Thursday, 29 April 2010

Pinda opens Dodoma-Manyoni Road

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam

PRIME Minister Mizengo Pinda has officially inaugurated the 126-kilometre Dodoma-Manyoni Road making it easier for travellers from Dar es Salaam City to reach the city of Mwanza much faster and with more comfort.

The new road (with the exception of a remaining 20-kilometre portion between Manyoni and Singida) completes about 1,180 kilometres now constructed at a tarmac level reducing the travel time between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza to about 12 hours instead of 24.

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Call for tougher penalties for Lake Victoria polluters

From The Guardian/IPP Media, Dar es Salaam
By Felix Andrew

People residing in the Lake Victoria basin have requested the government to take stern measures against people found guilty of polluting the lake and its environment.

Speaking to journalists who toured the lake in separate interviews recently, they expressed concern over rampant pollution which threatens the lives of thousands of people and living things depending on the water body for survival.

Charles Mkama from Musoma said the lake was in great danger due to increasing human activities.

“There are people conducting farming activities along the shores of the Lake, others throwing garbage in it, threatening fish breeding sites,” he said.

Mkama blamed municipal officials for failing to address the problem which, he said, in the long run would affect the whole lake.

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Burial of baby sparks controversy

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Paulina David, Mwanza

A row broke up during the burial of the body of a three-month old baby at Mahina suburb on the outskirts of Mwanza City at the weekend.

Two men, each claiming to be the biological father of the baby, had wanted the baby’s body to be released to either of them for burial.

A civic leaders in the area, Ms Anna Toto, named the two men involved in the row as Peter Thomas and one Simwanza.

One of the men had named the baby Baraka, while the other christened the same baby Thomas, before the baby died at Weil Bugando Medical Centre (WBMC) at around 4:00am on Saturday.

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Helpage in plea for the elderly

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Paulina David, Mwanza

Organisations engaged in HIV/Aids fight have been advised to incorporate the elderly in their activities.

Helpage International programme manager in the Lake Zone Leonard Ndamgoba, observed that the elderly in the country were being sidelined by the organisations.

Old people whose children had died of Aids, are taking care of their grand children at the time when most of them are no longer capable of earning any income.

He said the elderly get infected by HIV pandemic through taking take care of sick sons and daughters without basic skills or protective gear.

When the patient dies, his or her poor parents assume the responsibility of raising the orphaned children.

Mr Ndamgoba made the remarks when addressing reporters shortly after he inspected low cost houses for the elderly being constructed by Helpage International in collaboration with community members in Kwimba District, Mwanza Region.

District councils should also consider setting aside funds for the elderly to assist them obtain basic needs, he said.

In the same vain, Mr Ndamgoba called on financial institutions in the country to consider the possibility of providing the elderly with soft loans for them to engage in income generating activities.

Friday, 23 April 2010

State is public firms’ ‘worst debtor’

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam

THE government is among the worst debtors of public corporations, the National Assembly was told here yesterday.

The Chairman of the parliamentary Parastatal Organizations Accounts Committee (POAC), Mr Zitto Kabwe (picture), said firms most affected by the state indebtedness included the power utility company, Tanesco and Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN), which was owed advertising charges.

Others are the Medical Stores Department (MSD) and Mwanza Urban Water and Sewage Authority. Mr Kabwe, who was tabling his committee’s report, said the four organizations were owed 30.3bn/- as of last February.

“Non-payment of the debts affects the efficiency of the organizations,” he told the House.

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Thursday, 22 April 2010

New Mwanza fares spark outcry

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Sheilla Sezzy, Mwanza

Business Development Gateway (BDG) has issued over Sh238.2 billion worth of loans to 45 small-scale entrepreneurs in Mwanza Region.

The 45 small-scale entrepreneurs secured the loans after winning a competition on writing business proposals, which was conducted by the BDG last year.

Mwanza regional commissioner, Mr. Abbas Kandoro, urged the entrepreneurs to use their loans to produce high quality goods and services in order to be able to have an edge in the competitive business environment.

The RC observed that one of the major challenges facing small-scale entrepreneurs in Mwanza city was finding the right sites for their businesses.

“I promise you that I will work closely with the district council and other authorities in Mwanza city to ensure they allocate land for your businesses,” he told the entrepreneurs.

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Street children a menace in town

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam

Moving around Mwanza City has become a nightmare because of the rising number of street children.

Since the traffic lights were installed and switched on, the children have flocked to the city centre, and are wreaking havoc on motorists, pedestrians and even shopkeepers with their uncouth behaviour.

Some of the children, probably from deep in the rural areas, have no scruples about relieving themselves in front of shops in full view of passersby and shopkeepers.

But they are also increasingly engaging in pick pocketing and breaking into parked cars to steal any valuable items left behind.

