Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Maasai pastoralists in Arusha Region have a reason to smile, thanks Hakikazi Catalyst and the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), working to improve climate change adaptation planning.

Tina Timan ,a councilor from Ngorongoro

The pastoralists living in Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro districts that are under threat of climate change impact are to benefit through establishment devolved district-level climate adaptation fund.

Development experts say current planning and governance methods are not adequate to address the impacts of climate change and support local resilience.

Speaking during a two-day workshop at Longido, Namanga, the community leaders said climate change impact is real and seriously putting their livelihoods in jeopardy.

Commenting during the workshop, also attended by members of parliament from the three districts, a prominent Maasai elder Saiteye Martalo said the weather is getting hotter and the rain more unpredictable.

He said: “This project will ultimately help us adapt to climate change through strategies for sustaining livestock production based on an understanding of the most important climate and social changes affecting our livestock management and the cultural, socio-economic, and physical impediments to climate change adaptation.” 

Martalo said the project has come at the right time because the knowledge they got will lead to pastoral transformation and to resilient futures by understanding climate from the ground up.

 ”I’m pleased with this programme and especially by involving women in pastoral communities; women in these communities are the most affected victims of climate change impact.

“They are the ones who travel long distances to find water, collect firewood and  I believe this programme will help bring mechanisms to give more  relief to them enormously, "said  Tina Timan a  councilor from Ngorongoro District.

Tina added that there is a need for government to review land use policies because currently pastoral communities are at greater risk of becoming landless because a lot of land has been turned into conservation areas or allocated to investors.

Dora Puyo from Monduli went further to say that pastoralists had become refugees in their home land.

 “I ask our politicians and the government to take action now; herders are at greater risk of becoming poor, it is important steps are taken to counter the ongoing situation,“ she stressed.  
Climate change impact is an issue of concern but according to her there is a problem of investors or some local individuals hardening large tracts of pastoralits’  areas, leaving them  without grazing pastures.

 ”Where I come from  in  Monduli, investors have big chunks of land  which is undeveloped; such land should be reallocated to local communities,”   said  Kipuyo,  vice-chairlady  women council, Monduli District.
Alais Morin at , Project Coordinator from the International Institute of Environment and Development said the project is funded by the UK Department for International Development/UK-AID.

Hakikazi Catalyst is implementing the project in partnership with the three districts.

He said climate change effects pose urgent and significant threats to livelihoods and economies in the dry lands, creating fundamental risks at national level.

“The project seeks to address this situation through improving planning and governance over resources so that local government interventions support dry lands livelihoods and economies to become more resilient while contributing to wider economic growth,” he said.

He noted that production in the dry lands can be resilient and contribute to food security, national economy and social economic stability.

“In this forum, apart from sharing of ideas and experiences, we had an opportunity to reflect on the collective existing policies and national development vision in eradicating poverty and national efforts in addressing climate change and climate.

The workshop brought various stakeholders including traditional elders both men and women with the aim to learn, discuss and develop strategies for recovery and disaster posed by the impact of climate change.

In addition to structural barriers to greater coordination between local and formal planning processes such as inadequate funds for consultation, different planning cycles, there are ideological barriers, for example, lack of value placed on traditional knowledge.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ugandan legislator Daniel Kidega has been named the new Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, replacing Margaret Zziwa.    
Hon ,Daniel Kidega new EALA Speaker
The position fell vacant mid-this week after the regional parliament impeached  Zziwa  over alleged impunity, incompetence, intimidation of members, among other reasons.

Kidega, an NRM politician, had to beat off interests by three other hopefuls, who include Mike Kennedy Sebalu (NRM), Chris Okumu Opoka (UPC) and Suzan Nakawuki (Independent). He at the end of the process was nominated unopposed.

In his new post, Kidega will be responsible for directing all activities of the House and its Committees.

As Speaker, he will also preside over the proceedings of the regional legislative body under the EALA Rules of Procedure.
Following Wednesday's removal of Zziwa from office, Uganda was given 48 hours to fill the position, a demand that was duly fulfilled on Friday.

The former Speaker was in Uganda at the time of the censure, which saw 36 out of 39 members vote in favour of her impeachment. Two members voted against the move while one abstained. 

Zziwa had served in that postion for three-and-a-half years.

Her impeachment means she remains an ordinary MP until 2017, when the term of the current assembly expires. Despite this repercussion, one of her lawyers, Jet Tumwebaze, has said they will challenge the verdict.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LONG-maintained good work relationship between religious denominations and the government has saved many lives and support mankind both physically and spiritually.

 Arusha Regional Commissioner, David Ntibenda made the remarks yesterday at the occasion to receive 2,700 mosquito nets worth 21m/- donated by the Tanzania Assemblies of God church in Arusha.

The regional leader (Ntibenda) said the value of services rendered to the community by religious denominations could not be overstated and the government would always appreciate and support the initiative.

