Rely on maps to implement projects, govt urged

Manzese, Dar es salaam

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THE government and development stakeholders have been urged to rely on the open mapped data results to implement various projects.

The call was made in the ongoing ‘State of the Map Tanzania’ meeting in Dar es Salaam, which brought together over 100 participants from various public and private organisations countrywide.

Senior Mapping Supervisor for Humanitarian Open Street Map Team, Mr Innocent Maholi said: “We call it Geo-spatial Data. It gives picture and direction to decision makers. For instance, we have data on why Dar es Salaam is prone to floods even after short rains, which is caused by various reasons,” he said.

He mentioned environmental pollution as among the reasons behind, especially in squatter areas like Manzese and Buguruni where people are fond of dumping garbage in water drainages. In other areas, he added, the cause was lack of connectivity between drainages, which allow rain water to flow freely on the roads and residences.

According to him, the organisation has also been mapping on gender based violence, unemployment, sexual and reproductive health among others, saying there was enough but unutilised data by decision makers. Simiyu based Kawiye Social Development Foundation which conducts value addition on farm and livestock products, is in efforts of industrialising the economy.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr Ezekiel Kassanga told participants that the government should know that most ordinary people were not well communicated over industrialisation concept. Despite high productions in sweet potatoes, rice, livestock and milk among others, people in Simiyu have no idea on introduction of processing industries to add value to their products.

“Apart from other livestock’s products, for example, our map data shows that bones and skin can highly contribute in the national income once value added knowledge is imparted to pastoralists,” he said.

Mr Kassanga however praised the government’s efforts in improving infrastructures, especially in constructing tarmac roads which are used to connect raw-material producers to market access, as a response to industrialisation process.

Mara based Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania, which is mapping on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as part of its activities, urged relevant authorities to use its data to eradicate GBV acts. The NGO’s Senior Researcher, Ms Neema Meremo said that data indicates that December is usually the time when most people are involved in FGM activities in the region, calling on decision makers to establish tight security during the month.

“Our volunteers in villages always alert us and the police, but we sometimes fail to show up on time due to financial constraints in term of lacking fuel and poor infrastructures,” she said.

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