Hello, my name is Samwel Emmanuel Masaga and in this blog I will tell you about the current state of the SoWaDi project and my role in it. First some things about me: I am 25 years old, live in Moshi, studied Wildlife Management at the Sokoine University of Agriculture and work as Project Manager at KCF (Kilimanjaro Childlight Foundation). In this function I have only been working on the project since February and had great respect for getting into the subject. However, with the help of Rebecca, Jonas, Julius and Edgar, it was made very easy for me to get started, so I now feel in good hands with the project. I like the fact that I always have the chance to learn something different, to have new, intensive encounters with different communities and thus broaden my horizon. Above all, I find it remarkable that the project aims to improve the water situation in our communities.
When I was little, we sometimes boiled the water on a fire, but that always involved a lot of work. Before that, firewood has to be collected and brought home. This sometimes involved long journeys and after the working day my parents were usually too tired for that. Drinking it from the tap is much more comfortable. But here in the region it is mostly coupled with health risks. I am convinced that SoWaDi can make a big difference here.
When I was not allocated to the project that long yet, I had the chance to watch the completion of the first plant in Kidia, the second location, together with Jonas and Rebecca. I was very impressed to see the hot water and some steam leaving the plant. Treating water with the sun is a rather unknown technology and many, including myself, find it difficult to understand directly what exactly happens. After seeing the plant in action for the first time, I had no doubt that the water is actually boiled.
To give you an impression of the last week and my work at SoWaDi I would like to tell you a little bit about it:
At the beginning of the week, the construction team, together with Jonas, Julius and Rebecca, completed the sixth and last plant of this trip. Julius and Rebecca held a workshop on water and hygiene at the secondary school in Kidia. During the almost two hours, interesting questions of the about 60 students about different aspects of water and especially about its treatment arose.
Later in the week, Jonas and Julius went on to the Malage VTC. There they worked on the last open points and took water samples of the first two plants again to make sure that they continue to deliver safe water. Meanwhile, Rebecca and Ichikael travelled to Arusha to meet with Dr. Hilonga from Nanofilter and Dr. Machunda from the Nelson Mandela African institute of Science and Technology. Primarily topics concerning the possible future expansion of the plant were discussed, but contacts were also made to further benefit from each other and to exchange knowledge.
On Friday I learned how to take water samples together with Rebecca and my KCF colleagues Samier and Ichikael. We were professionally trained by our contact person at MUWSA, the local water authority in Moshi.
The functionality of the plant should be checked at regular intervals during the test phase. For this purpose, it is necessary that water samples of the untreated input water and the safe output water are taken to a laboratory and examined there. My colleagues and I take over the task of taking the samples from the plants and handing them over to the laboratory. Here we have to pay special attention to the fact that mistakes during sampling can lead to incorrect results. I was able to learn all this and much more during the training. I am pleased to be able to actively shape the test phase with this newly acquired knowledge.
At the end of this successful week, we all drove to the Secondary School in Kidia on Sunday to do a “get together” with all users of all the facilities. The aim was for everyone to get to know each other and to be able to support each other in the future if necessary. As a contact person of the KCF I also play an important role in this, especially when Jonas, Julius and Rebecca are back in Germany. We took the opportunity to visit the plant there together, and there was a lively exchange on the similarities and differences between the respective plants.
So far, we have built six plants together at three different locations here in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania and have already been able to help some people to get access to safe water. This is what I really wish for: That this project does not just take place in a few spots, but becomes big. It should spread further, not just in one or two places, but throughout Tanzania and beyond. I am sure that there is a demand for SoWaDi plants, which are easy to operate and maintain, in many places in Tanzania. Above all they are an alternative way to get germ-free water without time-consuming wood collecting and without laborious wood fires. I think that currently especially smaller schools and orphanages can benefit enormously from this technology, because the daily output of the plant is still too little for larger facilities. Because it was very easy for me to understand the plant and to get familiar with the project, I am sure that there are always people who are also enthusiastic about SoWaDi. These people will then be willing to take over the task of operation and maintenance and thus contribute to an improvement of the living situation in their environment.