Category: Simanjiro update

Climate Change is Real

We often hear on the radio and news about how climate change is disproportionately affecting countries in the Global South. Although the effects are slowly reaching us in Europe, they are rarely life-threatening, only mildly inconvenient or unusual. For our partners in Tanzania and Uganda, it is harrowing to hear first-hand how their friends and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/climate-change-is-real/

Trusting Time Estimates from Focus Groups

When running focus groups in Uganda, our partners noticed significant discrepancies in the answers that the community members were giving during the focus groups in comparison to the responses they’d given when baseline surveys had been conducted by the Ugandan team over the past few weeks. They challenged the community to explain why they were …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/trusting-time-estimates-from-focus-groups/

Unreliable Grid Power

Even though it looks like the main national grid might soon reach some of the villages we’ve been working with, both in Tanzania and Uganda, it is surprising how many of them are still keen for us to continue installing solar power despite the fact that this will be significantly more expensive for them. Having …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/unreliable-grid-power/

Ormoti Business Hub – Showcase Video!

We’re excited to reveal this showcase video for Ormoti Business Hub in Northern Tanzania, created by our summer intern, Iona Smith. This pilot project was carried out in partnership with local NGO, OMASI, as part of a wider integrated community energy project. The solar-powered site powers the local borehole for fresh water, fridges for cold …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/ormoti-business-hub-showcase-video/

Happy Halloween! – Watermelon Carving and Singing

With the team out in Tanzania for Halloween this year, we decided to try and show our partners what Halloween is like for us back home. Rather than carve pumpkins as they are less common here, we went for Watermelon carving with a twist on the traditional style. I think our partners were rather bemused …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/happy-halloween-watermelon-carving-and-singing/

Find me phone signal!

Before we installed a microwave relay WiFi booster at Kiruru village,  phone signal could only be found by climbing up on top of a termite hill, midway between the powerhouse and the school! When installing equipment, we’d periodically have to pop back to the termite hill to call our team back in the UK for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/find-me-phone-signal/

Primary School Messaging on Early Pregnancy

On one of our recent community visits to run focus groups in Central Uganda, we were surprised by some of the signs plastered around the primary school building, where the focus groups were held. The first signs outside the building were innocent, with messages like “DO NOT LITTER”, “ALWAYS BRUSH YOUR TEETH”, “WASH YOUR HANDS …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/primary-school-messaging-on-early-pregnancy/

Tanzania in Bloom

The weather in the Maasai plains of Northern Tanzania is much cooler this time than any other time I’ve been. The landscape is also much greener (apparently I’ve come just at the end of the rainy season), and for once I can see crops and loads and loads of white flowers growing, rather than the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/tanzania-in-bloom/

Kiruru Maasai Business Incubation Hub

Kiruru sub-village is a small community in the Simanjiro District of Northern Tanzania, and the second of the chosen sites for our SICENT project. Roughly 10km via (very bad) mud road from Terat, the local centre (where our partner organisation OMASI is based), Kiruru is actually administratively part of Oiborkishu village, 7km to the north, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/kiruru-maasai-business-incubation-hub/

The Service Value Test – what it is and why we use it

The Service Value Test (SVT for short) is a key tool in the Smart Villages approach that we like to use as early as possible in our conversations with communities we are looking to work with. We find it really helpful for the following reasons: It gets us quantitative preference data from community members telling …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/the-service-value-test-what-and-why/

Martin Kariongi, in his own words

As we remember our friend, Martin Saning’o Kariongi, who passed away this week from coronavirus, we wanted to collect together some of the material that we, and others, have on the internet featuring Martin talking about his work.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/martin-kariongi-in-his-own-words/

Martin Saning’o Kariongi – a life in brief

While looking through my notes this week hunting some site data for a community in Tanzania that we are working in jointly with our partners OMASI, I found – on the very first pages of my notebook – the notes from our first project meeting, where Martin gave us a little glimpse of his life …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/martin-saningo-kariongi-a-life-in-brief/

RIP Martin Kariongi, Director General of OMASI

People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things. Sir Edmund Hillary It is with great sadness that we have to share the news that Martin Kariongi, leader of our Tanzanian partner organisation OMASI, but more particularly our friend and colleague from Terrat, passed away in the morning of 1st March …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/martin-kariongi-director-general-of-omasi/

Teaching with Limited Resources

As part of the Education Technology Project we ran in 2021, we worked closely with a local secondary school for running focus groups and user tests. It is eye-opening seeing the conditions the students live in, when you compare it with what we have in England. Most students live too far away to walk in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/teaching-with-limited-resources/

Language and Education Barriers in Community Engagement

The SVRG approach is grounded in community engagement and human centred design, to ensure the systems we install bring real, lasting benefit. Unfortunately, due to language barriers, we are unable to run focus groups ourselves, but rely on our in-country partners to assist with translation, or with running the entire group following training. Our translators …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/language-and-education-barriers-in-community-engagement/

A Solar powered Electric Milling Machine

Milling machine

Many of the communities we work with are agricultural, with maize flour contributing to an integral part of their diet. In the rural Maasai Tanzanian communities we work with, villagers often have to travel miles to neighbouring towns to access a diesel milling machine. Once there, they can face long waiting periods for sufficient customers …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/a-solar-powered-electric-milling-machine/

Bucket-mounted Solar Systems

Solar panel systems can be expensive and time-consuming to build. They can require specialist knowledge to set up, and be difficult to maintain. In rural communities, it can make a huge difference if a solar panel system can be made simply and at a lower cost. That’s why Smart Villages is always on the lookout …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/bucket-mounted-solar-systems/

Grid extension in Tanzania

On our most recent trip to Tanzania, the number of half-fallen trees was quite noticeable. I thought nothing of it at first, even though several of them were lying across the roads. They could have been damaged in storms? That was until we realised that they were all under newly erected grid electricity lines. The …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/grid-extension-in-tanzania/

Rural Perceptions of Solar Power

Although our first solar installation in rural Tanzania has been having overwhelmingly positive reviews by the local community (powering the local water borehole, the first fridge in the local shop, and a small, efficient, electric milling-machine) we still have a hard time explaining the concept of solar power to some of our other target communities. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/rural-perceptions-of-solar-power/

A Wood-Mounted solar array for the Tanzania’s Maasai Radio Station

The community radio station: Orkonerei Radio Service (ORS FM), is the first Maasai pastoralists’ radio and was established to better communicate with the Maasai in Terrat, Simanjiro district. For many Maasai who don’t understand Kiswahili or Maasai, it’s their only source of information and important for education on health and agriculture. At their peak, ORS …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/a-wood-mounted-solar-array-for-the-tanzanias-maasai-radio-station/

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