Report from the 2017 PSI Volunteers – Friday 17th February to Friday 3th March

Sat 18th Feb: Mike Linnane (IT consultant), Aiden Devitt (Orthopaedic surgeon) and Neilus O’Doherty (retired teacher) arrived in Pemba at 8.45 am, Sat 18th Feb 2017 after travelling from 4am the previous day. After a quick shower and breakfast at Fr Zeno’s house in Chake, they headed to the PBZ bank where they exchanged €12,970 to Tanzanian shillings (Tsh) to keep the existing PSI projects ticking over – each €1 realised 2,300 Tsh.

Their first meeting was with PSO (composed mainly of Government Employees of various Departments – the sister organisation of PSI). PSO and PSI had already negotiated the PSI programme which was mainly based on: (1) monitoring and evaluating the PSI projects of cows, veg, chickens, bees, goats; (2) checking the use of the 120 computers that PSI had sent 6 months ago into 10 schools; (3) making contacts for possible future impact of PSI personnel into the hospitals of Pemba; (4) being aware of possible new viable projects and (5) enjoying the experience of sharing the daily life of our friends in these 12 days. A lively discussion arose on the goals of PSO/PSI in the short term (1 year – food production), medium term (2-3 years – education, particularly adult education) and long term (6 years – to develop an industry).

Ivo de Carneri Clinic: They manage an Italian sponsored clinic in Chake for research into Tropical Diseases. They support physiotherapy and they provide drugs. Yahyah manages the IVO concern in Pemba. He said that TB was increasing as are Transition Disease (Diabetes, Sickle Cell, Blood Pressure and Cancer are now in the top 10). The key problems are: to have skilled personnel for mothers and children, to get rid of fake medicine from India (mostly), more commitment by the Ministry and, finally, increase the number of nurses. There are few Pemban doctors in Pemba because they typically prefer greener pastures. Local doctors do general surgery. Cleanliness and administration were the main gripes – hospitals need a professional manager. There is only one suitable person to repair medical machines.

Sun 19th: They visited the Bothar sponsored 20 cow project in Kinyikani. The 40 beneficiaries work in pairs – the first beneficiary owns the cow and the second person will benefit from the pass-on heifer calf. Pairing yielded greater team dynamics in sharing the work of feeding, cleaning sheds and providing fodder from the shamba. In the evening they shared a meal in the Wesha Hotel with Fr John and Christian who were visiting Kizimbani from Tandale in Dar, Fr. Beatus and Nathaniel who were visiting from Kizimbani and Fr Zeno and Victor from Chake.  

Mon 20th Feb: In the Department of Education office they met with Mr Sururu (Head of Ministry of Education in Zanzibar – Pemba Office), Mr Mkubwa (Co-ordinator of Teacher Education), Dianne (VSO volunteer in Education from England) and their IT staff. Mr Sururu is happy with the co-operation with PSI – he said the House of Representatives reported the giving of 127 computers from PSI to 10 Secondary Schools, in its minutes. ICT is now included in the curriculum. Internet is too costly at present for most schools. Their biggest problem is the development of teachers and students and how to use IT in education. Their main donors are from US Aid. It was mentioned that TZ21 put a projector, screen and computer into each primary school but they thought it was not successful as the teachers did not take it up. The teachers can be trained and empowered in Teacher Resource Centres. The Department of Education badly needs a photocopier, a wireless extender and a better internet vendor. Over lunch, Aiden told of how Fr John had led him to be introduced him to the staff of Mkoani hospital. Later at a meeting with Dr Ali in Chake hospital, he expressed a need for: 1. Theatre Lamp 2. Hospital Roof Leaks to be fixed, 3.  A washing machine. Mr Mohamed’s main problems were: 1. Training of Staff, 2. Physiotherapy in Wete Hospital and 3. Completion of the theatre in Micheweni. Dr Siti (eye doctor in Chake Hospital) was glad to get used spectacle lenses but she does require: 1. Lens meter, 2. A bulb for the lens meter and 3. A lens cutter. There is a new eye department planned for Chake Hospital. Mr Mohammed said that the main donors of the hospital are UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP and other United Nations organisations.  There is no Network for Internet in Dr Siti’s Department.

