We started our day by paying a visit to the office of Robert Gabriel, the District Commissioner of Korogwe and Tanga. (The DC is the most powerful non-elected regional official.) We were very pleased to meet Mr. Gabriel, since most of ABW’s projects in the Mombo area fall within his territory of control.
Robert Gabriel was appointed by President Magufuli a year ago and has been very successful in getting work done for the community. We were surprised that Mr. Gabriel offered to show us his projects (infrastructure), and we were very impressed by what he showed us: The DC has been able to get great pricing from local businesses and get a high-quality final product. Most of all, we were impressed by his ability to motivate the community towards involvement and contribution.
Mr. Gabriel is willing to work with A Better World in two respects: providing some project oversight (ensuring better prices and higher-quality construction for our projects), and to foster greater community motivation.
After our successful meeting with the DC, we travelled to visit ABW’s projects in this area. The first stop was Mabogo Primary School where we celebrated the completion of 10 toilets. The Mabogo Primary School serves 275 students.
The Mabogo community seems to be very engaged; they have begun building a medical clinic with their own resources. The community was inspired to start this project by none other than Robert Gabriel.
Our next stop was Bagamoyo Primary School to see 14 newly-built toilets by ABW. The school celebrated the completed construction with speeches, singing, and dancing. They generously presented us with gifts and treated us to a light lunch. Bagamoyo Primary has an enrollment of 631 students.
The last project we visited today was Kasiga Primary where 18 toilets are under construction. We were pleased to see that the project is proceeding on schedule. 423 students are matriculated at Kasiga and will benefit greatly from the new facilities.
“Why so many toilets?” I asked Eric. He informed me that last year, on ‘world toilet day,’ ABW kicked off a 100-toilet construction project in East Africa. So far, we have exceeded our goal by raising funds for 121 toilets, and it’s only June! (Over half of the 121 are now built).
From Kasiga, our team drove several kilometers and took a hike through the bushes to see a newly-drilled well. After verifying that the drill hole looked good, we made plans for pumping and distribution. This well will provide for a community of 1000 people that previously had no access to clean water.
On the way back to Korogwe, we stopped at Faraja Medical Clinic to see a hematology cell counter ABW had sponsored. This machine uses a technology called flow cytometry: blood cells are differentially labelled with molecular markers and then passed by a sensor in single-file. This technology allows blood counts to be done in three minutes on-site. Prior to purchasing this machine, people from the area had to travel two hours (one way) to get blood work done.
In Korogwe, we sat down with MP Adadi Rajab from the adjacent constituency. He was willing to help us sort out potential issues with the government regarding our medical involvements. Adadi Rajab is a lawyer by profession and former Ambassador to Zimbabwe for 10 years. We suspect that he will be a great contact for ABW to have.