UK pledges £30m for rural energy in Tanzania

Source: UK pledges £30m for rural energy in Tanzania

Usually aid reaches the north of the country much more than the south. This money will be added to a similar amount from the government of Sweden and it will be spent on projects under the guidance of Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency (REA). It is claimed by the REA that it has a core value of transparency.

Quote

“Transparency:

  • We are transparent and accountable for what we do.
  • Goals and objectives are aligned and clearly articulated.
  • Our actions are open to the public scrutiny.
  • We are honest about our performance.”
 I do not see transparency about their actions in the online information from REA. For example what project actions did the REA support financially in the last two years and what will they support in 2016? Much money has been allocated for consultants in 2015/16 but I don’t see that much happens from this money to improve rural energy availability. Let me quote one consultancy example from REA;
“Consultanting Services to prepare and implement training programs on
Business Plan, Solar/Wind energy, biogass, biomass, small hydropower
technologies and Gender issues in Energy projects undertaken by
developers.”
When will something happen in Mtwara Region to reduce power cuts?

Water Project for Masasi and Nachingwea

The project should be recommenced this month (January 2013).  The first transfer of water from the source into the holding tank near Masasi has not happened so far. Pumps should be installed and then a distribution system must be agreed and organised.

The illegal extraction of water near Mtandi from the older pipeline was stopped some months ago. Providing piped water is the work of engineers. Agreements on access to that water is a matter for the town’s people to decide.

I heard a rumour that the original Masasi pipeline was terminated at the house of a local politician so that he could sell the water. Then people were angry and he had to leave town. What will happen in 2013? Can anyone tell me?

Why go to Masasi District?

Plenty of reasons….
It’s a beautiful and interesting place. One big town, many villages, plenty of space and the famous Makonde Plateau are all here. If you like trees, there are big areas of miombo woodland and near rivers you can find giant jungle trees too.          

Miombo woodland is quite different because it needs to survive the long annual drought. The trees are much smaller than riverside ones but they are sometimes related species. There are many more kinds of trees than in temperate climates.  Mango trees have been introduced here and seem to have spread to remote areas. Maybe baboons (who like the fruit) have scattered the seeds. 

We occasionally found  trees with edible red fruit and wondered whether people couldpropagate them for extra food. The fruit comes ripe before main cultivated crops but after mangos and it tastes good straight from the trees.

Exploring on foot

The countryside has footpaths almost everywhere, even in seemingly untouched woodland wilderness but if you seek them out you’ll find places without paths. For example, up on the bigger rock outcrops like Mtandi mountain. It’s not really huge but it seems like it when you climb the steep sides in tropical heat, especially when the rainy season brings forth such lush, tall grass.