Hot Spots – facing the challenge on the Mlalakua River
April 2016 marked the end of a multi stakeholder partnership project aimed at; restoring the Mlalakua River and preventing further pollution on a sustained basis. From the start, it was clear that experiences drawn from this initiative would also be used to inspire actions aimed at improving the conditions of other rivers and streams in Dar es Salaam. Did we succeed? Partly. Whilst we failed to restore the Mlalkua River to a healthy status, we have made significant progress in curbing the flow of pollutants into the River. And perhaps more importantly, the learning outcomes of this initiative will serve as an invaluable resource on similar projects in the future.
Nipe Fagio’s role within the project was to raise awareness and mobilize the community towards improved waste practices. We were able to reach thousands of community members through a series of strategic engagements which included, meetings with community leaders, school visits, community group visits and cleanups. (See chart below) But mobilizing people towards improved waste practices requires infrastructural support and enforcement, and herein lay the real challenge.
With narrow and sometimes hilly roads and no access to collection points the business model for waste collection remains a non-lucrative prospect in unplanned areas. In the planned areas - Mikocheni B, Mlalakua, and parts of Mzimuni - significant process was made. Partners continue to work with local government reviewing current systems and the way in which they are regulated. Further progress to the rehabilitation of the River remains largely in the hands of Government and the community to take a lead on such issues.
In the meantime several community heroes, representing various subwards along the River, have stepped forward to mobilize their neighbors towards increased participation in community initiatives for cleaner neighborhoods and protection of the Mlalakua River. Nipe Fagio will continue to support and encourage them to Be the Change.
Final Wrap – Nipe Fagio reports back at final stakeholder meeting
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