Motorists have the roughest time as these children incessantly badger them for money. If a driver refuses to give them money, they will scratch the vehicles or rip off side mirrors and sidelights.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Sustained effort needed to keep our towns clean

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam

Virtually all of our towns and cities have one common unenviable feature – dirtiness. Except for a few urban areas, most notably Moshi, Arusha and Mwanza, Tanzanian towns are characterised by scattered litter, for people care little about where they dispose of pieces of paper, fruit peels, used bottles, etc.

Under the Environmental Management Act, urban authorities are vested with the powers to make by-laws to take legal action against people who mess up with cleanliness. However, these are not effected. Besides, many local authorities lack effective waste control systems.

An official of the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), Ms Anna Maembe, says proper knowledge on managing solid and liquid waste is one of the biggest environmental control challenges facing urban areas in Tanzania today.

Her observations are valid, for any quick survey will show that most of our urban authorities do not have effective systems of waste disposal.

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Monday, 19 April 2010

Let’s all do more on poison fishing

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter

Reports that fishermen in some parts of regions bordering Lake Victoria are using poison to catch fish are cause for grave concern.

An ecological expert recently highlighted the depth of the problem when she told a media workshop in Mwanza that the consumption of fish caught through the use of chemicals was a major cause of cancer and reproductive complications.

It was a sobering reminder of a problem that has existed for years, but which has yet to be accorded the urgency it deserves by the relevant agencies.

It is common knowledge that unscrupulous fishermen around Lake Victoria and even along the coast use pesticides and other harmful chemicals to catch fish, which is sold to unsuspecting consumers.

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Friday, 16 April 2010

Mwanza envisages plan to offer conference tourism

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By Daily News Reporter

MWANZA Tourism Task Force (MTTF) envisages attracting at least 25,000 leisure and conference tourists, earning the lakeside city and the lake zone region as a whole about 3.5 million US dollars (about 5bn/-) annually in the next five years.

The initiatives are part of the task force efforts to put the City and the Lake Zone in general to the map of tourism that has been dormant for years despite its abundant attractions.

MTTF Coordinator Mary Kalikawe told reporters in Dar es Salaam today that the Lake Zone has been blessed with abundant resources that could contribute a lot in the national economy only if tourism infrastructures were improved.

Already, some investors have shown interests to construct about 88 tourism hotels in the popular rocky city and the nearby areas. The investors, said the coordinator, will be connected to the rest of the attraction in other regions of the Lake Zone.

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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Ten miners die, scores injured

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Jane Kajoki, Mwanza

Ten artisanal miners died and eight others were seriously injured after being buried alive by a collapsing mine at Kasame in Geita district, Mwanza region, police said yesterday.

Acting Mwanza regional police commander, Nonosius Komba, said the mine collapsed at around 2:00pm on Monday.

He named the injured artisanal miners as Mabula Mbashi, 32, whose legs were broken, Festo Alexanda, 43, a resident of Kibe in the district, who was injured on the head and Gendo Kaikanye, 40, who was injured on the chest.

Others were Masumbuko Faustine, 32, who was injured on the chest, Mapato Manywele, 33, who was injured on the head and chest, Laurent Lutobela, 24, who sustained injuries on the chest and the hip, Bhahati Swamwel, 28, who was injured on the hip, Masumbuko Magabe, 26, who was also injured on the chest and hip and Simon Mussa, 28, who was injured on hip, waist and the back.

Some of the injured artisanal miners, who were admitted at Geita district hospital, were in critical condition and that bodies of their deceased colleagues were recovered and buried by relatives, he said.

The bodies were hastily buried for fear of state organs prohibiting mining activities to continue at the area Komba said, adding that investigation regarding the incident was in progress.

READ update here.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Geita short of 200 teachers

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter, Mwanza

Geita District in Mwanza Region has 200 teachers less for its 44 secondary schools, leading to the quality of education in the district to decline.

The district secondary school education officer, Mr George Opio, said some ward secondary schools had only one teacher each while others had an average of three to four teachers.

The shortage made it difficult for the available few to cope with the teaching workload at the schools, he said in an interview with reporters in his office yesterday.

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Monday, 12 April 2010

Disabled run from their centre

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Paulina David, Mwanza

Poor services offered at the Bukumbi Centre for the Disabled in Mwanza City compel several disabled persons to resort to begging in the streets, it has been learnt.

The Tanzania Association for the Disabled, whose Kiswahili acronym is Chawata, has observed that the centre was providing poor meals to the disabled persons and some of its infrastructure is worn out.

The Chawata Mwanza regional chairman, Mr Silvery Gregory, told reporters recently that disabled persons at the centre had realised that begging in the streets paid off compared to services provided at the centre.

He attributed the centre’s poor services to its meagre budget from the government.

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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Mwanza, the rock city with a rich history

From The East African, Nairobi, KENYA
By Leonard Magomba

Beyond the beach and safari tourism circuits of East Africa are the unexplored inland historical towns that only a few discerning travellers get to see.

One such place is Mwanza in northwestern Tanzania,on the southeastern shore of Lake Victoria.

