Closing Community Forum in Tandale Ward
Mapping activities in Tandale were wrapped up at the Community Forum at the ward office on May 29th, 2015. In Tandale, five weeks of mapping work have been performed by community members of this ward and Ardhi University students, from April 21st 2015 until May 22nd.
The Community forum officially delivered the maps of Tandale. Ward officials were presented with maps of the roads, buildings and drainage network.
Two media outlets were present to cover the event, The Guardian News Paper and the television station Channel Ten. Opening remarks were made by one of the ward officials, Mr Kalema, at 10:30, who welcomed the audience and thanked all the participants for volunteering towards having Tandale mapped up to date.
After Mr Kalema, the ward officer Mr Osiligi spoke: “Administrative work has been made clearer and easier for the Tandale ward office; now we can make better proposals with clear evidence with the use of these maps”. He added that these maps will not only help the ward office but all the people of Tandale. And even far beyond, since the information is open source and can be accessed freely through the www.openstreetmap.org website.
Different technological ideas, methods can be developed by the people of Tandale due to this data to help with flood resilience. Wetlands are clearly shown so people can avoid or evacuate these areas due to the dangers that may come about during heavy rains. Additionally, road networks have been made clear thus making easier navigation in Tandale. “We can benchmark on this information to make Tandale a better place than it is right now.”
“Now we have the maps, what comes next?”. This important question was raised by Mr Daniel, a sub-editor from The Guardian Newspaper. Deogratius Minja, representing the World Bank, gladly answered the question during his speech: “Towards the end of the project with all this data available online, maps clearly indicating realistic natural hazard areas and impact scenarios will be produced. This will allow for better planning, preparedness, and response activities using InaSAFE software which is free to download and is open source. The community will come to appreciate the importance of our activities by seeing all these maps”.
Geoffrey Kateregga from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team told the audience that Ramani Huria is increasing capacity for open data collection by training University students and community members in mapping skills which are being put into effective use for risk analysis.
Innocent Maholi, a student from Ardhi University also got to describe the mapping process, he said, “With a combination of GPS Units, Field papers and JOSM software we were able to update Tandale onto the free editable map of the World, OpenStreetMap. We were provided with clear drone images which are up to date plus easy to collect data with”.
Mr Salim Mtepetallah, who represented the community members, promised to continue with the mapping since now they have the skills, plus encouraging more people to join the mapping community by training them how to map.
An open discussion followed which had the audience give their views about the project and how it will help with flood resilience. Mr Nassoro Mzee, a community member, explained that the unplanned settlement in Tandale has greatly contributed to floods in Tandale during rainy seasons. People have constructed their houses over water drains, ditches, and in wetlands. To make it even worse, there is poor waste disposal from their residences; most just dump it outside, where it ends up blocking the few available drains that would have helped drain the water to larger water channels. With the availability of these maps, including those that clearly show the drainage network in Tandale, more effective settlement planning can be done in the future to make Tandale better than it is today
The Ramani Huria team officially handed over the maps to the Executive ward officer accompanied by two sub-ward officers. All community members that participated in the mapping activities were awarded Certificates of Participation for their efforts to make this a success.
Closing remarks were given by Steven Bukulu, who acknowledged the presence of the media houses that will broadcast this to the entire nation. The Guardian News Paper will publish an article on Monday 1st June 2015 while Channel Ten will show it in the 7:00 pm evening news, Saturday 30th May 2015. A group photo was taken outside the ward office to wrap up the event.
Next week, we will start off in Mchikichini, the next ward to be mapped and updated on OpenStreetMap!