Tues 21st Feb: The volunteers focussed totally on the Mkoani District – the 3 other districts of Chake, Wete and Micheweni would follow later. Mauwani and Ulweni Secondary Schools, which were built in the last 5 years and had received 10 PSI computers each, were visited. The teachers were enthusiastic though they do not have Internet. The veg group in Kitandu has one of the 4 greenhouses on the Island. This was donated by PSI and they get 4 crops per year – without the greenhouse the crops would be destroyed by either heavy rains or prolonged drought. Lengu letu is a PSI chicken project that is thriving. They then proceeded to the brand new Hospital of 3 months Chinese Hospital, Mkoani where Aiden introduced the PSI Volunteers.to most of the staff. The director, Dr Haji (ex-member of parliament for 10 years) spoke about the Hospital and the work they do. Their problems are: 1. Manpower, 2. Training, 3 Electricity and fuel for their Generator and 4. A Lab.  They visited the HIV Group Goat project in Mtambile. This group looked both depressed and poor. They were about to make sheds for their goats. Abdul (aged 7), who suffers from cerebral palsy is a son of the beneficiary, Hassan and after visiting his house, they promised to get him a mattress and sports gear. Next visited was the bag making Mwambe group. Mwambe village had been chosen for this project as their children do not go to school but break stones to get money for their parents. PSI had sponsored an engine, sails and nets for the Michungwani Fishermen, as one of their members, Maree, had 4 children with cerebral palsy. Fatma, the eldest, aged 22 had died recently but Haikim (9 years) and Fakmi (8 years) still suffer as does their youngest sister. Maree’s group have 2 boats now and are catching lots of fish. They use the walkie talkies between the 2 boats. They dive with glasses to see where the fish are – so there is no need for a fish finder in this village.

Wed 22nd Feb: The PSI volunteers visited 4 schools in the Chake district to whom they have given computers: Vitongoji Vocational, Fidel Castro, Dr Omar and Shamiani. In the Vocational School, PSI has sponsored eight students on ½ fees and two sisters, Salma and Maria, studying food science from Makangale on full fees. Mr Juma, headmaster, will manage a Job-Bridge programme where 8 graduates from the Vocational School will be taken on by ZAWA (Zanzibar Water Company) and ZECO  (Zanzibar Electricity Company) for 6 months, to increase their later employability. Fidel Castro has got a good name in academics and the students were confident in using computers. Dr Omar and Shamiani Schools were also ambitious for their students but are finding it difficult due to shortage of teachers.                                                                                                                                                       Vikunguni village has benefited from PSI donations: 20 cows; building a house for Raya, one of the cow beneficiaries; desks to schools and a 15 goat project for the disabled of the village. The cows are doing well but drought has inhibited the growth and development of Napier Grass. Raya’s house is secure with roof, doors and windows but would benefit from concrete floors, a toilet and some furniture. The school desks were in 2 different classrooms and they were sturdy. Three sheds had been built for the goats and they looked forward to buying them.                                                                                                                                                                             The Gombani Soap Project is run by disabled women. The members have been well trained. They are making soap and are selling some of their work. PSI gave the group 800,000 Tsh to help them gain Tanzanian Standard Accreditation. Next visited was Tekeleza Turkey group. The turkey house was perfect as were the 15 adult turkeys. They have already got 26 eggs from 2 laying turkeys. One turkey is hatching at present. They hope to get an incubator – to release the brooding turkey to lay eggs. They hope to get 10 turkeys for each member.

Thurs 23rd Feb: The volunteers visited the remaining schools to which PSI had donated computers: 2 schools in Wete district – Chasassa with 926 students and 29 teachers – it is one of the 6 schools in Pemba where students have to pass an exam before they can enter and Utaani which is next door with 731 girls and 15 boys with 32 teachers – they got the Internet through iKnowledge. The 2 schools in Micheweni district were: Konde with 1,000 students and 20 teachers and CCK which is a Teacher Training College for Science Teachers and a Secondary School. The computers were being used in these schools.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The volunteers visited Wete Hospital where they had a poor IT system. They also visited Micheweni Hospital where they have 4 doctors and 12 nurses – here they have built a new theatre for gynaecology where there are 27 beds and 9 operation tables and they hoped it would be a district hospital in a few years. They also have a research lab for bloods. After such an intense day’s work the volunteers enjoyed a swim in Vumawimbi beach.

