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Serikali ya ahidi Kuendelea Kutatua Changamoto za Maji kwa kushirikiana na wadau mbalimbali

Mkurugenzi wa huduma za sheria, Wizara ya Maji, Bw.Simon Nkanyemka amewataka wananchi kuendelea kuchangia huduma za maji na kulinda miundombinu ya maji ili huduma hizo ziwe endelevu.

Bw. Simoni alitoa kauli hiyo Mei 21, 2021 wakati wa ziara ya kukagua na kufanya makabidhiano ya  mradi wa maji wa vijiji vitano vilivyopo Arusha wenye thamani ya bilioni 11.  Mradi huo umefadhiliwa na shirika la maendeleo la Uingireza (FCDO-UK) na kusimamiwa na serikali ikishirikiana na wadau mbalimbali ikiwemo:  Shirika la WaterAid, kituo cha umahiri katika ufundishaji na utafiti wa miundombinu ya Maji na nishati endelevu (WISE-Futures) kilichopo katika Chuo Kikuu cha Sayansi na Teknolojia cha Nelson Mandela (NM-AIST), Tumaini Jipya pamoja na eWater na unatumia teknolojia ya malipo ya kabla ya kabla (pre-paid).

Kazi kubwa ya wataalamu kutoka Chuo Kikuu cha Sayansi na Teknolojia (NM-AIST) kupitia kituo cha Umahiri katika Ufundishaji na Utafiti wa Miundombinu ya Maji na Nishati endelevu (WISE-Futures) ilikuwa kutafiti juu ya teknolojia sahihi ya kuchuja maji ili kuondoa uchafu na vimele vya magonjwa mbalimbali ikiwemo madini ya foraidi. sanjari na hayo, wataalam hawa walifanya usanifu mitambo hiyo kwa ufanisi zaidi.

Mradi huo utahudumia wananchi wa vijiji vya Olkokola,  Lengijave  na  vitongoji vya Ngaramtoni, Seuri na Ekenywa katika Mamlaka ya Mji mdogo Ngaramtoni.  Mwakilishi wa Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Arusha, Bw. Hargeney Chitukuro alisema mradi huu umeanza kunufaisha watu 23,000 katika vijiji hivyo.

Wakati huo huo, Mwenyekiti wa kijiji cha Olkokola aliishukuru serikali na wadau wa maendeleo kwa kuwaletea karibu huduma ya maji na kuomba serikali kusambaa maji katika vijiji vya jirani ambavyo havijapata maji.

Kwa mujibu  wa Mkurugenzi Mkaazi wa WaterAid Tanzania, Bi.Anna Mziga amesema anajivunia kukabidhi mradi huu kwa Mamlaka ya maji Safi na usafi wa mazingira  (AUWSA), lengo lilikuwa ni kuwafikia wananchi wa pembezoni husaini walikuwa na changamoto ya maji Safi, mradi huu utawanufaisha  wananchi takribani 50,000 ifikapo 2030.

 Dr.Wilson Mahela Charles, ambaye aliyekuwa mkurugenzi wa halmashauri ya Wilaya ya Arusha  wakati wa uanzishwaji wa mradi, ambaye kwa sasa ni Mkurugenzi wa Tume ya Uchaguzi ya Taifa(NEC), aishukuru NM-AIST kwa kuchagua teknolojia nzuri na ya kisasa ya kuchuja maji hususani katika kuondoka madini ya floraidi ambayo yamekuwa changamoto kubwa kwa afya za wananchi wa Arusha na maeneo ya jirani. Mradi huu umekabidhiwa  kwa AUWSA ukiwa umekamilika kwa asilimia mia moja.

 

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic, Research and Innovation (DVC-ARI) at The Nelson Mandela African Institution of science and Technology (NM-AIST), Arusha, Prof. Antony Mshandete urges Water Laboratory Technicians to be more innovative in providing solution to challenges that faces Water sector in Tanzania.

Prof. Mshandete said so during the Opening Ceremony of a 5 day training on Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) which is conducted at the NM-AIST by the Ministry of Water in collaboration with the NM-AIST, from 8th to 12nd February, 2021. A total of 41 representatives of Water Technicians from 16 water labs of the Ministry of Water are participating.

In his speech Prof. Mshandete explained that one of the goals of the NM-AIST is to provide internationally competitive teaching and learning facilities to scientists and engineers so that they can become change makers by providing best services to the society and industry. Working with the Ministry of Water, marks another milestone towards the goal. Through such partnership we can drive solutions to a number of challenges associated with water quality in our communities.

