Monday, April 18, 2011

Professor Tolly Mbwette talks with his University students.

Come to know Professor Tolly Mbwette who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania. A man who changed the shape of the University which is now among the most respected universities in the world. Professor Tolly Mbwette is an engineer with Phd. Degree from England. He is being interviewed by the local TV media during a meeting with the OUT students at a temporary headquarter building in Kinondoni in Dar es Salaam recently. Among other things he boasts of is that, he is fond of talking to the University students a factor which he says is very rare to be done by any Vive-Chancellor of any university in the country and worldwide in particular.

Is it fair to trade at commuter bus stand?

Some petty traders have turned commuter bus stands as a market place, is it fair?. It is also shameful to see that, Petty traders like this fish mongers hawking fish at the commuter bus stand at Kipawa in Dar es Salaam with the authorities concerned looking at the matter without taking action.

It is too disturbing whenever it rains in the city of Dar es Salaam

This is what happens in the city of Dar es Salaam when it rains as captured recently at Buguruni traffic lights in Dar es Salaam. Commuter buses negotiates their way. The formation of water log in most parts especially along the main roads is a normal phenomenon. But civil engineers have to look at the problem to avert such bad situation as it deteriorates the good image of the city once used to be called the haven of peace. It’s shameful to see that the government does pay any attention to such things.

Help promote Swahili language, experts urged

SOME Intellectuals and Swahili experts have called on the prompt development of the Swahili language and insisted on its use for the national interests in order to promote the country’s social and cultural developments. They made this observation recently in Dar es Salaam during the inauguration of a 32 paged booklet that describes the life of their fellow Swahili language expert Professor Tigiti Mnyagatwa Sengo, in a colourful ceremony which was held at the temporary headquarter of the Open University of Tanzania. They have said that, time has come for Tanzanians to use their resources wherever possible in order to promote Swahili as a national language and use it more widely as a means of production so as to promote what the lord God had given to Tanzanians as a moral gift. According to them, “Swahili language must be preserved and honoured as an intellectual property for Tanzanians who best speaks the language more than any other country in the world. Promotion of local language is a self empowerment of a nation whereas to know other foreign languages is a slavery.” “Tanzanians must be proud of that” says Dr. Aldin Mutembei of the Institute of the Department of Swahili at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). In view of this, therefore it should be used and put in the forefront in every matters pertaining to the country’s cultural and social superiority. “You would be amazed to see that about five leading languages in the world is for Europeans and these have dominated most intellectual properties because of the fact that, foreign intervention has absorbed the minds of most African idealism”. He said

An Assistant dean of the faculty of FASS Professor Ngwiliza opens up the ceremony by introductory remarks.

Mzee Yusuf Halimoja, who compiled the a book that describes the life of Professor Tigiti Sengo leads a a band of choir team that entertained the guests during the occasion.

Professor Tigiti Sengo and fellow Swahili language experts

He is on the view of the fact that, Tanzania should divert her mind and should stand firm to unite together in a bid to retain its respected moral Swahili culture from deteriorating among its citizens. However, he said added that, Swahili language is becoming an active player in most Pan-African meetings as well as in the global economy. According to Professor Sengo, the prevailing power relationship of languages and culture has to be challenged and hopefully even shaken up, that is why he is fond of writing as many Swahili books as possible as reading is conventional. Writing books in local language is one way of promoting African languages which if strict measures are not taken to maintain this culture, a nation is likely to face extinction of its local cultures if care would not be taken and instead keep on maintaining the mentality of depending on other people’s languages. The death of any language is the loss of knowledge contained in that language, and the weakening of any language is the weakening of its knowledge producing potential as it is a human loss. Professor Sengo who currently is a Senior Lecturer with the Open University of Tanzania is vigorously fighting for Swahili language in order to promote Tanzania’s culture.

A cross section of the invited guests who attended the ceremony at the tent of the Open University of Tanzania

Professor Elifas Bisanda (DVC Academic) of the Open University of Tanzania who was the guest of honour delivering his speech during the occasion.

Professor Bisanda cutting a tape to officially inaugurate the 32 paged booklet that describes the life of Professor Tigiti Sengo

Intellectuals urges on the use of Swahili language in Tanzania

Being a professor of Swahili literature (Fasihi ya Kiswahili) at the University, he started his career of writing Swahili Essays while studying at Mzumbe Secondary school way back in 1965 and his first ever essay was published in Tanganyika library in the same year. According to him, a nation without people’s culture is no more. The idea reflects in his mind and has urged people to cooperate in building Swahili together and not mixing up words while speaking the language. He is on the view of the fact that, Tanzanians must build Swahili language for the development of Tanzania and Africa as a whole. During the occasion, the Ministry of Information and Culture was represented by an official from the department of culture. The ministry congratulated the efforts so far contributed by Professor Sengo towards maintaining Tanzanian Swahili culture in the global sphere. These experts could not hesitate to throw blame to the government which according to them, has not been in a position to promote Swahili language in the country. “The government’s insistence on the Swahili language is extremely very low” says former Executive Secretary of the National Swahili Council (BAKITA) Mr. Mohammed Mwinyi.