Fri 24th Feb: The volunteers focussed on a Job-Bridge programme to aid the employment of graduates in Pemba, at a meeting of PSO, ZAWA and ZECO representatives – 15 in all. PSI will sponsor a pilot study worth 100,000Tsh per month for 6 months for 8 graduates. Graduates would undergo an interview, express why they need support and report at the end of the Job Bridge. The proposed employing company must make a business case on what they are willing to offer the graduate – there must be no waste of money or time.  Government has been the main employer in Pemba and now they don’t employ locals. ZAWA could give skills of plumbing. There is work for private plumbers in Pemba, for example, fixing water meters in houses. The graduates will be encouraged to get references from happy customers for future employment. It was suggested hotels and Tourism should be at the meeting to encourage local employment. PSO requested that ZECO would share ideas and support the graduates. Every year ZECO take 50 students for field training for 7 weeks from the Vocational School. Insurance is a problem, particularly with ZECO.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Hamza, from the Department of Agriculture, has 96 training Community Animal Health Workers (CAHW) in the field. They administer drugs. They work by themselves, for themselves and they are trained, graduated and working. Their objective is to reach every Shehia (150) which is near saturation at present. The aim should be to train individuals with skills to make them self-employed. Asha, also from Department of Agriculture, spoke about Field Farm Schools (FFS). There are 600 groups in Pemba – they grow rice, veg, and sweet potatoes. They farm goats, cows and poultry. They get training and practice in production. This increases entrepreneurship. They get a grant for milk & cassava. This program, sponsored by IFAD, ends in March.                                         Business will come if there is a suitable workforce available. The process of employment is very difficult. ZAWA and ZECO have frozen employment along with the Government Depts. Vocational training improves skills and leads to employment. Import substitution – they agreed that when they import they are giving the job to someone else – yet, many items are cheaper from outside. There is an opportunity to add value to items like fruit, fish, spices and milk. They were trying to create an organisation for young plumbers and carpenters and electricians. ‘We would be helping those to employ themselves where there is a good market for their skills/produce’. What is the best investment? Education is the best. PSI has pilot schools for ICT being used for education.  The computer can make the teachers more effective.                                                                                                                                                               Some Ideas for New Projects in 2017: 1. A cow project in Mkoani – building a liquid Nitrogen plant in Pemba – creating an entrepreneurship development program in Pemba. 2. A cassava grinding machine – fishing nets for small fishermen, carpentry, ducks, salt packaging, wallets and bees. 3. The creation of crop and dairy production – support for AI services – small farmers should get the skills of dairy production. 4. The Government has a plan that all primary schools should have nurseries – they get no funding from the government towards nursery teachers’ salaries  but rely on what the kids bring in which is very little. 5. 20 groups of field farms schools are involved in production, livelihood, bees, poultry and shipping of slaughtered animals and local sales. 6. Daily development in marketing for example yogurt and butter – the value added of pasteurized milk would last for one week while C currently fresh milk only last a few hours – pasteurized milk is more nutritious and good for the brain. 7. Water tanks for farming groups – they needs drip irrigation – more livestock and ducks – to improve buildings. 8. A vegetable project – a pump and tank. 9 Ladies Groups. 10. Student fees and a Job-Bridge programme – tools to enhance graduates’ self-employment. 11. A crane in some ports in Pemba to facilitate offloading of containers. 12. Development of the farmers programme DARK which monitors progress. 13. Support for research on livestock, including chickens, meat, diseases and eggs. It was evident that these people have a vision for progress but many variables have to be put in place to achieve success.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Meeting a group of Spanish Doctors (from Valencia) who were operating in Chake for a week: There was a slight suggestion that a team from Ireland and a team from Spain could dovetail with the hospitals in Pemba to support them when other doctors are on relief / respite.