“It is a great opportunity for you to get more knowledge concerning     Laboratory Management Information System, because I believe that

  you are going to improve the way water laboratories operates, in turn  you will be able  to provide best services to the society thereby  overcoming challenges facing water sector  “He said.

Prof. Mshandete added that, in ensuring the provision of quality  services, best practices on Laboratory Information Management  Systems should be adhered to. He highlighted that NM-AIST has best  laboratory facilities which can be very useful in ensuring

reliability of  safe and clean water to our communities. The institution operates  under open door policy to the Ministry and other partners who are  willing to use available facilities for best services to the industry and  society. Prof. Mshandete assured the participants to get all needed  support in terms of laboratory facilities and technical assistance from  water experts and researchers available at the NM-AIST. 

 

 

The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) through its centre of excellence in Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures (WISE- Futures) has won funding to host a new Centre of Competence in Digital Education (C- CoDE). This centre is under the framework of the Excellence in Africa initiative of Mohanned VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) of Morocco and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) of Switzerland.

C-CoDE is designed to support the transformation of training and educational practices through digital tools and technologies in Tanzania and the region. The funding is from EPFL and UM6P.

A total of 44 applications from 19 Countries were submitted and finally, NM-AIST’s proposal sailed through and declared as one among six universities to benefit from this programme.

Speaking to the Management of WISE-Futures, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Research and Innovation, Prof. Anthony Mshandete pointed out that, NM-AIST always seeks to close gaps that exist due to socio-economic development and challenges. The impact of COVID-19 is one of the reasons that has led to the need of strengthening digital education to improve the quality of higher education to universities in sub- Saharan Africa. For example, it is after COVID-19 that most universities started struggling with how to deliver their lectures through online platforms. We hope that C- CoDE will elevate digital education to professors and lectures thereby enabling our faculty members to catch up with the ever-changing technologies, where the use of cyberspace in teaching and learning is becoming a necessity.

On behalf of the entire Management of NM-AIST, Prof. Mshandete expressed heartfelt gratitude to EPFL and UM6P support and appreciated the leadership of WISE -Futures for its efforts to solicit capacity and capability necessary to close this educational gap in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania and the region by enhancing the teaching and learning at NM-AIST.

C-CoDE marks the 5 th centre of excellence at NM-AIST initiated to transform teaching, learning, research and innovation. These other centres include: Centre for Research Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutrition Security (CREATES-FNS), Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA), Data-Driven Innovation incubation Centre (DDI Incubation Centre) and Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures (WISE-Futures) which pioneered C-CoDE. The goal is to produce top-notch researchers that can come up with innovative products and services that meet the needs of the society and industry.

NM-AIST through CREATES has been declared a winner of a project titled: “Epidemiological Surveillance for Infectious Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa (ESIDA)” under the Germany Ministry of Education (BMBF). This project aims at exploring and designing approaches for data-driven health information systems by pooling skills, methods and data objects from different research disciplines.

The project will build on research and collaboration networks between Germany and African partners to develop joint strategies on early detection of Infectious Diseases outbreak and response in Tanzania. The anticipated outcome is a pre-prototype electronic health information system that aims to strengthen local epidemiological surveillance and help alert local public health actors at an early stage of an outbreak. In the long term, the health information system could be extended to the East African Community member states.

On 03rd December 2020, host Hon. Ambassador of the United States of America to Tanzania Hon. Donald J. Wright visited the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST). Ambassador Donald wanted to familiarize with the institution particularly the progress of the Bush meat Project which is a capacity building project intended to assess Global Health Risks Associated with Bush meat Consumption in Tanzania funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of USA amounting to $2.5M for three years from.

In his address, Ambassador Wright remarked “I am grateful for the good job so far! Most of you don't know my background but actually I am an American Doctor, so I truly understand what you say. In fact one health especially Zoonotic Diseases field is one of the important areas that needs rigorous research, and as you pointed out, COVIT 19 is a good example that poses such a great need for continuous research is the area. I appreciate the good job you are doing in terms of partnerships and collaborations that are geared at solving real life challenges to the community. It is really a good job worth commending.

The Bush meat project was led by Prof. Joram Buza (NM-AIST) and Prof. Vivek Kapur (Pennsylvania State University, USA). Other partner Institutions include: Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), the National Health Laboratory, BecA-ILRI hub, TAWIRI, TANAPA, Lincoln Park Zoo, USA. After a brief overview Ambassador D. J. Write expressed his heart field appreciation to the project team and institutions for a job well done.