Lacking the bustle of Dar es Salaam or the tourist hype of Arusha or Zanzibar, Mwanza is Tanzania’s second largest city after Dar es Salaam with over two million inhabitants and the economic heart of the Lake Region.

Its economic mainstay is mining, fishing and tourism, which have recently prospered.

Overlooking Africa’s largest lake, the so-called Rock City is an important crossroads in the region — with a railroad connection with Tabora, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam, a busy port with ferries to Ukerewe Island, Kamanga, Bukoba and Port Bell in Uganda and Kisumu in Kenya. It is also connected by road to Kisumu.

Recently it has grown into an economic and tourism hub. Money from fishing and mining has seen an expansion in tourist accommodation from luxury five star hotels to those offering bed and breakfast.

Mwanza’s growth can be traced back to the days of the slave trade, as the trading caravans of the Sultan of Zanzibar used it as the frontier to the unexplored African interior in search of gold, ivory and slaves.

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Friday, 9 April 2010

‘Mandela’ of CCM defects and joins CCJ

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Frederick Katulanda, Mwanza

Another member of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has defected to the newly formed Chama Cha Jamii (CCJ).

Mr Sikutu Philipo Chibululu, who is popularly known as Mandela after being jailed over political issues, was seen walking around Mwanza city streets, introducing himself as a CCJ member.

His defection comes a few days after former Member of Parliament for Kishapu constituency in Shinyanga Region, Mr Fred Mpendazoe, joined the CCJ from CCM.

Mr Chibululu yesterday carried a big banner, written on both sides, everywhere he went to sell his new party.

The message on one side of the banner read in Kiswahili: ‘Sisi Julius Kambarage Nyerere ni chama cha kulinda na kutetea maslahi ya walio wengi nchini Tanzania’ which literally means ‘ours is a party meant for defending interests of the majority in Tanzania.’

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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Power plan laudable

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam

Reports that the government plans to undertake major electricity projects in several regions are good news indeed.

Kigoma residents should be particularly elated after learning that a hydropower station capable of producing 8MW is to be built on River Malagarasi in the region.

This is a very significant development given that the region has yet to be connected to the national grid and instead depends on ageing diesel generators, which frequently break down.

It’s not uncommon for Kigoma residents to endure blackouts lasting several days. Hopefully, this suffering will come to an end once the Sh70 billion station is commissioned. A reliable supply of electricity should also spur sustainable development in the investment-starved region.

The building of the station is part of an ambitious plan to improve the availability of electricity that also covers Tanga, Dodoma, Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Mwanza regions.

These regions are connected to the national grid, but the infrastructure is still rudimentary and only a tiny fraction of residents have access to electricity.

It is thus commendable that the government plans to spend Sh117 billion to improve electricity supply and make power available to more people in the regions, particularly those in rural areas.

This project should give hope people in the seven regions and others where electricity is still in short supply.

Police probe officers as suspect dies in custody

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Sheilla Sezzy, Mwanza

The police force in Mwanza region is investigating its officers who allegedly tortured a suspect, Mr Mohamed Abdallah, 27, to death.

Mwanza regional police commander Simon Sirro said he was informed about the incident and a thorough investigation was launched to ascertain the truth surrounding the suspect’s death.

RPC Sirro said he was earlier told that Mr Abdallah was killed by an irate mob at the Buzuruga bus terminal, but his relatives insisted that he was killed while in police custody.

I have directed my subordinates to investigate the incident to reveal the truth,” he said.

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Monday, 5 April 2010

Mechanical fault causes accident

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam

INVESTIGATION has established that a mechanical problem is to blame for a road accident that involved a Mohammed Trans bus.

The accident occurred near Lubana Village in Bunda District on the Mwanza-Musoma route on Sunday.

Mara Regional Police Commander (RPC) Robert Boaz said that initial investigation has shown that the source of the accident was the breaking of the rear suspension. "When the suspension broke, the bus overturned causing the accident," he explained.

He said that the bus (with Registration Number T882 ASU) was driven by Mussa Sudi (41) who was injured seriously and was taken to Bugando Hospital in Mwanza City.

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Sunday, 4 April 2010

Lake Victoria battles man made pollution

From The Guardian on Sunday, Dar es Salaam
By Lucas Liganga

Despite of its great potential not only as a source of viable fishery but also as a source of freshwater, transport and trade routes, tourism and sport, Lake Victoria is heavily polluted reducing its fish stocks, among other environmental disasters.

With a 3,440 kilometre shoreline and a catchment of 193,000 square kilometers that spreads to Rwanda and Burundi, Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake with an area of 68,800 square kilometers, is shared between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Having over 30 million people living in its catchment, Lake Victoria is the epitome of East African co-operation as all the riparian communities in the five countries share something or other of the resources of the lake.

John Okedi, a fisheries consultant based in the Ugandan capital Kampala, says Lake Victoria is reputed as nature’s living evolutionary laboratory and as the cradle for explosive fish species radiation particularly the cichlid family.

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