20 Research students in Tanzania

20 Research students in Tanzania

20 students of the Erasmus University are conducting research in order to clarify the social economic benefits of the Justdiggit Hydrologic Corridor program. This is part of the collaboration between Justdiggit and the Economic Faculty association Rotterdam.

 

The research focusses on the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania, East Africa. After three months of desk research in Rotterdam, we travelled to Tanzania to start the field research. Now almost two weeks after arriving, the most important part of the research has been conducted. This text will inform you about our stay in the Kilimanjaro region.

The Justdiggit program will improve the soil moisture of the ground, meaning that it will be easier for local and regional farmers to grow crops. In order to investigate the – mostly positive – effects we have travelled to lots of villages and had amazing talks with the local farmers. The Tanzanian people are of the most welcoming and exciting people we have ever met, which most certainly helps our research. However, they aren’t the wealthiest people. Some farmers we spoke to only have 25$ per month to feed their family. Increasing the soil moisture will mean an increase in harvesting income and thus an increase in the income of the locals.

With the increase in the soil moisture more vegetation will grow in the region, resulting in a reduction of flooding. Floods are a severe problem in the Kilimanjaro region (Picture of the flood river), and thus have to be stopped or at least minimized. The floods destroy everything on their path from crops to cattle, from houses to entire roads. The Tanzanian people living in the rural areas were more than happy to help our research by filling in our surveys when we explained that the Justdiggit program helps reducing these floods. Local government as well helps out with lots of interviews and access to local databases.

When the campaign improves the economic status of the region, locals will notice this in their social lives. For example the decrease in conflicts over water, improved health, improved education and more opportunities for women. Currently the water is scarce, which causes conflicts within communities. The Justdiggit program will decrease the number of conflicts by allowing more water to be used in the region. In the rural areas most parents don’t have enough money to provide school supplies for their children. The Justdiggit program will allow them to buy more school supplies to improve the education. For the past years the position of women has been changing in the area. The Justdiggit program could be used to further improve their situation by giving them more opportunities.

We are having a great time in the Kilimanjaro region and will stay here a little longer to conduct research in the field. The local people and our new friends make our stay amazing. We are sure that the Justdiggit program can and will improve their lives and are thankful for the opportunity to help Justdiggit help them.

 

See you back in the Netherlands
EFR Involve Research project team 2016