Today (9/8/2011) I was in the company of community members from Tandale, Dar es Salaam to help them undertake mapping of their own community and also talk about community media. To be in Tandale, Tanzania was exciting but being with follow women was even more exciting. When starting the discussion about the importance of mapping, it occurred to me the issues which women were relating directly consumed a lot of time.
When I asked one of the women what she would liked to be mapped in her area, she said, toilets and water points. Reasons, she said in Swahili “wakati wa mvua, jamii yangu (Mukunduge,one of the 6 sub-wards) ni kawaida mafuriko na maji machafu kuwa kila mahali” (when it rains, my community (Mukunduge) is usually flooded with dirty water everywhere). She believes by having a map, she can be able to talk confidently and convincingly with the municipal council about flooding problem in her community.
I have been in Dar es Salaam in Tandale and Sinza areas. One can witness the dominance of men in many cyber cafes. There is higher usage or percent in these cyber cafés.
Also some women were happy to learn that they will be trained on how to use video cameras to tell their own community stories which will be put in the internet and read worldwide . I am happy that we have been able to identify both women and men who will be trained on the use of global positioning system (GPS) and how to download data into the computer.