Leading government officials to traditionally excluded segments of society

A project run by GEMSAT and funded by TMF, took Privatus Karugendo to a small island reportedly never before visited by a national or even regional government official.

It all happened after a series of articles appeared in Tanzania Daima, a Kiswahili daily newspaper, in February 2010. The Kagera Regional Commissioner Mohammed Babu toured the island as well a few others nearby. The visit was duly aired by Star TV, followed by election campaigns conducted there for the first time in recorded history. Presidential, parliamentary and civil election contestants streamed to the islands, again in the full glare of TV cameras.

Karugendo’s two-day stay on Mulumo, Iramba, Kyembuzi and Mujunwa islets helped him witness the truth about the lifestyles of the residents of the islets: no running water, no electricity, alarmingly high risks of contracting water-borne diseases and an especially high risk of the spread of HIV infections, as confirmed by Iramba islet chairman Zacharia Rwakago, who says: “You know here people are just living like wild animals. They don’t care about having toilets, clean water and such other hygienic stuff……..”

When contacted by TMF verifier on telephone conversation, Babu had this to say: “You must be aware that every RC has area under his administration and he or she is supposed to visit them now and then. I couldn’t travel to that area earlier because my time to go there had not come. It was much like a coincidence that a few days when the story was published I went there to visit our people.”

Toa Jibu

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