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  • 24 Oct 2016
    Turning point: from tobacco to tomatoes

    After serving as a labourer on a tobacco farm for 3 years; and being frustrated because he had nothing to show for his sweat, Mwaisanila Husen of Nsekwa Village in Mlele district, Katavi region decided to call it quits and start growing tomatoes on his own. He discovered that tomato growing was 9 times more profitable than tobacco, and to top it all up -- a lot less labour intensive. “I was earning TZS 150,000 the whole year when I was employed at the tobacco farm, which was not enough for my needs. I now earn TZS 650,000 from tomatoes in just 3 months”, Mwaisanila explained. Considering that water-logging pauses a challenge during the rainy season, Mwaisanila is able to grow tomatoes 6 months of the year, during which he earns a total of TZS 1,300,000 which is almost 9 times what he was previously making. This is only the second year to venture into tomato growing, yet he claims that he has already managed to procure iron sheets and a plot of land which will allow him to build a modern house. He plans to procure bricks after this season’s harvest. Besides this achievement, Mwaisanila has taught 6 other growers whose gardens are just adjacent to his. The switch from tobacco to tomatoes is as a result of support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partnership project titled ‘Mainstreaming Sustainable Forest Management’ (SFM) into the Miombo Woodlands of western Tanzania. The main objective of this project is to enable miombo-dependent communities to adopt productive practices that are favourable to biodiversity conservation, reduce carbon emissions from land use change and improve livelihoods. One of the main focus of the project is to ensure that communities are less dependent on tobacco growing, which is the main contributor to deforestation and degradation in the regions of Katavi and Tabora. Crop diversification is one of the strategies used to combat this. By the use of this strategy, the project promotes horticultural and other high-value crops such as sunflower as an alternative to tobacco growing. Members of the Nsekwa Village have expressed that the strategy is indeed beneficial to the environment and is also contributing to economies of scale. Before becoming a tomato farmer, in 2014 Mwaisanila attended a training workshop that was organized by the project in Urambo District. At the end of the workshop, participants bought fertilizer that were supplied by YARA. They also bought other inputs from agro-dealers who also participated in the workshop. From this training, Mwaisanila was able to grow tomatoes before the rainy season began. From the yield, he made TZS 350,000 in the first year, and since then, he now grows tomatoes twice a year. This would not have been achieved without the support from the UNDP/GEF partnership project. The project has also supplied Mwaisanila with fertilizers and fungicides in the as an incentive. Jointly with his protégés, they have resolved to start growing tomatoes throughout the year in an effort to realize more income. Moving forward, the plan is to shift to an area that is not water-logged during the rainy season.

  • 24 Oct 2016
    Tabora Girls Secondary School reduces its carbon footprint through the use of bio-latrines