Sat 25th Feb: Aiden left for home but only after taking a flight to the next island of Unguja to meet Dr Naufal and to make arrangements for future Irish involvement with the Department of Health in Pemba. Mike and Neilus would stay in Kizimbani, Wete, for the next few days so as to monitor PSI projects in the North of the Island. Makundeni, the village with 24 people with leprosy, would be the first port of call. PSI has had an interest in Makundeni over the last 10 years, together with aid from St Francis Leprosy Guild, London. PSI work in Makundeni includes: paining of their houses, preplacing their mud floors with concrete floors, replacing their failed solar power with electricity, fixing their water supply and their toilets, digging a well and now a banana plantation with drip irrigation. Only 100 banana trees were planted out of the 2,000 proposed. They had planted another 100 plants but they died due to lack of water. The volunteers demanded that 600 holes should be dug by Tuesday when they would return.  The villagers were given 30,000Tsh towards 2 pick axes as some of the ground was hard. During a discussion with them the following needs were expressed: 1. they have no doctor for the sick. 2. Bi Hadia’s prosthesis is even worse. 3. Government gives them 25,000 per month and it’s not enough.  4. The nursery teacher in Makundeni said they need swings as they are broken now for 3 years. 5. They also lack uniforms and books. 6. They claim their houses are in poor condition. 7. When the banana project is finished they want a chicken project.                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Bopwe goats: The volunteers visited the house that Gervas got renovated to house the goats for orphans of HIV & Aids. A Development Welfare Officer (the vet – Abdalla Hemed) trained them and helps them fight diseases in the goats. They can get 2 kids every 6 months from the goats. They bought 15 female goats. They use the sale of the goats to send their kids to school. They have a problem of carrying water to the goats and they need a fence around the goat house.                                                                                      The volunteers went to visit the Gando Entrepreneurship Program in Kizimbani. In this area there is fruit/seaweed, packaging going on. The centre visited was a tomato paste machine – which has a washer and boiling machine and a paste making machine which cost in total 55,000,000 Tsh. The aim is to process 10 tons of tomatoes per week with an expected output of 4,000,000 per week. They pay for water but the rent is free. The donor is Maver who also supports fisheries, forestry and coastal areas. They could also make jam, peanut butter and fruit juice. A packaging machine could cost 40,000,000. They hope to start next month. Other enterprises are dry fruit, spices, cassava, pineapple and bananas. Gervas wants to get oil from sunflower.                                                    They visited a Saccos Credit Union – there are 53 groups – each with 20 members. 948 people will benefit. They pay government wages which is 150,000 per month. Profits go back to the people. They need sales, quality control and to be able to fix the machines. As well as tomato paste they could make chili paste. They comply with the Zanzibar bureau of standards (ZBS) – they train entrepreneurs – Hemed is the secretary.                                                                                                                                                                    Fish news from Ali Said: They do fish freezing in Tumbe. They have an Ice Making machine in Chake which preserves Octopus. FAO have sent consultants to take samples of seaweed to investigate disease control. 40 fishermen die each year in the sea. The most popular fish in Pemba – is Octopus, Squid and Archechoves (can be tinned), Tuna, Changu (Snapper), Tassie, Pono (parrot), King fish. There are about 15,000 fishermen in Pemba. Canning could add value to the price of fish. Zanzibar is the 3rd biggest producer of seaweed after Indonesia and the Philippines. 85% of the seaweed from Zanzibar comes from Pemba. People started to grind seaweed for oil, cream, cake, soap and perfume. 3 phase electricity is needed for grinding. Makangale has 1.5 m grinding machine.                   Pond fish: There is a problem to get fingerlings. Government is building a hatchery in Unguja. In September the Government will supply fingerlings to farmers. There are fish ponds in Choosey, Dungoni and Pugini – where they also make salt.  Misali Island is one km square and was full of rats. Ali worked on exterminating the rats which were destroying the turtle eggs and the coconut crab.

