Blog: Knowledge exchange in Tanzania
What’s better than sharing your knowledge and experience with an enthusiastic and inquisitive group of people from different corners of the country? Last week we held such an event in Kongwa, one of our districts. Farmers, Maasai, village leaders and ecovillage project employees came to visit me and my colleagues from LEAD Foundation from different parts of Tanzania.
This resulted in 15 participants from centre-east Tanzania (Igunga) and a number from north Tanzania (Mbaash). After they had seen the documentary Kisiki Hai, they were eager to learn the FMNR technique. The participants were accompanied by 10 farmers from central Tanzania (Kongwa) who were already trained by LEAD Foundation facilitators and could exchange their experiences.
On Monday evening the participants from Igunga and Mbaash arrived after a bus journey of 10-12 hours. You couldn’t tell they were tired, because they started sharing their excitement and seemed full of energy. The technique was explained by our trainers, we went into the field to prune and in the evening songs and plays about Kisiki Hai were prepared for the final day. Before the people returned to their own regions, there was room for additional advice from the trainers and the Kongwa farmers about how they can best promote and apply the technology in their own villages.
You could tell by the look of the smiling faces and farmers interaction, these were definitely valuable days. At the end of the event a Maasai even said:
“I am so grateful for these days. It is the first time that I got lessons in a classroom and that was a great experience. I will transfer the knowledge to other Maasai as soon as I return to my region. I’m going to let a piece of land rest and keep out cattle, so that trees start to grow again, that can be pruned and protected.”
The evening before the long journey back, a meeting was even planned under the Igunga group. The main question was:
How will we implement the FMNR method in our ecovillages?
Now that they have learned everything about preserving trees, they are determined to apply the technique themselves and spread the knowledge. The ‘first seeds have been sowed’ outside the Dodoma region for a greener Tanzania!
Project Coördinator Dodoma