    Established 88 years ago, with an enrolment of 717 students, Tabora Girls Secondary School has been heavily relying on grid electricity for lighting, and firewood for heating and lighting consuming about 84,000 kg per month at a cost of TZS 3.36 million or 1,008,000.00 kg spending about TZS 40.32 per year. The situation would, however, change when Mr. Mathias Lubatula, the Second Master at the school, learnt about the bio-latrine technology at a workshop that was held in favour of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project titled Mainstreaming Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) into the Woodlands of Western Tanzania, which covers Tabora and Katavi administrative regions. Following the workshop, the project and the school agreed to install a bio-latrine of 20 cubic meters for demonstration purposes with a view that other institutions (schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.) would adopt the technology, if successful. Bio-latrines use a dry toilet technology which reduces the demand for water. The bio-latrine includes a natural exhausting process so that the digester system never fills up to overflow. The waste collected in the digester is processed using anaerobic digestion to make organic manure (suitable for use as fertiliser). As the waste biodegrades, the digester captures methane gas which is used for lighting and cooking. During construction, the school allowed the project to convert one of its pit latrines into a bio-latrine. Commissioned in June 2015, the bio-latrine has now been operational for a year, during this period it produces enough gas for cooking for 2 hours, and lighting for 4 hours per day. This has led to reduction of 1/3 in firewood consumption to 56,000 kg per month or 672,000 kg per year. This reduction in firewood consumption has led to concomitant led to a saving of TZS 1.12 mil per month or TZS 13.44 mil per year, which is more or less the amount spent on installing the bio-latrine, implying that the school could literary fund a new bio-latrine thereby reducing the consumption of firewood further. “The savings are, however, spent on repairing and maintaining the plant, producing more vegetables for the school (instead of buying from the market), and buying tree seedlings for planting on bare ground as environmental as part of conservation”, so say Mr. Lubatula. The bio-latrine is not without challenges. “Some students bath in the bio-latrine, the soap affects the anaerobic digestion of the system. Also, insufficient water flowing into the bio-latrine to sufficiently dissolve the waste. “I repair the water infrastructure in order to solve the problem of water, and restrict students from bathing in the bio-latrine” says Mr. Lubatula who would like the project fund a second bio-latrine because besides the monetary savings, the technology is also better for the health of the cooks and students, who are no longer exposed to smoke as much as was the case before the kitchen started using biogas from the bio-latrine for cooking. Notwithstanding the challenges, the most enduring benefit of the bio-latrine is that the school has reduced its carbon footprint. Before construction of the bio-latrine, from the firewood it used to consume, the school was emitting an estimated 1,844,640.00 kg per of Carbon Dioxide per year. Presently, the school is emitting 1,229,760 kg per year, implying that installation of the bio-latrine will indeed contribute to reducing deforestation and forest degradation in the Miombo woodlands of western Tanzania, the main objective of the SFM project.

  • 01 Sep 2016
    UNDP empowering women through solar projects in rural Tanzania

  • 01 Sep 2016
    Support to Mitigate Climate Change with Improved Cooking Stoves

  • 30 Aug 2016
    UNDP Tanzania conquers Kilimanjaro in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS

    Dar Es Salaam – Eight staff members from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tanzania recently participated in the 2016 GGM Kilimanjaro Challenge Expedition with the aim of raising funds and awareness to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic across the country. The Kilimanjaro Challenge, now in its 15th year, has supported over thirty NGOs countrywide to, inter alia, build orphanages, schools, clinics, counselling centers, advocacy and has contributed to the reduction of HIV infections from 13% in 2002 to less than 5% today. UNDP, in collaboration with the Tanzanian Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and Geita Gold Mine (GGM), raised over $500,000 for various projects that will help tackle HIV/AIDS throughout Tanzania and will also contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG 3 which aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS by 2030. In Tanzania, it is estimated that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is 1.4 million with 700,000 children under eighteen years old left orphaned by the disease. The expedition of fifty-eight climbers was seen off at the Machame gate by former Tanzanian President Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, who commended them saying “your devotion sends a message of care and love for those affected by, and living with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania”. The 2016 Kilimanjaro Challenge was also joined by the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki and several charity ambassadors including local poet and singer, Mrisho Mpoto and former international rugby stars Nathan Hines, Mornay Visser and Ross Rennie. The UNDP staff members involved in the climb were Gertrude Lyatuu, Vincent Mweta, Aaron Cunningham, Nasser Ngenzi, Fidelis Luteganya, Happiness Paul, Victoria Lihiru and Elia John. The 7-day/6-night climb was ably lead by chief guide Mr. Faustine Chombo who ensured that over 90% of the expedition climbers summited to Uhuru Peak, which, at 5895 metres, is the highest point in Africa.

