Safari company & publisher
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Shenton Safaris

Written by: Alamnyak Thaddeus ole Orpiay, Climate change project manager and LIRDO director

The Simanjiro District of Tanzania’s Manyara region is on an essential wildlife corridor for herbivores, between Tarangire National Park and seasonal grazing lands outside the park. The Maasailand community that lives in this area is dependent on the diverse array of natural resources, particularly the acacia woodlands. The trees are cleared to make space for agriculture and burned to make charcoal to be sold in markets. 

Proper management of the local environment is crucial for the communities in order to prevent over-exploitation of natural resources due to a lack of awareness or alternative livelihoods. Climate Change Project has been established by Loiborsoit Integrated Rural Organisation (LIRDO) to mitigate the effects of climate change as well as threats to biodiversity in Simanjiro. The project hopes to do this through the use of technology to assist locals in activities including renewable energy, green roofing, rain water harvesting, livestock fencing, housing construction as well as pollution control through recycling and other activities.

maasai-children-tanzania-climate-change
©Malcolm Cerfonteyn
The climate change project:

The project aims to help conserve the area’s biodiversity whilst mitigating against climate change through the implementation of a variety of technologies.

The project plans to help both the local Maasai herders from the region as well as nomads. The people we work with come from poor, rural communities for whom the initial start up costs of renewable energy, green roofing, rain water harvesting, livestock fencing, housing construction and recycling projects are prohibitive.

As the project manager and planner of LIRDO, I am appealing for funds for the community’s climate change project as the project currently does not currently have financial backing.

maasai-children-tanzania-climate-change
©Alamnyak Thaddeus ole Orpiay
The challenge:

At present local communities are forced to practice activities that result in high carbon emissions and environmental degradation due to a lack of alternative livelihoods and capital to implement green energy initiatives. Indigenous trees are used to build houses, provide cooking and heating options, livestock fences or cleared to make space for agriculture. Locals cut down and burn the forests to sell charcoal in Arusha.

maasai-children-tanzania-climate-change
Alamnyak Thaddeus ole Orpiay with the local community children ©Alamnyak Thaddeus ole Orpiay

The effects of climate change are already being felt in this area with irregular and prolonged drought patterns. The result of which is twofold, increased livestock dependence which in turn has resulted in the excessive use of ground water resources that have started to dry up.

The solution:

The climate change project aims to change local mindsets, provide sustainable and renewable energy to local communities as well as provide an alternative forms of livelihood that will alleviate pressure on the environment by lessening dependence on livestock and natural resources.

maasai-children-tanzania-climate-change
©Harvey Barrison

The climate change project hopes to do this by providing small scale solar energy to rural communities and help develop small local tourism initiatives.

Financial management:

Two people will be in charge of managing the finances: an administrator from Loiborsoit Rural Development Organisation (LIRDO) and the project manager.

We are hoping to cover the start up costs as these costs are what precludes the communities from benefitting from this source of energy.

We hope that the pilot tourism project will then allow communities to become more self-sufficient in the future.

Equipment needed:

1. The equipment to provide households with solar or wind power start-up kits which will provide locals households with lighting and heating.

2. Office equipment for advertising, promotion and training for locals so they can benefit from the scheme.

3. In addition brick machines, cement and soil to construct larger scale generators.

4. Transportation costs will need to be covered for the project to be successful.

Thank you for helping spread the word.

For those interested in donating please contact: Alamnyak Thaddeus on alamnyakthaddeus@gmail.com

Time and Tide
Guest Blogger

In the Guest Blogger profile, you'll see fresh and exciting content from a range of contributors who have submitted their content to us on a once-off or temporary basis, including press releases, campaigns and exciting adventure and travel tales!