Sun 26th Feb: Today, the volunteers focussed on Makangale village, Micheweni District, where PSI has been involved for 10 years in the education of students at pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary level, dug a well, and with the aid of Bothar, PSI initiated its first cow project here. Makangale has a vibrant Christian Community with a wonderful choir. The volunteers met the local committee, MADA, at the local school. PSI gave two teachers their final Open University fees as their graduation in BA in Education is near at hand. Fees were also given to 20 Primary and Secondary students. The Secretary of MADA gave his report on the cow project. All cows had borne male calves so the pass-on of the first female calf did not occur. Problems they met: 1. communication problems, 2. Drought, 3. No grazing, 4. Little milk and 5. Difficulty in selling milk.  Sickness in cows often leads to death. They are emphasising now cleanliness of sheds, education and doctors helping. They have not succeeded in selling some of the well water but they have another possible investor instead of Manta Reef Hotel. There was a discussion about holding an AGM and it was agreed that all MADA members should meet on Sunday next the 26th Feb. It was suggested an annual report should reach PSI giving their achievements, their problems and their plans.

Mon 27th Feb: Due to local deaths, the volunteers’ programme had to be arranged. This gave them a chance to visit the port and the fish market in Wete.  The livestock Department were excited as they had just received their AI container from PSI in Ireland containing 3,500 Jersey and Friesian straws. A Glucometer was given to S. Hija for the Fundo Island community. The volunteers visited two PSI projects in Wete 1. Hindi with 15 hives and 56 chicks – 3 of the hives are modern but they have not captured any bees yet while only 7 of the 12 local hives have captured bees – the chicks got chicken pox and there are only 16 alive even though they got vaccinated – they were advised to feed them with growers mash and plenty of water – Iodine could cure the pox – they need more training and increased number of hives – they need protective gear – It’s 180,000 Tsh for a bee suit and they need two. 2. Kiwani with 6 acres of veg and three drip irrigation systems – they grow sweet pepper and have grown a border of sorghum to protect the veg – they also grow water melon – they are digging a well and are 8 meters down but no water yet – it costs 100,000 Tsh for every 1.0 m depth – they hope for water after 16m – it needs 3 people to dig a well. The volunteers visited 2 projects in Micheweni – 1. Wingwi, which produces bees – they have 18 hives – 10 modern and 8 local – they can get 5 to 6 litres of honey from a hive – a litre from honey reaches 25,000Tsh, – they planted amaranthus and watermelon to attract the bees – they need a 300m pipe to bring water from the well to the bees – they have a new centrifuge for removing honey from the honey combs and 2. Tumbe, who got 100 pullets – they have only 23 now – they built a wonderful “house” for the chicks but they had no money for food and no local contributions – they did not know the reason for the deaths – there were contradictions whether medicine was used or not – they have no treatment book – they were advised to give antibiotics to the chicks but they did not administer – they were advised to feed the chicks with layers mash and to use a better rota system of care – they promised they will have 100 by next Sept –  they need a training facilitator and they need to use local medicine like Moringe, Aloa Vera and Nimtree – FFS will retrain the group after 2 weeks – no eggs are laid yet – they need to care for the birds – they possibly need an incubator – they need to put grasses outside and they should have enough eggs in April to produce new chicks by May and which could get the project back to 100 by September – the secretary Mbarouk teaches English and History in Tumbe secondary school where there are 300 children and 14 teachers but no computer – they have Solar Power – they have no projector The Secretary has written 2 books – for the protection of women and 19 poems on Zanzibar heritage and history.                      The volunteers next visited Kiuyu (Micheweni) – these people were given 130 goats – and there is now 208 goats. They are 3 groups of 20 people per group. The secretary is a CAHW. They went to a meeting of the 3 groups. Chumu, chairperson, welcomed them and thanked God for this development. PSI replied. The secretary read a report. Livestock is important in society to increase daily income. The challenges are the bucks are fewer than the optimum ratio, drugs are expensive and they need a pregnancy diagnoser. They suggested they need another group of animals to accommodate those waiting (60 people are waiting for pass-on) and to improve training for better services. Asha Zahran thanked the group. She said they should not be disappointed with their efforts for management. They suggested they could get sheep and veg as a complimentary project – and possibly another CAHW. It was suggested they might get one or two sheep as a pilot project to test. Bi Maua showed their handcrafts – baskets and mats – but there is no market. They only sell locally. The volunteers left a Glucometer and strips at the local clinic in Kiuyu and Suleiman Mbarouk told the people that it was available to them.

