Development of a Multi-Purpose Resource Centre for the demosite on Pemba?

Frida Lanshammar's picture
Development of a Multi-Purpose Resource Centre for the demosite on Pemba?

The DLIST team visited the demonstration site in Ras Mkumbuu, Pemba, in January and in March. The main purpose of the short visit in January was to introduce the DLIST ASCLME project and to ask the community if they wanted to take part in the planning process. It was identified that the demonstration site in fact consists of two areas, so called Shehias – Wesha and Ndagoni. During the visit in March, all stakeholder groups in the respective Shehias were interviewed to give their input to the development plan for the area. These include; the Sheha’s committee, the environmental committee, the health committee, the HIV committee, the development committee and the fishers’ committee. Each of the communities also selected a group of elders and a group of young/students to take part in the planning exercise and overall women were well represented in the different committees ensuring gender equality in the planning process. In Pemba there is also an NGO called Misali Island Conservation Association that has been very active in the villages in this area, assisting with mangrove planting projects etc and they have an established committee in both villages (the MICA committee) that also took part in the planning exercise.

More than 200 people from the two villages were present at the DLIST meeting in March and together they identified issues/weaknesses such as;
• Lack of clean water
• Inadequate health facilities
• Bad roads leading to limited access
• Ample beach erosion which in some cases has lead to salt water intrusion in low land rice paddies
• Declining fish catches resulting in lack of food and unreliable food security in the area
• Insufficient education (many of the women are illiterate)
• Low awareness about environmental and health related issues
• Absence of a clean and central market area where produce can be stored, bought and sold
• Lack of access to modern techniques for farming and fishing

The communities in Wesha and Ndagoni are really struggling to get by, and with the added pressure caused by climate change (coastal erosion, disrupted rain patterns, coral bleaching etc), deteriorating resource base, rapid population growth and inadequate basic infrastructure such as access to electricity, reliant water supply, access to health facilities and schools, their situation calls for urgent action. To address the issues of low community health, climate change impact, poor health and food security, inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, and low levels of literacy (particularly among women) and low environmental awareness – a truly innovative approach was called for, to reach maximum output with limited funding.

The DLIST team have therefore teamed up with Danida (Danish International Development Assistance) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Zanzibar to develop a full proposal for the construction of a so called “Multi-Purpose Resource Centre” for the two communities. The DLIST team was back to visit the communities in June/July 2010 to work out the details of what such a centre should include, where it should be located and how it could be constructed. This has been done together with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Danida, an experienced architect from South Africa and local partners. The MPRC for Wesha is proposed to include a village meeting hall, two smaller classrooms, market stands and small shops, a tourist information centre, toilets, a computer room and library as well as a solar drying oven and a mill for rice, cassava and other agricultural products. The MPRC for Ndagoni will to some extent have the same content as the one for Wesha, but one of the main priorities for Ndagoni is a clinic and maternity ward. Ndagoni already has a mill and a drying oven (recently constructed by UNIDO) so that will not be part of the MPRC. In both communities it has been decided that the MPRC should be constructed near the school. This will facilitate for the teachers and students of the school to take advantage of the MPRC facilities such as computers, internet and library. Both centres will also be fitted with renewable energy solutions and rain water harvesting technologies.

A second team of architects will visit the sites during the second half of August to work out the details construction drawings, to give information for an estimate of what material will be needed for construction. Once this information is available, the proposal can be finalised and the DLIST team can focus on finding additional partners to fund the construction of different parts of the village centres.