Echo Project Updates – The Millennium Development Goals

1st August 2014

Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals

Our Echo groups have been settling into their new communities this week and getting to grips with their projects.  I caught up with them to see what their first impressions of their villages were and how they think their projects fit into the bigger picture of helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set out by the United Nations in 2000.  

Echo 1

Bee Hives

Echo 1

"Echo 1’s project focuses on sustainable development, the environment and the welfare of farmers in our host village of Mang’ula in the Morogoro region of Tanzania.  Our primary objective is the repair and maintenance of a fence made of bee hives which helps to mitigate human and animal conflict through deterring elephants from entering local farmland and destroying crops. The fences ensure a peaceful divide between the local community, the environment and local wildlife and help to address the 7th MDG promoting environmental sustainability. 

We are also planning to raise awareness about how the fences can further benefit the local community through providing an additional income source with regards to the honey which is produced by the bees and the farmers can then sell.  We also plan to run sessions at the local primary and secondary schools to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and encouraging the students to educate others about how the local community can be more sustainable.  

Our work in Mang’ula also aims to form the basis of a global partnership for development which is the 8th MDG set out by the United Nations.  We are currently working with STEP, the Southern Tanzania Elephant Project, to ensure our work is aligned with the interests of elephants and wildlife in the local area and have been working closely with the Njokomoni Farming Project, the
chairman of Mang’ula and the wider community.  We have also been working alongside local fundi (builders) on the maintenance of the fences whose help and advice has been invaluable and is fundamental to the success of our project.  We are very happy with our progress so far and are looking forward to the next two weeks in Mang’ula and all that we hope to achieve here!"

Echo 2

Echo 2

 

Echo 2

"Ever been to Mars?  Camp dusty is the next best thing!  Here at Mahama, Echo 2 have found themselves a beautiful but somewhat arid home.  With an unforgettable welcome of traditional singing, dancing and drumming as well as smiles all around we have certainly been shown a lot of love.  The community feel is overwhelming, everyone is willing to help with everything no matter how tiresome the job.  Having settled into our new camp and familiarised ourselves with the local village we have now set to work on doing our part to help achieve the MDGs here in Tanzania. 

To start with we plan to run peer to peer education sessions with the local children in the primary school to raise awareness about the decontamination of water and personal hygiene.  By promoting these concepts in an animated way we hope to improve the health of the students and reduce their chances of contracting water-borne illnesses which may result in diarrhoea.  So far we have held a meeting with the local women’s group and plan to work alongside them in reaching out to the community and promoting positive health, water and sanitation practices.   Our work with the women’s group also aims to promote gender equality and empower women within Mahama. 

As we build relationships throughout this wonderful community and pursue plans such as litter picking with the local youth group we are working towards the principal goals for our project: helping to ensure environmental sustainability and creating a global partnership for development.  Go Echo 2!"

Echo 3

Irrigation Trench

Echo 3

"Hello from Endashang’wet!  Echo 3's work here consists of 2 projects which are intertwined yet also very different to one another.  Firstly, we are working on expanding the existing irrigation system and secondly we are working alongside the local community to promote positive health and hygiene practices in the afternoons. 

Here in the North of Tanzania, it is extremely dusty and arid to say the least.  This makes subsistence farming virtually impossible.  However, if one follows the irrigations channels into the nearest valley the orange landscape evolves into a luscious green canvas of crops.  The ability of locals to grow crops all year round helps to ensure food security within the local area.  The use of local springs to feed the irrigation channels also allows sustainable environmental development and enables effective subsistence farming, therefore providing people with a stable and reliable food source. 

The system also delivers communal safe drinking water to the surrounding villages which in turn reduces the chance of developing a water-borne illness.  We will also be building and demonstrating tippy taps within the local community which are a simple yet effective way to reduce the spread of disease and reduce ill-health within the village.  Through these two aspects of our project we are able to address at least half of the 8 MDGS and we will update you as we continue our work in Endshang'wet."

Echo 4

Community

School Children

"Of the 8 Millennium Development Goals set out by the United Nations, Echo 4 is aiming to address 5 of them in our village of Bwakila Chini in Central Tanzania. 

The 2nd MDG focuses on achieving universal primary education for children in developing countries.  In relation to this goal, we plan to work with the local primary school and promote positive health, water and sanitation practices.  Through our awareness raising sessions, we hope to improve the knowledge of students with regards to sanitation and hygiene which they can share with their family and friends and adopt these new practices to reduce the chance of falling ill. Linking in with this is another of the development goals which aims to combat HIV, AIDS and other diseases and we hope that with more children aware of simple methods of hygiene and clean sanitation they will be better protected against the effects of water-borne illnesses. 

We also hope to engage with a local women’s group and work alongside them to educate members of the community about health and sanitation whilst also promoting gender equality and educating about ways to improve maternal health for existing and expecting mothers in the village.  We are excited for the next couple of weeks and are looking forward to the rest of our project!"

It sounds like the Echo groups are progressing well with their projects and settling into their new communities.  I will be travelling around to visit some of the groups this week to find out how they are getting on and will update you upon my return!

Tutaonana baadae for now (See you later!)