As a PhD student at the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University in Sweden (Karolina), and a Researcher at the Department for Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University for Agricultural Services (Linda), we are trying to raise money to help the people of Basanza, Tanzania, where we conduct our research, to improve their water access and quality and decrease the spread of waterborne diseases. 50,000 SEK will be enough to build two new pumps as well as repair and service the existing water sources. Keep on reading to find out more about why we are raising money, what our relationship to Basanza is, and how the money will be put to use.
The work will start in the spring of 2019, if we can raise enough money!
Please help us help our friends to get safer water!
No contribution is too small, or too big!
Karolina and Linda
The Ward of Basanza in North West Tanzania is growing at a rapid pace with more than 20,000 inhabitants and counting. The people are in dire need of improved access to safe water. Waterborne diseases, such as typhoid fever and amoeba, are at a chronic level among many of the residents. The two villages in Basanza Ward, Basanza and Msebei, both lack proper water distribution systems and the people rely on fetching water from open wells distributed throughout the area. The water in this part of Tanzania is saline and only one of the wells in the area contains fresh water. At present, only some of the wells in the Ward have an actual pump, out of which many are broken, or even lack proper lids to protect the water from contamination. This contributes to the spread of waterborne diseases and affects the health of the population negatively. In addition, the health care in the village is poor with only two clinics to serve the entire population. Moreover, these clinics are often short of medical supplies.
WHAT IS OUR RELATIONSHIP TO BASANZA?
We both have a long-standing relationship with Tanzania. In 2012, Karolina conducted field work in Babati District in the north of the country for her Bachelor thesis. Since then she has kept coming back at a regular basis.
Linda visited Basanza village in 2013 for the first time, to do some initial interviews for her PhD research. In 2014, we travelled together to Basanza for the first time to do research for our Master Thesis and Doctoral Thesis respectively. The great reception and the many friends we made in the village made it an easy choice to come back to Basanza for more field work, and Karolina is now performing her field work for her PhD research project in the village where she will spend in total around 10 months. Karolina consequently spent August to December of last year (2017) living together with a family in Basanza. Our time in the village acquainted us with the many challenges the villagers face daily. Between a short food supply, poor access to medical service, under dimensioned schools, lack of electricity and proper telephone connections, the poor water quality is by far the biggest problem.
Over the months we spent in Basanza it became our home and the people who opened their homes to us became our family. The warmth, love and patience the people of Basanza have shown us during our studies there is unmatched. To give back something, however small, seems necessary. We have therefore taken it upon ourselves to try to make a terrible situation better by finding money to buy two new pumps, repair the broken pumps and lids.
WHAT WILL WE BE ABLE TO DO WITH 50000 SEK?
When it was time for Karolina to leave Basanza in 2017, she had a sit down with the two village chairmen of Basanza; Ally Kabwebwe and Gideon Mambo. She told them that we were overwhelmed by the kindness and love we had met in their villages and that we wanted to try and give something back. After discussing several important matters, they both came to the conclusion that if we can do something to make better the water situation that would be fantastic. Karolina was told that to dig wells and buy new pumps costs around 4 million Tanzanian shillings which is around 16 000 SEK. Together we decided to try and raise enough money for 2 new pumps, one in each village, to place in central locations, or nearby the schools, and to try and repair those pumps and lids which are broken. The amount of money we can raise will decide how much work we will be able to do. We will leave it to Ally and Gideon to decide how to best put the money to use. The idea is that the villagers will contribute to the project by digging the wells while we, with the help of you guys, will contribute with construction material and any other costs associated with the construction. If all goes well, we hope to initiate the project at the end of Karolina’s second field work in the spring of 2019
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- Karolina Wallin Fernqvist
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