Introduction

Media Avail on Community Sustenance (MACS) is a Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which was founded in 2018 and became legally registered in 2019 with the Reg. No. 00NGO/R/0044 under the NGOs Act No. 24 of 2002, section 11 (1) and 17 (2) Tanzania Laws. The Organisation is based in Tanga urban district in Tanga region.

MACS’s vision is to enhance and promote community empowerment by addressing challenges in the communities through media inspirations and inclusive community engagement enabling to transform their livelihood.

MACS has an experience of working on various projects that empowered the communities such as: Water Crisis, Unemployment issue, Health and Education
The organization also advocates against harmful traditional practices such as: Teen pregnancies, early marriages, Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG), Violence against Children (VAC), Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Gender Based Violence (GBV.

MACS believes in a reflective approach for media organizational development and community transformational change.

From July 22, 2019 to July 26, 2019, almost a week, MACS aired an advert asking Morogoro region community to share their view on water crisis. This was the startup step for launching SAUTI YANGU project – a radio program that uses local radios to amplify the voice of the citizen and hold the government accountable for solving water crisis.

Our approach is using community radios in Tanzania because it is the major means of communication in grass roots.

The radio program (SAUTI YANGU) will explore local water issues facing Tanzania’s rural citizens such as the challenges on getting access to clean water.

The radio program will explore obstacles to rural water supply, educate about water supply, water hygiene and sanitation, and empower citizens on water management and water sources conservation.

A 1 minute radio advert requested Morogoro residents with water concerns to text or call in a special number provided, explaining the kind of water crisis they are experiencing. And then MACS journalists visited villages and conducted interviews and generate an overall report.

The purpose of the advert was to:

  • identify the areas (Villages and Wards) which faces really problems of water accessibility,
  • Advertise Sauti Yangu to communities in the region.
  • select some villages for pilot radio broadcasts

The Advert:

‘Water is so important in a human being’s life, and when water becomes inaccessible, a human being can search for it anywhere. That’s why the government takes initiatives to solve water problems especially in rural areas.

Welcome in a one to one dialogue on solving water crisis in your residence area. Is there water crisis in your area? A village or ward? What’s is the magnitude of the problem? Inform us through text messages in (given number)
Make sure you write the village name and the ward you come from.’

Table 1: The summary overview of the received SMs in Morogoro Region

215 text messages were received after one week of advert. After removing messages that did not convincingly demonstrate need in the village, 173 messages identified villages that indicated the need to improve water governance. We think that this convincingly demonstrates project need.

Figure 1: SMS Status by Date

The reasons for un-documenting 42 messages include: repeated SMSs, SMSs out of
the project area, please call me SMSs, shout out SMSs, and SMSs for requesting
songs.

Table 1: Sample of the Reported Water Crisis that the Citizens Experience:

These field photos are indication that the magnitude of water crisis is large in Mororgoro region.

Situation of water at Kambi Tano village, Lukobe ward in Morogoro

 

This picture taken at Mkambarani Village, Mkundi Ward in Morogoro.

Explored Challenges:

Through SMSs that were sent by the villagers, the following challenges were explored:

  • Citizens are aware of the water crisis and their right to water as a social service.
  • There is growing water demand and water scarcity.
  • The presence of water pollution.
  • Insufficient access to safe, affordable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
  • Water crisis prevail in the whole region of Morogoro not just some parts like other regions in Tanzania.
  • Water crisis impede other development/economic activities.
  • Many citizens in many areas are utilizing unsafe water that endanger their healthy.
  • Some local leaders are irresponsible in water accessibilities.
  • Women are the highly affected people in the communities. Figure 2 suggests that there is a need for immediate women empowerment in terms of water accessibility.

MACS believes that Sauti Yangu has the power to increase women’s voice once we start airing the program. The first figure shows that women are extremely interested in gaining voice through the program.

In five days of SAUTI YANGU advert, 80 women texted. From the received messages, it was observed that young girls, pregnant women and mothers with small children suffer the hardship of fetching water far places.
Insufficient supply of safe and accessible water poses extra risks and challenges for both women and girls.

Figure 2: SMS Status by Gender

MACS is pleased to invite you for partnership in Tanzanian Water Governance Program and cooperate in SAUTI YANGU project.

We are currently working on a program that uses community radios to highlight challenges of water access in rural Tanzania and empowering the communities by amplifying their voices to request the government response. We would like to invite you to lend us a hand by cooperating with us in this project.

Kindly contact us: macstanzania@gmail.com
Instagram: macstz
Facebook: mecetz

Sauti Yangu Radio program will implement its activities according to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as agreed by the United Nations member states. The project will help to implement Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation.

 

Leave a Reply