through the  the Global Environmental Facility Grants Programme(GEF). With these small grants, millions of rural Tanzanians will implement projects ranging from provision of sustainable energy to water supply and sanitation. Projects on climate change adaptation such as fish farming, beekeeping and horticulture will be implemented. These community-based activities in agriculture, fisheries, livestock management, agroforestry and solar energy are meant to address the direct needs of the rural poor. Additionally, other areas will be covered include conservation of water sources, ecotourism, promotion of land use planning and small and artisanal mining. Women empowerment These small grants will not only be able to positively impact the lives of millions of Tanzanians but these financial supports will  also gain valuable skills and experience to the communities on sustainable basis, according to the UNDP. In Western Kilimanjaro, for instance, part of the Lake Natron Ecosystem will focus on building the resilience of local communities to climate change impacts through their participation in development projects. Climate Action Network Tanzania is the lead partner in implementing this project that will promote appropriate ecosystem management through landscape planning. It will also promote gender mainstreaming in climate smart agriculture and other activities.This project aims also to provide space for women, men and youth. It will help them to participate fully in all activities. “It is important to fund activities among rural communities because they are part of the critical dimensions of development,” said the UNDP Officer In Charge, David Omozuafoh. To his view, this project will also protect indigenous knowledge on environment and natural resources and will establish community based ecosystem management committees, through education ( training, learning best practices. “Development activities at community level provide policy feedback on poverty eradication strategies whereas community-based experiences and ideas constitute building blocks for people-centred policies and strategies,” explained the UNDP officer.                      ...

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