* Tuesday January 31st, 2006 *
This is the day we are heading for Dodoma which we really are looking forward to after two weeks of extensive training, first week in Rome and second here in Dar. Every morning when entering the restaurant, we are welcomed by this charming girl, dressed in a traditional “Masai sheet”. The last few days she insists speaking Swahili to us as she know that we are attending a Swahili course. This is of course very good as we need all the practice we can get before starting to work out in the fields.
A driver from WFP is picking us up at the hotel and we thought that he was the one to drive us to Dodoma, but this was wrong, we were taken to UN-WFP Country Office as we are to change both car (we need a 4 wheel drive) and driver. We are in total 5 people and need therefor two cars, ours is fully loaded with equipment from the roof to top. It is not only our own bags; there is also equipment which we shall deliver to the Dodoma sub-office. We leave the office and will travel in total about 600 kilometers as we will not go straight to Dodoma (we will also pay a visit at a cooking pot maker on our way) and total travel is expected to take approximately 8-9 hours.
After some hours on the road going west the landscape is becoming browner due to lack of rain. Even though the lack of rain making the nature greener we have fantastic views… We passes several small villages and now we can see houses not only made of Bantu bricks or cement, many houses are built of clay and the roofing is made of tin sheets, to avoid the sheets blowing away, they have put big stones on top to keep them still if windy.
After some hours on the road it is soon time to stop somewhere to have lunch and we do this at a village.
Not so fancy though, but this little restaurant is located amongst palm trees and other kind of trees and gives us good protection from the sun. The food is tasty and cheap, what about lunch for 5 people including soft drinks for the price of 9000 shilling equal to USD 7.80 or SEK 64.
In this village, we have the supplier of pots to the fuel-efficient stoves we are building. This supplier has this year increased his prices with 36% compared to last year, complaining that all prices going up, such as the fuel which has increased by 40%. The NGO (Non-Government Operator) which are traveling together with us, want us to meet the Director and try to negotiate. After some negotiation we manage to lower the increase with 20% so the total increase will be 16% only. We leave the supplier satisfied with this successful negotiation.
Along the road we see women and children carrying containers of water, the women usually wearing the container on their head, while children uses a bicycle, if they have one. It is also common that people is offering food supplies sittning at the side of the road.
This hotel is the best hotel in Dodoma and looks awesome when you enter the inside garden which is such a difference from what you have seen while being on the road.
We enjoy a nice dinner before going to bed as tomorrow will be another day of meetings.
Wednesday February 1st, 2006
Today we had a meeting with The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Strategic Grain Reserve in Dodoma. We talked to Mr Marlin and he showed us around the food storage. He informed us that they at present have 36.000
tons of maize in stock, they also have other cereals. They are buying from farmers all around Tanzania and are paying TSH 1.40/kg.
The market prize has now increased to TSH 2.50/kg and the fuel has this year increased by 100%. One positive thing though is that the Government since last week not charge any duty on cereals imported from other countries as the situation now begins to be serious due to the draught. In the same area World Food Programme also has their food storage located only one kilometer away so we had a walk to these premises as well and had a look around. Here they store all cereals which is to be distributed within the Dodoma region. From here they also distribute the food which goes to the refugee camps located in western Tanzania. Camps exist along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Some facts about WFP Dodoma Sub Office
Dodoma Sub Office is one of seven WFP sub/field offices in Tanzania. Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania, is located in the centre of the country. It is a major logistics hub for WFP. The Dodoma office also supports WFP’s country programme activities in Dodoma, Iringa and Singida Regions. WFP is the only UN agency with a Dodoma office.
The Dodoma office provides programme support to the following WFP Country Programme activities in central Tanzania.
WFP provides food to primary school children to encourage enrolment and attendance
Food for Asset Creation
WFP provides food as an incentive for rual communities to undertake work to improve their food security, including land rehabilitation, tree-planting and construction of irrigation systems.
Support to Food insecure Households Affected by HIV/AIDS
Wfp provides food to HIV/AIDS affected people including orphans. Food is also offered to community volunteers to attract them to participate in training in home based care skills.
After lunch we also had a meeting with MIGESADO who is the agency which investigate which regions needing help and what kind. So far they have delivered more than 3000 stoves, 250 water tanks have been built with a size of 12-19 cbm. They have constructed a new stove which is based on bio gas, on the unit is also a lamp driven by gas so the user at the same time have light when doing the cooking. The unit can be used in schools or at home by families. A lunch was also served by MIGESADO with thanks.
Last thing to do today was a visit to a primary school in the surroundings of Dodoma.
We had a talk to the Headmaster of the school, he was quite young, could guess 25 years old, can be the case that I am getting old though… he showed us around and told us that the school at present have 320 students, 167 of those are girls.
All to share 3 class rooms… They are dependant of donations. One of the earlier team members from The Netherlands has raised money when returning back home and raised enough money to build another building with 2 big class rooms and an office for the Head master. When our CEO of TNT visited this school last year, he donated a solar screen.
At one side of the building they have painted “Once upon a time..” and then written all the names of the donors. At the time we were there, a journalist / photographer interviewed us and took some photos. The article will be published in a local Swahili newspaper of Dodoma tomorrow.
We also had alook at the “old” traditional school kitchen which they still are using. The new fuel efficient kitchen recently built can not yet be used as they are waiting for the cooking pots (to be delivered from the factory where we had our negotiation earlier).
It begins to be late afternoon and time to leave, we enter the jeep and return to hotel. Before it is getting dark we had a walk in the nearby surroundings of the hotel. We popped in to a small shop and Janet is trying tradional clothing, we had a very nice chat with this charming woman.
Tomorrow we will travel to Mpwapwa.