The project aimed at investigating the global health hazards associated with consumption of bush meat, by focusing on three bio threats; Bacillus anthracis which cause anthrax, Brucella spp. which cause Brucellosis and Coxiella burnetti which cause Q-fever. The research confirmed presence of nucleic acid signatures of the three pathogens in bush meat collected from Serengeti, Ruaha and Selous Ecosystem. Details of the findings can be found in the following publications:

  1. Katani et al, (2019). Microbial Diversity in Bushmeat Samples Recovered from the Serengeti Ecosystem in Tanzania. Nature Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 18086
  2. Buza et al., 2019. iMAP: an integrated bioinformatics and visualization pipeline for microbiome data analysis. BMC Bioinformatics 20: 374. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12859-019-2965-4
  3. Schilling, M et al., (2019). Molecular species identification of bushmeat recovered from the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0237590.
  4. Katani et al., 2020. Identification of B. anthracis, brucella spp., and Coxiella spp. DNA signatures in bushmeat. Nature Scientific Reports (submitted).

In his welcoming note, the Vice Chancellor of the NM-AIST, Prof. Emmanuel J. Luoga thanked the Government of USA for supporting to Tanzania research through various grants. He also extended his gratitude DTRA for funding the bush meat project and finally thanked US partner institutions for their continued support in terms of strengthening research and innovations at the NM-AIST.

Professor Luoga highlighted that the NM-AIST is a Pan-African Postgraduate, Science based University that was initiated in 2009 and started admitting students in 2011. Having such support is very important in order to live the intended dream. Currently the University has a total of 500 students and 210 staff. The University has 4 Schools and 3 Centers of Excellence where most academic affairs including research and Innovation are conducted. These Schools are;

  1. Life Science and Bio-Engineering (LiSBE)
  2. Computational and communication Science and Engineering (CoCSE)
  3. Material, Energy, Water and Environmental Science (MEWES)
  4. Business Studies and Humanities (BuSH)
  5. and details of the programmes are found on the website: www.nm-aist.ac.tz

In addressing the issue of Research and Innovations, the University has various partners from various parts of the world including the United States of America (USA) the list bellow shows some partners from USA as itemized below.

S/N Project Name/Title Collaborating University/Institution Project duration (Start and End date) Funding Agency
1 Project for Enhancing the Health and Productivity of Livestock (PEPHL)e Penn State and Washington Universities Nov. 2015 to Nov. 2019 Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation
2 Trial to establish causal linkage between Mycotoxins exposure and child stunting (Mycotoxins Mitigation Trial-MMT) Cornel University June 2017 to June 2022 Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation
3 Singida Nutrition and Agro ecological Project (SNAP) Cornel University Nov. 2015 to Nov. 2019 McKnight Foundation
4 Bush Meat Pen state University Nov 2016 to Nov. 2019 Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
5 Raising crop response: Bidirectional learning to catalyze sustainable Intensification at multiple scales Washington State University Oct. 2015 to Sept. 2019 USAID
6 Strengthening African Food Processors to Reduce Losses (SAP). Purdue University August 2018 to February 2021 Rockefeller Foundation
7 Training, production and testing of high quality face shields and face masks (NP95) for COVID-19 protection Worcester Polytechnic Institute June 2020 To date Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
8 Joint USA-Africa Materials Institute. A summer school for graduate and Post-doc students between USA and Eastern Africa in Materials and Energy Science and Engineering. Northwestern University, Columbia University Since 2012 to date (Bi annual event) NSF

The University extends heartfelt appreciations to the Government of the USA for collaboration and funding of research projects as shown on table 1 above. It is our sincere hope that this collaboration will be extended in future for the benefit of the two countries,

On behalf of partners Project Principle investigator at the NM-AIST, Prof. Joram Buza thanked the Ambassador Donald J. Writ for visiting the NM-AIST and particularly the Bush Meat project. He explained the importance of more funding in order to help the team work on the questions that rose after the project outputs.

Prof. Buza added that, the Bush meat project was an initial exploratory research where we detected nucleic acid signatures of important pathogens; more research needed to obtain details on risk factors and diseases dynamics in wildlife and people. The project ended in March 2019 but we have submitted new project proposal for consideration. Prof. Joram Buza revealed.

Finally the Ambassador Donald J. Wright visited the laboratory complex to see how bush meat project was undertaken. H appreciated the modern laboratory facilities which were bought under same funding and promised that the government of USA and its institutions will continue supporting such life changing projects in order to improve lives on many Tanzanian.

The Ambassador of the United States of America to Tanzania, Hon. Dr. Donald J. Write Visiting the Bushmeat project Laboratory

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