Tues 28th Feb: The volunteers returned to Makundeni Village with Leprosy. Mosi greeted them with a grin on her face as they soon saw she had managed to get 300 holes dug by the committee, all logged under person’s name and the amount each had dug. They had dug to a depth of 2ft (3ft required). They had covered all the available space and now they have to get the banana plants – this will give 400 plants. They need manure, additional piping (3 rolls were used for the existing 100 plants and they bought only 4 rolls) and they need to change the electricity meter from the mosque. They complained that the pipe from the well to the tower is too small.          They called to the fruit drying factory in Kizimbani with Gervas. It was closed as the solar electricity plant was broken down. However they met Ali Suleiman Hemed from the ministry of Trade, Industry and Marketing who works for the ministry – he said that there are many small entrepreneurs drying fruit, grinding fruits and spices – the factories in Kizimbani are for all entrepreneurs. Nassor is the manager of this particular factory – the machine can work on solar, diesel or electricity but now only electricity is available and it is very expensive – they have tried to fix the solar – the budget for running activities is not sufficient. They dry and sell a lot of mangoes. Capital costs are OK but operational costs are not OK. The key was not available to go to the factory as the key holder had gone to Unguja. Priorities in the ministry’s plans are: 1. Salt – AZSP (Association of Zn Salt Producers) have 64 farms with 10 workers per farm, each getting 170,000 per month. Marketing and Packeting are problems. 2. Seaweed: but the seaweed is getting diseased. 3. Fish: – they have cooling facilities in Tumbe. They need help for entrepreneurs in training and incentives. They could bring in employers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The volunteers went to collect their air tickets – Suleiman is helping Kassim with E.A.Holiday and was very informative on heritage sites and tours in Pemba. There are 6 main hotels in Pemba: 1. Pemba Lodge, Shamiani (South East), 2. Fundo Lagoon (Mkoani), 3. Sunset Misali, Wesha, 4. Manta Reef, Makangale, 5. Aiyana Resort, Makangale and 6. Pemba Paradise Resort, Makangale. There are also Swahili Divers, Makangale, and Pemba Archipelago (originally Pemba Clove, Chake) with prices $65 for single and $80 for double, Pemba Island, – he also mentioned Bwagomoyo Spice Tour in Mtambwe and the Flying Fox. Suleiman got in contact with Kassim who sent them their flight tickets by email.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Visit to Ibrahim’s house: The volunteers collected 12 packets of Comfy M Pampers @ 10,500 Tsh for Ibrahim, a 16 year old boy, who suffers from cerebral palsy and lives with his parents in a valley below Fr Zeno’s house. His mother showed them the state of Ibrahim’s pants which were all worn away as a result of his shuffling movement on roadways – they suggested that a leather garment tied around his thighs and waist could extend the lifetime of his pants. They left her 30,000 Tsh to research a solution for the problem.

Wed 1st March: Fr Zeno took the volunteers to the Pemba airport at 7.15 for the 8.15 flight. They arrived in Dar before 9.30 where we were met by Fr John who works in Dar and Fr Mathias. They gave Mathias his requested medical instruments as he has recently qualified as a doctor and is now working in Unguja. They travelled with Fr John towards the port but due to traffic jams Mathias took a motorcycle taxi. Fr John took the volunteers to Atiman House (which belongs to the White Fathers) where they had coffee. They walked to the Cathedral where they contacted Fr Msaky, who took a few hours off from his legal work. Frs John, Mathias and Msaky had previously worked in Pemba.                                                                                                                                                                              The volunteers had an hour’s meeting with Silvia from FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN). They explained the work of PSI in Pemba: 150 projects over 10 years with goals: short term – food; medium term – education and long term – jobs in partnership with the Departments of Education, Livestock, Agriculture, Social Welfare and Health. They reminded her that PSI had an application with FAO for 4 SMART ‘telefood’ projects. In Pemba, FAO has a research station. They aim for nutrition, anti-hunger and to reduce poverty. They react to crisis situations. In Unguja they have a fingerlings hatchery ($3 million) in partnership with Korea. Their TFP (Telefood Generations Project) supports small groups. They work with the Ministry but not further down. They touch the community with small projects and small money. They work in upskilling and added value (packaging, processing and marketing) and in food safety projects. They cannot commit to helping PSI.                                                                                                                                                          The volunteers next visited the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) office. IFAD develops FFS (Field Farm Schools) enterprises and gives grants in special value chains of livestock and drugs to support the business. They would be interested in inviting PSI for partnership. They will consult PSI on evaluating what works well. Heifer International is already partnering IFAD in Unguja.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Visit to the Irish Embassy: The Embassy was busy with a commemoration of the second last ambassador who had just died at an early age. Tom O’Donohue was waiting as we entered and we had a chat about VSO, PSI, INTO volunteers in Mombasa and Clare. They then met Robbie (from N. Ireland) and Farida, both working in the Embassy. Robbie thanked them for reports on PSI’s three projects with them (wells, Kiuyu goats and the 4 SMART poultry projects) over the last 3 years. Robbie is interested in visiting Pemba and wonders if the beneficiaries in Pemba are aware of Irish Aid and its source. He said that PSI could avail of the technical support which the Embassy has in plenty. He welcomed another monetary application from PSI to the Embassy in 2017.

