Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Tanzania ramps up search for its missing pilot
Tanzania continues with the search for a pilot who took off 13 days ago during a mission to Selous Game Reserve and failed to return.
According to reports, Mr Samuel Gibuyu was expected to land at Selous Game Reserve at 5 PM on October 18, 2021, but he did not arrive as anticipated after taking off from Matemanga Village in the Ruvuma region at noon the same day.
According to a Tanzanian daily, The Citizen, the plane that the 31-year-old was flying also disappeared from radars.
Gibuyu was supposed to arrive at the game reserve for aerial surveillance of black rhinos but his plane did not arrive at the destination.
The search efforts to locate Gibuyu, who was of the conservation organisation Pams Foundation and the Bathawk Flight Number 5H-WXO aircraft have been ongoing.
“As I speak with you right now, experts are searching for him physically and we still really don’t know what happened,” Pam’s Project Manager Max Jenes told a Kenyan news website Tuko.
Jenes added that the organization has incorporated special tools known as Spidertracks to help in the search missions.
UNESCO coaches Tanzania on AI use in disaster preparedness and response
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Tanzania organized a two-week training from August 16 to August 31, 2021, among members from public institutions, higher education institutions and non-state actors in both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar which sought to equip participants with necessary skills to apply artificial intelligence (AI) using a Chatbot during disaster preparedness and response.
According to a statement released over the weekend, the training is part of the regional project on Strengthening Disasters Prevention approaches in Eastern Africa (STEPDEA) funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led by the UNESCO Office in Nairobi, Kenya in collaboration with national governments, UNESCO National Commissions and Japanese institutions.
According to UNESCO, lack of disaster preparedness and awareness in Tanzania makes the situation worse as communities remain helpless in the event of disasters hence face its full impact. The disasters include floods, chronic droughts, landslides, strong winds and earthquakes to their secondary impacts of diseases and epidemics, which UNESCO says have been plaguing Tanzania recently.
“[During the training], participants were introduced to the benefits of artificial intelligence and taken through the installation, use and management of the AI Chatbot for disaster response and management,” UNESCO said in a statement.
The AI Chatbot is designed to enable the citizens and local authorities to access information before the onset of a disaster (warning), citizens to report disasters as they occur, and local authorities to respond immediately by identifying vulnerable areas and parties that are at risk, and informing the public where to find distribution points for assistance.
“A Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) framework was adapted during the two-week training,” the UN organization added. “CLA aims to improve results and facilitate country-led development by enhancing knowledge sharing and collaboration among partners while adapting to new and changing situations.”
Operation to recover illegal firearms launched
Minister of Home Affairs Mr George Simbachawene announced over the weekend that the government has initiated a one-month countrywide special operation aimed at recovering illegal arms owned by unauthorized individuals.
Mr Simbachawene announced the operation on Saturday in the capital Dodona, saying it will start on November 1 through November 30.
“Those who will fail to surrender the illegally owned firearms after the one-month operation will be hunted down and face the full force of the law,” Simbachawene told a press conference.
In addition, the minister announced an amnesty to people who will surrender the firearms voluntarily, saying: “The firearms should be surrendered to police stations or to local government authorities every day from 8 AM to 4 PM.”
Mr Simbachawene directed regional and district commissioners, who are chairpersons of defence and security committees, to oversee the operation in their respective regions and districts.
Zanzibar concerned over COVID-19 cases rise
Zanzibar’s Minister for Health Mr Ahmed Mazrui said on Friday that social gatherings have fueled a rise in COVID-19 cases on the islands.
Mr Mazrui said that since the beginning of October, hospitals in the semi-autonomous archipelago have been receiving between two and three cases of COVID-19 daily.
“The surge in the number of COVID-19 cases have been linked to social gatherings without observing health precautions,” Mazrui told a one-day training for journalists aimed at raising awareness in COVID-19 vaccinations.
He said social gatherings, including funerals, religious celebrations, street and house parties, and other outdoor gatherings were fueling cases of the virus.
He urged journalists to help in mobilizing people to be vaccinated against the virus, saying the pandemic is still a threat to mankind.
Mr Mazrui also urged people to continue observing precautions issued by health authorities aimed at controlling the further spread of the virus
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