Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
Authorities on alert following cholera outbreak in Dar es Salaam
Tanzania said Monday that it plans to deploy a technical team of experts to support Dar es Salaam’s response and conduct an outbreak investigation after the country’s commercial capital reported at least ten cholera cases.
In its Cholera Situation Report released yesterday, the government said that the acute diarrheal illness caused by contaminated water was first reported on April 20, 2023, in Kivule, Ilala, in Dar es Salaam.
As of April 23, 2023, there were ten cholera cases in Dar es Salaam, seven women and three men. No death has been reported. Six of the patients are aged between 15 and 44.
Seven of the patients are residents of Kivule, a town in the Ilala district where the outbreak was first reported on April 15, 2023. The first four cases were from one family living in the same household.
Cases have also been reported in areas like Tabata, Ilala and Buguruni, all working-class neighbourhoods of Dar es Salaam. Eight of the ten patients have been reported to use deep well water as a water source.
Measures that have so far been taken at the regional level to address the outbreak include the distribution of aqua-tabs to households in Kivule, with a total of 40,000 aqua-tabs distributed since yesterday.
Authorities have also been collecting water samples in wells, tape water and other water bodies for testing in collaboration with the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA). As of Monday, three samples had been collected.
Other measures include the treatment of all water sources, including schools, households and water kiosks; preparing the Cholera Response Plan; and establishing the Cholera Treatment Centre at the Kivule District Hospital.
A letter has also been written to Dar es Salaam Regional Administrative Secretary on strengthening the multisectoral approach to the outbreak response, including a need for mass chlorination of all water sources and distribution of safe water from DAWASA.
Full story here.
Political parties criticised for making no deliberate efforts to ensure gender inclusion
A leading inclusive governance expert has criticised political parties in Tanzania for failing to make deliberate efforts to ensure gender inclusion in their ranks, hindering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Dr Victoria Lihiru made the criticism on Tuesday while presenting summary findings on a study she conducted titled ‘Locating Gender Equality and Inclusion Commitments in Political Parties Constitutions’ during a day-long workshop organised by the Tanzania Center for Democracy (TCD) in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Lihiru examined the constitutions of TCD members – Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM); CHADEMA; ACT-Wazalendo; Civic United Front (CUF); and NCCR-Mageuzi. The study was co-funded by the Swiss and US Embassy in Tanzania.
Dr Lihiru, a law lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT), said that the recognition of equality and non-discrimination principles starts and ends with the preambles to the political parties’ constitutions, recruitment of women members and the establishment of the women’s wings.
“Critical parts of the party constitutions make no commitments to women’s inclusion,” she said during a presentation.
“Gender blind spots are seen in critical parts such as party membership; party leadership positions; representation in decision-making organs; candidates’ nominations; allocation of political parties’ resources; and capacity building,” she added.
The scholar found that there is a challenge in establishing the number of women and men members in a political party’s list.
She said this is so because the law does not require political parties to submit a sex-desegregated membership list to the registrar of Political Parties when applying for provisional and or complete registration.
Full story here.
IMF approves $153m budgetary support for Tanzania to boost economic reform program
The first review of Tanzania’s three-year extended credit facility was authorised by the International Monetary Fund’s executive board on Monday, enabling an immediate distribution of around $153 million in budgetary support, the IMF said in a statement.
According to the IMF, Tanzania’s economic reform program is progressing well despite the difficult global economic climate. Still, policymakers should seek to increase domestic revenue while accelerating structural reforms to reduce bureaucracy and fight corruption.
From February 8 to February 23, 2023, a staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Charalambos Tsangarides met in Dodoma and Dar es Salaam to discuss the state of reforms and the government’s top policy priorities in the context of the first review of Tanzania’s forty-month program under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)-supported program.
“In the near-term, temporary fiscal support should continue to safeguard the economy from spillovers of the war in Ukraine,” a statement from the IMF read in part. “Monetary policy will continue to be tuned to developments in actual and expected inflation while allowing exchange rate flexibility to cushion the economy against external shocks.”
The international lender also noted that the move raises the total amount disbursed under the $1.04 billion loan agreement agreed for Tanzania last year to around $305 million.
“Program performance has been strong. All quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets for December 2022 were met, and two of the three structural benchmarks for December 2022 were completed on time,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said.
She noted that Tanzania might fund critical investments and social expenditures with the support of increased domestic income collection and improved spending effectiveness.
“Strengthening public finance management and oversight of state-owned enterprises is critical to contain fiscal risks,” and authorities should clear domestic arrears and prevent accumulation of new ones by strengthening cash management and commitment controls,” she said.
Tanzania’s risk of financial distress remains minimal, according to Sayeh, but low-interest financing must continue to be prioritised, and risks from prospective liabilities must be well managed.
Tanzania commended for helping Africans out of Sudan
Several people on Tuesday praised Tanzania for its decision to help African nationals stranded in Sudan find a way out from the crisis-ridden North African nation.
It follows a report by the BBC which featured the experience of a Sierra Leonean man who said he was “really grateful” for the efforts the Tanzanian embassy made to evacuate students of all nationalities from Sudan.
Sidikie Fofana, who was studying for a master’s degree in finance and banking in Khartoum, told the BBC that Tanzania gathered students of different nationalities onto a convoy with five buses that were about to leave Khartoum.
In a voice note sent to Fofana, Tanzania’s ambassador to Sudan, Silima Kombo Haji, said his country was trying to help other African citizens, not just Tanzanians, the BBC reported.
“Well done to the government of Tanzania and President Samia Suluhu Hassan,” Rashid Abdi, an analyst of the Horn of Africa’s affairs, said in a Twitter post. “Exemplary evacuation. That is real Pan-Africanism.”
Leader of opposition ACT-Wazalendo party Zitto Kabwe applauded the government’s action, writing on Twitter that that is Tanzania its people used to know.
“Thank you very much to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this respect you have given us,” Mr Kabwe added. “We have started to be proud of being Tanzanians instead of tolerating.”
Full story here.
Noise pollution is affecting our health. Here’s how we can fix it
In Tanzania, more than ever, our right to life is now threatened by noise pollution. Efforts to slow or stop these noises need new effective strategies from all actors in the country.
Noise pollution causes serious health problems, including cardiovascular problems, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and hearing impairment.
It also causes behavioural changes, including lack of concentration, pain and fatigue, uncertainty, self-confidence, irritability and aggression, speech problems, decreased working capacity, disturbed personal relationships, and stress reactions.
Across the world, noise pollution is affecting health due to, among other reasons, the inability to sleep peacefully for eight hours due to the noise.
Yet, Tanzania faces ever-increasing noise pollution from open-air bars, open-air brickmaking factories and industries, car garages, and prayer houses in residential areas.
Also, motorbike riders are increasingly playing with their bikes in streets and residential areas, revving their bike engines to sound like gunshots and causing pedestrians to be shocked, sometimes falling in fright.
Full analysis here.
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