Four ladies among the invited guests from Zanaki Secondary school entertained the audience when they read one of the poems which was compiled by Professor Sengo in one of his 25 books for secondary schools in the country

Professor Elifas Bisanda (DVC Academic) of the Open University of Tanzania congratulates Professor Sengo during the occasion

A Woman putting a scuff on Professor Tigiti Sengo as a sign of his bravery and standing point to defend Swahili language in the country.

An intellectual wonders why Swahili is not included in the constitution?

According to him, Swahili language is not mentioned in the national constitution. He said and added that, Kenyans have gone as far as maintaining the Swahili language and put it in their constitution for insistence as a national language and it’s shameful that Tanzania has not. Kenya has developed in Swahili than Tanzania because they have taken the language more seriously since before in order to help their country, and that is why they are good ambassadors of the language abroad. Either these experts have largely praised President Jakaya Kikwete who fought vigorously to let Swahili language being spoken in Africa Union meetings during his tenure as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the third phase government. Other Swahili experts who graced the occasion included, Mr. Maulid Omary Haji of Zanzibar National College. Mr. Maulid is currently a Phd. student of the Open University of Tanzania for which Professor Sengo is his supervisor. He is also an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Swahili and Foreign Languages (TAKILUKI). Others were Professor Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany a Swahili Consultant Advisor of the Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa (RISSEA), Ismail Mohammed Salim, a retired secondary teacher, and Professor Abdallah .J. Safari.

Professor Tigiti Sengo with other Swahili experts who attended the occasion in a group photo

Professor Sengo’s wife giving a vote of thanks prior to the closing of the ceremony

Professor Sengo giving a speech in which he congratulated the author Mzee Yusufu Halimoja

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How an On-Site Analyzer machine provides an integrated solution

DO you want to know if your vehicle oil is adulterated or contaminated? Or that is maintained clean and free of contaminant materials? Here is the solution. You can be assured of by use of a newly introduced computer related machine referred to as “On-Site Analyzer (OSA3)” MicroLab type. The machine does not only tests vehicle’s oil, this is also a tool for evaluating the condition of engines, transmissions, gearboxes, generator and hydraulics. The analyzer tests for wear debris as well as the physical properties of the oil itself. Sometimes is referred to as “The blood test machine” for one’s equipment, it tells a customer important facts about the condition of the lubricating oil sample, which if found to be bad may be drained, or if is seen to be in good condition, may be continued to be used. It also tells the condition of the engine, transmission, generator and gear box. It works like that one which diagnoses human health and monitored by the analysis of blood, and the results are interpreted by applying the knowledge of the body’s chemistry. By comparing tests to normal conditions, the OSA3 analyzer can recommend if any maintenance or repair actions are necessary. The machine is tandem spectrometer that integrates an Optical Emissions Spectrometer (OES) and measures the concentrations of sub-microscopic metal in solution. These metals are present due to component wear, normal and abnormal, inside the engine or transmission. The infrared module scans a portion of the used oil sample to measure the physical properties of the oil and look for contaminants.

A technician looks at the results analyzed out by a computer generated On-Site Analyzer machine (MicroLab type) which is used for analyzing used vehicle oils. The-State-of-the-art machine has been installed at STARPECO offices at Kipawa Industrial area. The machine detects oil contaminants within a shortest time of between 6 and 10minutes.
An on board computer controls both spectrometer and tabulates the results gathered from each information about the oil and the vehicle provided by the operator, along with the test results, are evaluated by the analyzer’s software. The software generates a report that includes the test results and an evaluation of the condition of the engine or transmission being tested. The diagnostic statement may also recommend maintenance for specific engine or transmission component. The computer, utilizing a Microsoft Windows XP operating system and custom software forms the heart of the system by controlling the flow of fluids around the unit, by controlling and acquiring data from the two. Used oil analysis has been performed for decades within the traditional laboratory environment. However, the same type of information can now be provided within 6-10 minutes by use of OSA3. Just with the push of a button, a thorough analysis is instantly performed on the used oil sample. Furthermore, the system transforms the specialized analytical data into a meaningful diagnosis, without the need for an expert technician. This incorporates the latest technological advancements in the oil analysis industry. This new technology has been introduced here in Tanzania by a locally registered firm by the name of STARPECO Limited. The company deals in lubricants and bitumen and is highly committed to provide quality service to a wide range of customers. The firm is experienced in petroleum and various industrial cleaners and chemicals. Starpeco Lubricants, are the company’s own blended brand which are conventional lubricants used in automotive, industrial, railway and marine industries under STARPECO brand. STARPECO has introduced new technological products/services in Tanzania and East Africa market. Apart from the ‘On-Site Oil analyzer’ the firm has introduced the prefabricated low cost housing from BETCO, USA and the water based bitumen binder (Emulsion). The company’s offices are located on plot No: 107 & 108, at Kipawa Industrial area, Nyerere Road slightly opposite Diamond Motors in Dar es Salaam. The firm shares the same compound with the Fine Woodworks Ltd workshop.

