Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
Govt goes for ‘unverified’ NGOs operating in Loliondo
Assistant Commissioner of Immigration Kagimbo Hosea on Wednesday gave “unverified” non-governmental organisations operating in the Loliondo and Sale divisions of the Ngorongoro district until Sunday, July 17, 2022, to submit their details at his office “lest they face the government’s wrath.”
Hosea said that authorities managed to meet and question owners of only ten out of the 26 NGOs operating there with the rest still remaining at large.
Wednesday’s ultimatum comes almost a month since Home Affairs Minister Hamad Masauni directed the Immigration Department to undertake “a thorough” investigations into all NGOs operating in Loliondo and ensure that they carry out their activities in accordance with the laws and their own constitutions.
In Loliondo, violence erupted earlier last month between natives and law enforcement officers following an attempt by the government to demarcate a total of 1,500 square kilometres of the 4,000 square kilometres of village land, leading to a death of a police officer and dozens of indigenous people injured.
For more than 26 years, Loliondo Game Controlled Area has been a contested area. As the area have villages that have legal rights to exists in the area, game controlled area allows for human activities to co-exists with wildlife protection. While several solutions have been proposed in the past, the government demarcation exercise which started on June 9 and was concluded on June 22 went on to form a new Game Controlled Area in the 1500 square kilometres, Poloreti Game Controlled Area which was announced on June 17,2022.
Government has claimed that the measure were essential in the protection of the Serengeti ecosystem, as the area is the source of water to the Serengeti national park. However, the are other interests in the area, game hunting spearheaded by private companies. Local leaders of the area and some residents have maintained that its business interest that is driving the new change in the area.
While the government has not itself made the claim, some have blamed Kenya for stoking the violence and tension there, with others claiming that some NGOs operating in Loliondo are run by Kenyans.
Hosea, for example, repeated this claim, saying that it had come to his attention that some NGOs were being operated by some foreigners whose stay and work in Tanzania were shrouded in controversy.
He further alleged that some of the organizations’ financial transactions were being managed by some individuals who weren’t Tanzanians.
Hosea disclosed that they had arrested Rebecca Jacob Koriata, a Kenyan national who worked as an accountant with Maasai Honey, an NGO operating in Ololosokwan village in Loliondo.
“My appeal to those who haven’t furnished us with their details to do so by July 17, lest they face the government’s wrath,” the government-owned Daily News newspaper quoted Hosea as saying.
Mysterious disease kills three in Lindi
Government Chief Medical Officer Dr Aifelo Sichwale said Wednesday that three out of 13 patients are confirmed dead of a strange nosebleed disease in the southern region of Lindi.
First reported on Tuesday by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the unknown disease makes people experience nose bleeding before falling down. A team of experts has already been dispatched to Tanzania’s southern regions to investigate the disease.
Speaking to journalists in the capital Dodoma yesterday, Dr Sichwale said that the peculiar disease broke out in the Ruangwa district of Lindi.
“In three consecutive days (July 5 to 7), the [Mbekenyera Health] centre received two patients with fever symptoms, nose bleeds, severe headache and fatigue,” Dr Sichwale was quoted as saying.
He said that as of July 12, 2022, the centre had 13 patients of which three have died.Test conducted on patients have so far came negative for Ebola, Marburg and COVID-19.
Kenya, Tanzania launch mass distribution of anti-biotics targeting trachoma
Kenya and Tanzania have embarked on a joint cross-border mass drug administration exercise as efforts to fight blindness-causing trachoma intensify, a statement released Wednesday stated.
The exercise, launched on Tuesday at Olposimoru centre in Narok West sub-county, is a collaboration between the Kenyan and Tanzanian ministries of health and targets cross border pastoral Maa community living across the two East African neighbours.
Speaking during the launch, the Head of vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases at Kenya’s ministry of health Wycliffe Omondi said synchronizing drug administration across the two countries remains the most effective way to decisively deal with trachoma.
“Giving medication is not the only solution. Integrating other measures like hygiene and environmental cleanliness will go a long way in dealing with the problem,” Omondi said. “The government is going out of its way to provide medication to community members and I urge them to take the medication.”
According to George Kambona, Tanzania’s NTD programme manager, previous efforts by the two countries to deal with the problem independently had not been as effective. He said the current coordinated efforts between the two governments will ensure that the vast majority of the pastoral community is reached.
The mass drug administration will be conducted for five days targeting an estimated 1,324,392 beneficiaries across four counties of Narok and Kajiado in Kenya and Longido and Ngorongoro in Tanzania.
A total of 228,360 people are expected to be treated in Ngorongoro with 161,367 others targeted in Longido. In Kenya, 934,665 persons are set to benefit with 576,091 people drawn from Narok and a further 358,574 others from Kajiado County.
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