Note: This is the second in a series of field reports from Tanzania. Dr. Coulliette (Fisheries and Wildlife) visited as part of the Tanzania Partnership Program (TPP), the first initiative of the Partnerships for Sustainable Community Development (PSCD) at Michigan State University. For more background on the project, see part I.
The TPP workshop allowed all the members from Michigan and Tanzania to go over the project’s overall budget and objectives in person. International communication can be difficult due to energy and Internet issues, so being in the same room for a few days to discuss the project was a big help for moving the efforts forward. Present at the workshop were TPP members from Dar es Salaam University’s Institute of Resource Assessment and College of Education; the Aga Khan Foundation; Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing; and from MSU, the Center for Advanced Study of International Development; the Water Quality, Environmental, and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; the College of Nursing; and the Risk & Decision Research Lab.
Fortunately, we took a long lunch one day to view historical sites of Bagamoyo. The historical sites have led this district to be listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Bagamoyo was an important trading post in the late 19th century and the original capital of German East Africa, of which the slave trade was an unfortunate component. The German fort where soldiers were stationed also served as the slave trade center for “Bwaga-Moyo,” the city’s original name, which reflects this time-period and means “Lay down your heart” in Swahili.
Above top: Angie by the Institute of Resource Assessment – University of Dar es Salaam (IRA-UDSM) sign. Above bottom: Kristi and Patty in front of the Institute of Resource Assessment – University of Dar es Salaam (IRA-UDSM) building.
After the workshop in Bagamoyo, the Michigan team headed back to Dar es Salaam to have objective-specific (human health, water quality, decision science, and capacity building) meetings with stakeholders from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the University of Dar es Salaam’s Institute of Resource Assessment and College of Education, and Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing. These meetings gave us a chance to go into detail about our personal objectives and build collaborations. My main research objectives for this trip were to determine if household drinking water and drinking water sources were contaminated with fecal-associated bacteria, in addition to observing community members’ association of health problems with contaminated water and attitudes toward water treatment interventions. These preliminary meetings with local Tanzania experts gave me an opportunity to learn what the most pressing issues were for the TPP communities (Milola and Niatolia), as well as what microbiological and laboratory capabilities were available for future water processing and educational outreach efforts.
What I discovered through these meetings is
best described in combination with the experience of the Milola community visit …stay tuned for the next blog posting!