Water Week celebrations: What does it mean to Tanzanians?

EVERY year Tanzania celebrates the International Water Day in March just like other nations worldwide. The reasons for this is to effectively remind the public the importance of water commodity and its impact to the economic development and community use as a whole. The National Water Week celebrations is commonly known as “Maji Week celebrations”. The climax of this important event for this year was held last week in Mwanza city under the theme “Water for cities” This is also the theme for the International Water Day 2011 that reflects over exploitation of available water resources and better targeting of urban poor. The significance of this occasion was adopted from the United Nations General Assembly declaration of International drinking water in 1980, and sanitation decade (1981-1991). The slogan responds to urban challenges with activities aiming to communicate messages on growing urban water and sanitation demand, increased pollution from municipal and industrial discharges, climate change and its foreseen risks and challengers. During Maji week celebrations in the country, officials and stakeholders of the industry takes the opportunity to educate the public in general on the importance of water as applied alongside national policy. On the other side, the public also gets an opportunity to express their opinions regarding the implementation of the applied policy and the strategies of getting safe drinking water for the people. Since the inauguration of ‘Water week’ celebrations in Tanzania, the significance of this event in a broader aspect is to analyze and review the implementation of water programs and hence put forward some more strategies aiming at furthering the development of the water sector in the country. When commemorating the water week, there are important discussions on various development and reforms which are highlighted in terms of the provision and development of water services. Obviously, water scarcity and ways to curb the phenomenon is often given the centre stage of discussions as this is mostly experienced in rural areas where the majority of the poor people lives. The impact of low water supply coverage falls primarily on the poor in urban and rural areas where the urban poor pay high prices to water vendors. In rural areas the low water supply coverage manifests itself in low agricultural production and poor quality of life. Far back in 1970 Tanzania had launched a 20 year national water supply program that aimed at providing reliable water supply by 1991. With that plan, every Tanzanian was supposed to be supplied with clean and safe water within a walking distance of 400 meters away from his/her residence. The program experienced a number of crippling constraints such that the set target has to date not yet realized. A combination of a number of problems and constraints made it necessary to push the targeted year of achievement of the water supply program from 1991 to 2002. One of the setbacks was due to the application of sophisticated technologies which ultimately rendered water supply systems quite expensive to operate and maintain. The role of the government towards rural and urban water supply is to ensure that the entire country’s population gets a reliable and sustainable water services. In view of this, the government has put down various strategic plans so as to successfully achieve its goals. To implement this, the government is currently encouraging and creating a conducive environment for the water stakeholders in the country in collaboration with sector institutions such as those engaging in drilling water wells, dams as well as those running the water harvesting technology. The overall objective of the program is to ensure safe water supply to the people in the country. The aim is to bring about accelerated development by using water as a catalyst for human life as well as industrial development. Under the on-going public sector reforms, the government is striving hard to ensure a smooth operation in the water sector for the attainment of the water supply services at cost effective prices. Specific objectives are to locate and develop safe and sustainable water sources through drilling of deep well and construction of dams to increase water availability for different socio-economic uses and to promote reliable, timely, quality and affordable services to rural and urban population. According to an expert in water industry, water storage is the key requirement to provide a dependable source of water. Depending on local environmental conditions, rainwater harvesting may provide a supplementary supply, an alternative supply or the only feasible improved supply, especially in rural arid and semi-arid areas. Engineer Ezekiel Chonya who is an hydrologist noted that, “rainwater harvesting is a feasible option for improving living conditions of many millions of people currently facing serious water supply problems in the country. It is known to be a traditional source of water in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas, where reliable, adequate and potable water within a reasonable distance is rarely found.

