Last Day in Moshi

Today we filmed in the Hai District, still in the Moshi region. The drive was lengthy but beautiful; after receiving conflicting directions, we took the scenic route overlooking lush ravines of rainforrestry and even some babbling brooks. As usual, we were greeted by many hospitable villagers who waved to us as we drove past. Luckily our driver and guide Jemal was able to get us back on track, and eventually we reached our destination: the Hai District Water Supply Project center. We then met with our contact, Mr. Marandu, a water engineer who consults the project. Mr. Marandu was a joy to interview; he was extremely articulate and eloquent in English, and provided many excellent sound bytes for our documentary.

The issue of water contamination in general is central to much of what we are studying in terms of the effects of global warming on Mount Kilimanjaro. It was informative to learn about a project that is already in motion which has successfully provided purified water to the community for low rates. Funded by the German government, the Hai District Water Supply Project uses environmentally-savvy engineering tactics to provide water for human consumption (rather than irrigation purposes) for an enormous community; Mr. Marandu estimates that it will benefit 90,000 people by 2010. The project calls upon the community for help, which immediately reminded me of the COPE Project and how vital the element of the community is in African culture.

We were able to witness a meeting during which a new “Water Board” was elected, whose tasks include overseeing the education of youth in areas such as environmental conservation. Although global warming is an impending issue, Mr. Marandu stressed that the most detrimental issue working against a clean water supply is the illegal logging of trees. He poetically emphasized, “These trees were planted by our grandfathers, and some by God. Why should we steal them?” I was intrigued by what he had to say, and the immediate benefits of the clean water were obvious — the program has already erradicated the threats of water borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera in the area.

Mr. Marandu then brought us to some of the project’s sites. We were able to view the main water pump, which is connected to a long pipe stretching for many kilometers which reaches either private homes, or a public pump for those who cannot afford a direct line of running water. The pump purifies the water with chlorine, and is maintained by technicians and overseen by a 24-hour guard. Although I don’t have an affinity for physics or the applied sciences, I was able to comprehend the ingenuity of the design; it economically uses no electricity or even solar power, but draws on the slope of the surrounding environment to keep pumping. The amount of work and thought that went in to such a cohesive project was evident as we ended our day’s work viewing a public pump and two huge water storage tanks.

We then headed back to the main city of Moshi, inspired by what we had just witnessed. Tonight we bid farewell to this interesting city, and begin the last phase of our trip in Dar es Salaam. -Gilli

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S.O.W.

Students of the World, an organization conceived by college students and led by students, is devoted to spreading awareness about social justice issues through documentary work. In particular, we focus on non-governmental organizations affecting change in the international community.

Summer ’07

This June, the Columbia team will travel to Tanzania, where we will study two Africare-partnered organizations. The Community-Based Orphan Care, Protection and Empowerment (COPE) Project seeks to increase the community's ability to provide support and care for vulnerable children. The Kilimanjaro Landscape Conservation Partnership (KLCPP) aims to preserve both the communities of Kilimanjaro and its natural attributes.

Summer ’06

Last summer, the Columbia team - in its inaugural SOW trip - traveled with Brown to Ethiopia, where we studied the HIV/AIDS testing and treatment sites of the African Services Committee. For photographs from that trip, please click the "Photos" tab at the top of the page.
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