"We (government) are sincerely grateful for the donation of bed nets by the Assemblies of God Church in Tanzania. The bed nets will be distributed to both private and public health facilities as directed by the benefactor Ntibenda,” explained

Adding; “The support has been received at the right time as the government intensifies the fight against malaria.
 The disease continues to threaten many lives especially among children under five years old and expecting mothers,” he said

Speaking after handing over the bed nets, the Vice Bishop of Tanzania Assemblies of God Church in Tanzania, Bishop Magnus Mhiche said the church has offered the bed nets being part of celebrations to mark the 75th Jubilee since its establishment in the country.

The cleric said the church had provided 2,6oo nets to match the number of patient beds in the region and the beds are destined for both public and private health facilities.

"We are doing this countrywide, will go to every region and provide nets according to the number of beds, our pastors and believers will also donate blood to bridge the gap in hospitals’ blood banks, “ Mheche clarified

He said the slogan for the donation campaign is “God loves your body and soul, make a good relationship with Him”

Holy Scriptures argue us, he added, to love each other unconditionally for extended support to all human beings irrespective of one’s faith, color, gender or any other affiliation

Arusha Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Dr Frida Mokiti thanked the church for the support and promised that the received consignment would be distributed to the intended health facilities in the region.

"Many thanks to the TAG church for the support extended to us. Bed nets have proved to be effective mechanism to fight malaria," She concluded

EALA SPEAKER Magreth Zziwa
 The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has ousted Speaker Margaret Zziwa, after an overwhelming vote of no confidence in an extra-ordinary sitting today. 

36 EALA MP’s voted to oust her with only two voting against the motion to remove her.  One MP abstained.  

Her removal from office came as a result of the impeachment motion moved by Peter Mathuki (Kenya) on grounds of gross abuse of office.

Zziwa had attempted to block the House from ousting her through an application to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) but the court binned her application a day before the voting. 

Prior to the voting, the Eala Committee of Legal, Rules and Privileges had also overwhelming approved the investigative report into Zziwa’s alleged abuse of office. The Assembly was due to vote for her replacement later in the day. 

SOURCE The new TIMES Rwanda

Friday, December 12, 2014

Traditional elders from the Maasai community in Loliondo area of Ngorongoro district have urged the government to put in writing its position on the ongoing land crisis that has created fear of forty thousand people to become land less. 
ELders isssuing statement

It was earlier alleged that Tanzania Government was planning to evict the Maasai from Loliondo and turn their ancestral land into a reserve for the royal family of Dubai to hunt big game.
Speaking during a community meeting held   in Kertalo village, Maasai elders thanked President Jakaya Kikwete for his quick reaction to dismiss the rumor and clearly stated in his tweet that his government was not in plan to evict Loliondo residents from their mother land.

“Much as we hail our president for his good comments we would like also to ask him to formalize his government stand on the issue in writing for records purposes. Said Kinyanjui Kimeriai a prominent traditional leader in Loliondo.
Kimeriai  went on to say that hunting tourism should be banned in the area because they see it as the source of the land conflict.

Another Elder   Mesiaya Ole Tome also asked the President to direct the ministry of tourism and natural resources to retract written statements it issued on March 21, and April 7, last year, on turning their ancestral land into wildlife management area.
Tome  insisted that if their land is taken it would rob them of their heritage and directly or indirectly affect the livelihoods of 80,000 people as the area is crucial for the grazing of livestock on which the nomadic Maasai depend
These statements are the source of fear gripping Maasai communities in Loliondo ,Once retracted in  a written  statement form ,Loliondo resident will believe the government had listened to their concerns
Commenting on the issue the director for Tanzania Pastoralist Community Forum (TPCF) Joseph Parsambei has insisted that it was a high time the governments ends a two decade land conflict in Loliondo and allow pastoralists to enjoys their citizenry rights.
He said Loiliondo land should be surveyed and villagers given ownership titles deeds to end the Loliondo land saga once and for all.
“The source of fear and confusion in the area is the uncertainty of who owns Loliondo land, is it the government or villagers, there are also laws conflicting the land status ,this needs government taught decision ,the best solution is to declare the land is for the Maasai” Said Parsambei.
For her part, special seats councilors for Ngorongoro District, Tina Timan said due to such displacement of pastoralists, almost 75 percent of Ngorongoro territory will be reallocated exclusively for wildlife tourism management leaving out the pastoralists without necessary resources like land, pasture and water.

She said the situation is chiefly caused by the lack of clarity about the legal status of the land and the relative powers and responsibilities of the central government and village authorities regarding the management of accessibility to the land for purposes of conservation related investments.

“A key example is OBC in 1992, it was granted the land without people’s consultation and the district council signed on behalf of the villages something that is a violation of constitutional rights. The situation is further complicated by the multiplicity of policy, legal and institutional mandates surrounding the Loliondo Game Controlled Area,” she said.

Ngorongoro District Commissioner Elias Wawa Lali said that the government have already given its stance on the issue and asked villagers to be patient and allow the government which is now in top gear to end the land crisis in the area..

"The position of the government is clear and no doubt this time round we are determined to end  these false lies which are propagated by  some individual using  both local and international media ”Lali said when he was asked to comment on the issue.

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