Thurs 2nd March: The volunteers visited LICHINGA LIMITED, (PO Box 40973, Tel: 0784-548155/0716-661496, Email: lichingaltd@gmail.com) the clearing agent for PSI’s last shipping of computers to Pemba. They were joined by Ali Hamad, who had managed PSI well digging in Pemba and was acquainted with this Clearing Company). PSI had disputed the cost of clearance. While goods are in the main port there is a storage charge. As the Clearing Agent did not have the required documents, and the invoice had no number, signature or date and because Lichinga was not prepared to give a receipt, PSI decided to pay only half (500,000 Tsh) and the other half when satisfied with the relevant documents.                                                                                                                            The volunteers next visited GLRA (German Leprosy and Relief Association) who sponsor the Makundeni village with leprosy). They met Burchard and Grace. They stressed that the Makundeni project needs supervision and they praised the role of Mosi (Mosi’s uncle had leprosy). Grace was in Pemba in November. There are two groups in Makundeni – cows and bananas. There are 24 people with leprosy who are all in the banana group! GLRA are now going to close all their 14 projects of value €600,000.  GLRA contribute to Gov. efforts on controlling and eliminating Leprosy, TB & NTD (tropical diseases). Their role is the empowerment of people with disability. They face a shortage of drugs (ARV). GLRA was founded in 1958 (59 years ago) and came to Tanzania 40 years ago. In 1977 there were 10,000 leprosy cases and now there are 2,000 cases. TB is increasing but funding by GLRA will go down by 50% – there are 7 people working in GLRA office. Burchard suggested that PSI should become a member of ILEP (the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations). GLRA in Pemba is a question of monitoring and giving advice. Leprosy is no longer a threatening disease – there is no money in leprosy! SAKAHWA pays for drugs – now it is handed over to the Gov. GLRA paid for the training of 2 teachers in Makundeni – the President said that there should be no contribution from the parents as education is free! They will be handing over the school in Makundeni to the Gov. The director co-ordinates TB and leprosy in Zanzibar (DTBLC District TB and Leprosy Co-Ordinator). The relationship between GLRA and Makundeni is self-help and rehab – it is community based. Those disabled in Pemba get 20,000 Tsh/month. GLRA helps with ploughing and seed but not to 100% – they must make a contribution. GLRA give €643 to Pemba. They give money to involve the Gov. – they need to use the Gov. system. Dr Hamad is an assistant Medical Officer (MO). Hamad should be getting an allowance. He should get 65,000 Tsh per day for outreach work which he should do twice per month. We must negotiate with Gov. for Community Development Worker. Makundeni does not want Community Based Rehab involving the nearest local community. The Government, people with leprosy and the community must attend this training. ‘If you want to grow you cannot grow alone’. They need to share their water, live in a community and break hoodoos and isolation. PSI and GLRA should have joint supervision and they should go to Makundeni together. For new houses, GLRA provide building materials, Gov. provides the land and the family provides the labour – all in co-operation with the Sheha. In un-surveyed areas, the people get the plot from the Gov. with no title deed but they can sell the house.

Fri 3rd March: The volunteers arrived at the airport at 1am. They left Dar at 4am and arrived in Dublin at 4pm via Istanbul. This was a worthwhile mission.