Water crisis: Will Tanzania meet MDGs?

STAKEHOLDERS of the water industry in the country have been experiencing many challenges and hardships towards the development of the water sector, the results of which have not been providing solutions to a better achievement. One doubtful report is whether Tanzanian water sector strategies will be able to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The strategies aim to ensure an effective supply of clean and safe water to its people as endorsed in the Ministry’s program of decade for action 2005-2015. As the saying goes, the ongoing issue of water scarcity in the country has been the order of the day. There has been cries of water in almost every part of the country. It’s water, water and water everywhere as from the household taps to rural family homes. But if one may ask to find out where has water gone? Stakeholders including government authorities, politicians and the individuals concerned, remains dumb or even turned a blind eye and eventually no solutions to the problems despite of the numerous promises. Women and children including men almost in every part of the country, search for water everyday in virtually all cities, towns and even in rural vicinity. They have to walk long distances in search of this precious commodity but to no avail. It is no longer a secret that access to safe water is essential for addressing poverty and health problems. However, it remains a fact that in Tanzania and most of other African countries, the poor who lives in rural areas have limited access to clean water for domestic and crop production and adequate sanitation. While water is of such social, economic and environmental value, over the two past years, Tanzania like other African countries located south of Sahara desert, has been experiencing drought which has resulted into serious water shortages impacting on the very critical aspects of its people’s lives, growth and development. The chronic water shortages in many areas is causing serious concern to all and sundry. Various studies have revealed that, the main problems in rural communities are long treks that culminate in walking long distances of about two to three kilometers daily in order to get water. Long queues at the point of water taps are also another problem and this situation stagnates other economic activities. Should there be contamination at these common points the whole village is likely to be at risk. From time immemorial, this old adage of water everywhere but not a drop to drink continues to stare at the faces of Tanzanians now for the last 50 years after independence Moreover, the debate rages on as whether water scarcity is due to lack of resources, human capacity or bureaucracy. In Dar es Salaam city for example, despite of its currently estimated 4.5 million people, the story remains the same for the better part of the independence years. Half of its suburbs which depend on water sources from Ruvu Juu are currently faced by a water crisis probably due to the increased dilapidated water infrastructures. A resident of Mwenge-Migombani suburb in the city, Mr. Juma Isaya blames the government and the local authority ministry for giving city dwellers a raw deal despite payment to the authorities and taxes to the government for the improvement of water infrastructures.

He says, it was hard for the government to justify taxation to the city dwellers while they are exposed to all sorts of diseases associated with lack of adequate water in their household surroundings. However, a high ranking official of the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO) who spoke on strict condition of anonymity noted that, “chances of having reliable water supply within the city of Dare es Salaam are very minimal at the moment, citing on the failure of long rains which seems to have delayed to fill up the level from the main source of water supply in Kizinga and Ruve Juu rivers respectively”. According to him, in order to avert the situation, DAWASCO is currently working out plans to rehabilitate several boreholes in the city in case the condition gets worse. But useful observers have noted that most of these wells might not work to satisfy people’s needs as most of them are empowered by electricity whose supply is currently unreliable countrywide due to its rationing. This is yet another scenario caused owing to frequent power blackouts culminating from water shortage from its generating sources. Water blues to some extent might be caused by insufficient water rainfall. Apart from borehole and other drilling water wells, dry spell is rigorously a cause of inadequate water supply in the country, says Robert Kyaruzi a water engineer in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. He says that, because of the growth of world population and other factors, the availability of drinking water per capita is shrinking. The issue of water shortage can be solved through more production, better distribution and less waste of it. Water is becoming increasingly scarce all over the world, and this scarcity is considered one of the most pressing problems confronting the survival of humankind in the 21st century. The increasing water scarcity worldwide is posing threats on development and environmental protection. Scarcity and misuse of fresh water pose a serious threat to sustainable development and protection of the environment. This exemplified the central importance that water resources and water scarcity have attained in global debates on the environment and development. Experts predicts more troubles ahead because of the world’s growing population, increasing contamination through pollution and global warming. While the world’s population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold. Statistics shows that Tanzania is endowed with second fresh water lake in the world, the country’s urban centres in the lake Victoria Basin are the hardest hit by water scarcity. As a result water borne diseases besides malaria have remained health issues all year around. Such urban centres are like Musoma, Bukoba and Mwanza city respectively. Water is a fundamental natural resource for social economic development. Since the Millennium summit’s declaration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 as an agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives of people in the world. Tanzania has been spearheading various strategic actions for achieving these targets but unfortunately they have proved futile.