  • 16 Aug 2016
    Changing Lives through Climate Resilience in Tanzania

  • 16 Aug 2016
    A sigh of relief for Ngala residents in Lindi, rural Tanzania

  • 11 Jul 2016
    Launch of the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Initiative In Tanzania

    On Monday 11th July 2016, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, officially launched Tanzania’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. At the event, officiated by H.E. Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, Minister of Energy and Minerals, two key documents – the SE4ALL Action Agenda (AA) and the SE4ALL Investment Prospectus (IP) were presented to stakeholders including development partners, civil society and embassies. SE4ALL is an ambitious initiative announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in 2011 with the aim of catalysing all stakeholders into achieving sustainable energy for all. It has three key goals to be achieve by 2030; 1. Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services; 2. Double the share of renewable energy (RE) in the global energy mix and; 3. Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency (EE). The SE4ALL Action Agenda provides the overall strategy to be used by the Government through a long-term vision to ensure a sector-wide coherence towards the three goals. The Agenda will serve as a basis for donor coordination and assistance in the energy sector. The SE4ALL Investment Prospectus, is a short to medium term document that identifies implementable programs and projects that can be presented to potential private and public investors. In his opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator for Tanzania, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, highlighted the major role that the UN, particularly through UNDP, will play in achieving the ambitious agenda however acknowledged that “to achieve SE4ALL targets, effective stakeholders’ engagement is essential.” SE4ALL, he said, will play a key role in achieving SDG 7 on access to affordable and clean energy services while highlighting the importance of energy in achieving other SDGs. Launching the initiative, H.E. Prof. Muhongo, reaffirmed Tanzania’s commitment to achieving the SE4ALL goals underlining that Tanzania was among the first countries to adopt the initiative in 2012. He thanked UNDP for their continued support and collaboration and stressed the importance of stakeholder partnerships in realising the ambitious agenda. He also acknowledged the generous financial support from the World Bank, AfDB, and the EU. In his presentation, the UNDP’s Programme Specialist on Energy, Climate Change and Extractives, Mr. Abbas Kitogo, announced UNDP’s planned Sustainable Energy for All Programme (SEFAP Tanzania), which will support the Government of Tanzania in creating enabling frameworks to fast-track the implementation of the SE4ALL initiative in Tanzania. Mr. Kitogo highlighted the total resource requirement for the programme was $20 million, calling on interested partners to join UNDP in this major initiative that will target both upstream and downstream interventions. An interactive roundtable discussion with key stakeholders in the energy field was also held with high-level representatives from REA, TATEDO, WWF, AfDB, DfID, TAREA, USAID, NGSEN and the EU, with the focus on topic being on how best to turn the agenda into action. Each of the respective institutes recognised the importance of sustainable energy while re-affirming their commitments to achieving the goals set forth in the documents. In closing, the UNDP Country Director for Tanzania, Ms. Awa Dabo, while recognising the high scale of energy poverty in Tanzania, called for greater investment from private and financial institutions in order to match the level of support required to achieve SE4ALL targets by 2030. Ms. Dabo reaffirmed UNDP commitment to supporting SE4ALL implementation and its willingness to cooperate with partners through its planned programme SEFAP.

  • 11 Mar 2016
    UNDP’s global flagship for 2015 launched in Tanzania

  • 10 Mar 2016
    UNDP stands ready to assist youth empowerment in Tanzania

  • 08 Mar 2016
    International Women’s Day 2016: Planet 50-50 by 2030

  • 25 Feb 2016
    UNDP officials attend Solutions Alliance Roundtable in Brussels

  • 24 Feb 2016
    Statement by The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative on the 50th Anniversary of UNDP

  • 22 Feb 2016
    Taking stock of the HDR experience in Eastern and Southern Africa

  • 16 Feb 2016
    Reflections as UNDP observes 50th Anniversary

  • 26 Jan 2016
    UN Global Compact debuts local network in Tanzania

  • 20 Jan 2016
    Welcome remarks by UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez at the Launch of the Global Compact Local Networks Tanzania

  • 20 Jan 2016
    Global Compact Local Network launches in Tanzania

  • 28 Dec 2015
    My Volunteer Journey - Fatma, a UNV working at UNHABITAT tells her story

  • 16 Dec 2015
    Partnerships in action: UNDP Hosts Partners Consultation Conference on its New Country Programme 2016-2021.