Posted on 09 April 2020
WWF Tanzania through SIDA funded Leading the Change (LtC) Programme has equipped 3 BMUs with ICT skills and equipment. The BMU’s; Somanga, Pombwe and Namela will be the first in Southern Tanzania with improved ICT systems.
Speaking at the Programme Planning Meeting, Thomas Chale, Marine Project Executant at WWF said about 17,000 ,000 /= Tsh had been invested in the initiative.
“Our overreaching goal is to strengthen BMUs capacity to drive change towards responsible and inclusive natural resources management. The idea behind this training is that, ICT should become an integral part of the BMUs. We want to see functional BMU with ICT systems that enable them to fulfill their roles and conserve the marine biodiversity. Even more, support coastal communities to manage their resources and realized sufficient benefits. We believe the training will help us overcome the communication and documentation hiccups we experienced. So far we have imparted 12 people (4 women and 8 men) across the 3 BMUs in Kilwa and Mtwara ,” said Mr. Chale
The leaders who received the training were delighted to have the capacity in ICT amongst themselves.
“The first time we heard we will be given computers and other equipment our thoughts were who will be operating them? Surely it was not us, we had no knowledge especially on computers. That changed when we received invitation to participate in the computer training in Mtwara. We are proud of this programme, were not only trained but also equipped with Computers and other office equipment to facilitate communication and documentation,” said Nurdin Mbuzi fromSomanga BMU
Mbuzi further disclosed that the computers have assisted inimproving BMU record keeping and documentation as well as correspondence with WWF Officials.
“One of the first things we did after the training was creating official BMU email addresses and even the invitation to this meeting came through our emails. Previously it would have been be phone calls which are not always reliable given our location. We also are using the new email to seek and receive technical back up with the same communication medium. On the same note we keep our dataand generate reports on timely manner. It’s a big deal because ICT makes work faster, cheaper and easy for us,” he added
According to Habiba Mohammed, Namela BMU Secretary the ICT capacity building and equipment are serving office running money.
“The ICT equipment is helping us save money in all BMUs. Before we had the machines, we used to handwrite our reports and other data. Then we will select one or two of us who will travel to a nearby town to seek stationery services. We incurred cost to have the report typed, printed and photocopied. It was very expensive. We could spend 20,000/=Tsh minimum per trip. Now we do all the work here at the office because we are capable of using computers, printers and photocopiers . The money we serve goes to facilitating BMU conservation work including patrols and octopus’ closures,’’ said Habiba
For female leaders the computer training specifically has an added value to their leadership position.
“When the BMU began we had no female leaders for different reasons from cultural to religion to basic lack of leadership skills and education among women. For us who stepped up and got elected we know we can only remain relevant if we serve well and get the right skills. Therefore, the training has strengthened and validated our positions. If it was not for SIDA I could have been easily replaced. For now, that can’t happen because I am too valuable,’’ said Amina Mmanga laughing with joy , Namela BMU