Augustine Sangi, who works for Daily News, was funded to cover the swine flu outbreak in Mbeya. Unscrupulous businessmen had been seen with trucks loaded with quarantined pigs destined for Dar es Salaam. The journalist reported the fear that the traders were fuelling the spread of the disease to other regions. In the resulting uproar after the publishing of the story, the public demanded that health authorities in Mbeya and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries take action to prevent the spread of the disease. They also called for action on the culprits. Eventually the crisis was contained but while this achievement cannot be attributed to Sangi’s work alone, his vigilance and persistence contributed to keeping the authorities on their toes. The Mbeya Regional Taskforce commended Sangi for his work.

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Peter Malembeka reported on Star TV about the hunger outbreak in Iringa Rural District as a result of the failure of seasonal rains. The fertile land was reduced to a dusty patch while the usually hardworking farmers withered from lack of food. And yet local authorities could not admit there was a crisis and therefore refused to request government for aid. Malembeka’s coverage of the crisis created awareness on the food shortage and government acted by dispatching food aid to the region. To further mitigate the situation, government also encouraged the community to grow drought resistant crops like millet and sorghum and to take measures to conserve their environment.

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It is not always that TMF support leads to direct action being taken by the authorities. Some grantees’ stories brought issues into limelight for local and international non-government organizations (NGO) to take over the issue.

A typical case here is the story on the child labour at quarry mining sites in Micheweni District on Pemba Island. The district is notorious for children dropping out of school to engage in quarry to dig up aggregates for use by construction firms.

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Stanley Lyamuya, a beneficiary of TMF on individual grants based in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region, is highly respected senior journalist. He has studied the impact of the global financial crisis on the coffee market and asked why Tanzania relies too heavily on world market instead of its own market.

Focusing on a public interest story that aimed at increasing local consumption of coffee in the country, Lyamuya based his argument on the assumption that Tanzanians’ consumption of local coffee was estimated to a paltry two per cent while Ethiopians consumed 45 per cent of their local coffee.

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Journalist Sitta Tuma investigated the pollution of River Mirongo, apparently with faeces and other effluent from Mwanza’s Bugando Hospital, which endangered human health and environment by contaminating the Lake Victoria waters.

The Mwanza Urban Water and Sewerage Authority (MWAUWASA) is a key player in this episode because it is the authority overseeing the city’s entire sewerage system.

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