Hello, my name is Gasianus L Senzighe. I am 63 years old and head of the technical college, the Malage Vocational Training Center (VTC), in my hometown Mwanga, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. In 1982 I had the chance to visit Germany in the course of my teachers training, where I was able to gain some experience at different German vehicle manufacturers. After my return I knew I wanted to pass my knowledge on to others and I decided to establish my own technical college. 2014 I returned to Germany where I was told about the SoWaDi project in Darmstadt. In my opinion the topic safe water is still not taken as serious as it should be and many people keep on drinking germ-contaminated water. The aspect that most impressed me with the SoWaDi-device was its simplicity. It does not depend on expensive material, like firewood or gas to work, but rather uses the energy provided by the sun. That is the reason I became part of the whole project.
After some of my students, the SoWaDi team and I built up two devices at the Malage VTC in 2017, the system boiled water for a few months. Therefore, we were able to provide water to those who could not to boil it otherwise. Sadly, with the passing of time the devices started to decrease their output, but together with Jonas, Julius and Edgar we are going to solve those problems and update the devices on the schoolground.
Last Monday the team arrived safe and sound here at Mwanga, although Julius returned to Moshi on the same day to explore the other locations in Tanzania and meet up with potential partners on the following days. On Tuesday Edgar, Jonas as well as the students and teachers got to know each other through a workshop about water, hygiene and the SoWaDi device. In addition, a team for updating the devices was put together. Together they took the first water samples to ensure that the water to be treated meets the requirements. The following day Edgar, Jonas and the team examined the devices and came up with a shopping list for improving everything that needed to be done. Therefore, two of the students, the complete SoWaDi team (Julius had returned by now) and I could go and get the materials needed the next day. Friday finally we could start repairing the first device. Sunday, I took the team along with me to the weekly meeting of Rotary Club Mwanga, where I am a member. I was glad to hear that the Rotary Club in Darmstadt also supports SoWaDi. All in all, I am more than happy to see how the difficulties concerning the device are being approached with motivation by everyone. I can only hope that the students and teacher here at the Malage VTC will be incorporated in all the details of building up the device, so we can ensure to be able to run and maintain them on our own in the future.
In the following week we will finalize the construction and learn more about the functioning. It is also very important to establish a line of communication with the local group in Darmstadt before my three guests leave for their next stop. For the future my biggest wish is to strengthen the partnership, to keep on learning from each other and provide assistance when problems occur.
In my opinion a lot of people could profit from SoWaDi in the future. Technical challenges are being understood and removed quicker, therefore the buildup will probably be faster and easier. It is important to integrate the teachers in this whole process, so we can ensure that upcoming generations of students can also learn and profit from the devices. It has made me hopeful to see that some teachers and students want to introduce SoWaDi in their villages and are thinking about even implementing it there too.