DADA project background

DADA and the Experimental Solar Station or ‘Kituo cha Jua’ in Mbuyu Mabundi, Matemwe

This project is an initiative with the communities of Mbuyu Mabundi and Kijiwe Mnara within the shehia of Matemwe conducted by the Zanzibari NGO solarafrica.network

The introduction of new energy alternatives is most effective  by facilitating income-generating activities and by improving social conditions.

The project was introduced to the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam 2003. With acontribution from their ‘Small Scale Projects Grant’ the building now hosts the Experimental Solar Station and workspace for 3 Dada cooperatives.

‘Kituo cha Jua’ addresses the following problems in the community:

Fuelwood Shortage. Due to over-harvesting of fuelwood and slash-burn farming methods, the dry coral rag soil does not provide anymore for substantial growth of natural vegetation fast enough. Additionally, the population is growing at high speed.

Income generating. The communities´main need is to improve their livelihoods. Apart from fishing, seaweed farming and subsistance farming little contributes to the well-being of most of the local households. In sharing entrepreneurial ideas and passing on skills whilst using renewables, feasible ways for sustainable development are demonstrated and exercised.

The concepts of this initiative are:

• Provision of a centre point for meeting, work, training and storage, the Experimental Solar Station.

• Provision of alternative technologies to compensate fuelwood shortage (solar cookers, ‘rocket’ stove, insulation baskets).

• Provision of means for harvesting rain water (installation roof and 13,000l cistern).

• Dedicate an education/training programme to generate awareness and encourage its reproduction.

At the Experimental Solar Station the women learn how to make pasta and other foodstuff by using solar dryers and other alternative tools.The women participate in workshops on construction of such devices, for example a dryer for fruit and vegetables, or an insulation basket for energy saving cooking.

The education/training programme addresses:

• Use and creation of alternative technologies for energy needs, both for households as well as cooperative and entrepreneurial use.

• Importance of water sanitation and food hygiene, processing and storage, and how solar energy can make it an efficient and affordable exercise.

• Training of food processing and cosmetics along with simple business skills and cooperative leadership.

• Exchange of experiences with other (women´s) groups within Zanzibar or mainland Tanzania.

• Sharing vision on sustainable ways of developing the community and welcoming young people (foreign) to live with local families.

The Dada product range comprises of organic foods and other environmentally-friendly products which are well liked among the project´s customers.

Up to date, the Experimental Solar Station mainly provides training and advise for income generating activities whilst using renewables, working with 35 women organised in three cooperatives. In the progress, the network and label Dada was founded, as a marketing tool for the successful distribution of locally processed organic foodstuff and environmentally-friendly cosmetics. Market for the community-made products are provided mainly by the tourism industry such as hotels and boutiques, but also supermarkets in Zanzibar town.

future plans for further community development in Mbuyu Mabundi, Matemwe

2009 Children:

Construction of additional house to provide space for children. Currently, most small children are left at home unattended while the women come to work or receive training. In the playhouse, the children will be able to play and carry out creative activities near their mothers and under the supervision of a solarafrica.network volunteer, playfully acquiring skills such as drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, etc. whilst at the same time being present during much of the production processes of their family members, which can lay the foundation for the later acceptance of alternative ways of cooking, food processing, and much more.

2010 Young men:

vocational training – gardener and recycler

Cooperating with the recycling plant in Matemwe, young men can sign up to an educational programme to become professional gardener and garbage selector, the curriculum including how to plant and maintain a garden, both ornamental as well as for crops, by learning how to make manure from organic waste, by irrigating with rainwater, cutting and trimming, etc.also learning about hazardous waste and how to avoid that it can pollute the soil. Hotels and private employers can also sign up courses for their staff and by paying fees can sponsor the local youths.

2011 vocational training – nature guides

Bordering the Experimental Solar Station solarafrica.network have rented bushland from the local communities in order to allow the natural vegetation to regrow. As more and more visitors to the Station are expected due to the willingness of local hotels to involve themselves in the community project, the coral bush and re-grown forest can provide an interesting and educational experience for any visitor. Young men can be trained as local guides explaining about the natural flora and fauna of their homes being able to sustain part of their livelihood through local eco- tourism.

2010 Young women:

vocational training – café and restauration

At the Experimental Solar Station, at those days that the cooperatives come to work, a group of young women can learn how to provide simple catering for visitors from the hotels, such as preparing tea or coffee, or making small dishes, using the available technologies. This way, a community tour can be established, and a growing number of community members can benefit from the nearby tourism whilst at the same time visitors are sensitized to energy related issues and sustainable development on community level.

One Response to “DADA project background”

  1. Nangula Says:

    Eine tolle Sache! Keep it up. Best regards, Nangula.

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