Fighting floods with drones in Dar es Salaam

Drone footage was used to map almost 2,000 informal dumpsites which were causing floods.
Like many growing cities in developing countries, Dar es Salaam - Tanzania's commercial capital - has no consistently organised waste collection.

This has led to thousands of unofficial 'rubbish mountains' which clog up the city's rivers, causing mass flooding during the rainy season. 

Now a project run by 'Institutions for Inclusive Development' has used drones to identify the worst waste hotspots. Sachin Gupta is behind the scheme and spoke to Newsday:

(Video: Dar es Salaam's flooding seen from a drone. Credit: Frederick Mbuya, Uhuru Labs).

Tanzania imports 30 million condoms amid shortage fears

A free condom box
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Tanzanian health authorities have imported 30 million condoms to curb a shortage reported earlier this year in the east African country.

Many are concerned about the soaring prices of condoms, amid the dwindled distribution of government-provided condoms, the BBC Swahili's Gilian Kikowe says.

Some guest houses in the commercial capital and tourism hub, Dar es Salaam, are no longer giving out the contraceptives free of charge.

"Some shops are selling condoms for 3,000 Tanzanian shillings ($1; £0.78), 5,000 or 10,000 Tanzanian shillings - depending on the brand. Customers must now have their own condoms because we can't afford to give them out for free," a hotel worker told BBC Swahili.

Assistant Health Minister Dr Faustine Ndugulile says the condoms are now available.

"We've ordered over 30 million condoms. What changed was the distribution model; previously there were some agencies distributing the condoms but things have changed and we now have new agencies mandated with distribution.

"What we want to do is ensure the new model works effectively and that awareness campaigns reach those targeted and condoms become available," he said.

Magufuli endorses Tanzanian star to become MP

Tanzania could soon get its own musician-turned-MP. But unlike Uganda's Bobi Wine,Tanzania's Harmonize backs the government.

President John Magufuli has just endorsed the musician, whose real name is Rajab Abdul, for a run at a seat in parliament next year.

The president's support comes as his government continues to ban songs deemed sexually suggestive by some other artists.

Mr Magufuli's blessing came after Harmonize entertained him at a rally, the Swahili newspaper Mwananchi reports.

Harmonize's songs have been spared in the government's moralistic campaign, though his contemporaries Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny, have been repeatedly summoned by police and at one time banned from performing their "indecent" songs in public.

Harmonize recently released a praise song for President Magufuli, describing him as a hardworking leader with a rich development record.

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Tanzanian journalist Kabendera to enter plea bargain

Munira Hussein

BBC Africa

Eric Kabendera in court
Eric Kabendera's has been criticised for being politically motivated

Tanzanian investigative journalist Eric Kabendera, who is facing charges of committing economic crimes, has requested to enter a plea bargain, his lawyers have told a local court.

His lawyers, from the Tanzania Human Right Defenders Coalition, told a court in Dar es Salaam on Friday that their client had written to the country’s public prosecutor to initiate the deal.

Mr Kabendera has worked for for several local and international publications, including The Economist.

He was arrested in August and is facing charges of money laundering, tax evasion and leading a criminal organisation.

The government here has been heavily criticised for the arrest, with activists arguing that the charges were politically motivated.

Tanzania recently introduced plea bargaining into its procedures and Mr Kabendera is now expected to accept the charges against him and pay the sums that he allegedly laundered in exchange for his freedom.

The case has been adjourned to 24 October when the court will be updated on the agreement.

Economic crimes charges are not bailable in the country and Mr Kabendera has been sent back to remand prison.

Rare 'golden' zebra foal spotted in Kenya reserve

A rare zebra foal has been sighted in Kenya's Maasai Mara reserve, weeks after a polka dotted zebra was spotted in the same park.

The golden-coloured baby zebra was spotted on Wednesday by John Manie Kipas, a tour guide in the reserve who gave it his second name, the Daily Nation newspaper reports.

He said he saw the foal while taking tourists on a game drive:

“I was the first who spotted the little baby zebra, and I have given it my second name 'Manie’,” he is quoted as saying by the newspaper.

“It was a normal morning game drive and that is when we spotted the rare-coloured foal. At some point, I could not believe my eyes. I clicked my camera and got some pictures of it. It looks more like a donkey than a zebra.”

Photos of the rare foal have caused excitement on Twitter.

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The foal was sighted at Ngiro area among wildebeests and zebras migrating toward the Serengeti park in Tanzania.

Pictures show it has a stripped neck, head, legs and tail but the rest of its body is brownish.

Mr Kipas wants Kenyan authorities to block it from crossing over to Tanzania.

Three weeks ago, tour guide and photographer Anthony Tira spotted a polka dotted zebra in the same reserve.

It is thought it was born with spots instead of stripes because of a melanin disorder. It was last seen crossing over to the Serengeti park.

Magufuli shocked by pregnancy rates in schools

President John Magufuli
Mr Magufuli wants men who impregnate schoolgirls pregnant to be jailed

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has said he is shocked by the lack of action against men who impregnated 229 schoolgirls in the south-western region of Rukwa.

"The government is providing free education and these men are busy making girls pregnant. Why has no action been taken against these men?," he said during a visit to the region on Tuesday.

He advised schoolgirls to reject seduction from men who want to distract them from pursuing their education:

"If they tell you that you are beautiful, tell them to go tell their mothers. Don't be afraid of being tough. You are the leaders of tomorrow and I want you to focus on your studies", Mr Magufuli said.

"The rate of pregnancy in this region [Rukwa] is shocking, and I had expected the 229 men who made the girls pregnant to be jailed, but I doubt any action has been taken," he added.

He blamed local government leaders and religious authorities for failing in their role.

In 2017, President Magufuli was widely criticised for comments that girls who give birth should not be allowed to return to school.

Magufuli praises official who caned students

Munira Hussein

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

President John Magufuli
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President John Magufuli, nicknamed "The Bulldozer", came to power three years ago

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has praised a senior government official for caning a group of secondary school students who were accused of setting fire to their dormitories.

A widely-shared video shows regional commissioner Albert Chalamila administering beatings to a group of students who were lying face down.

Earlier, a government minister had criticised Mr Chalamila as only headteachers are allowed to carry out corporal punishment.

But President Magufuli, who has become known for his no-nonsense attitude, has also called for the law on corporal punishment to be changed so that it can be meted out by all teachers.

The president also wants to relax the rules on when caning a student might be appropriate.

Currently, even headteachers are discouraged from resorting to corporal punishment, they have to have a strong reason to do so, and are limited to four strokes.

Mr Magufuli dismissed those who say that physically punishing students is an abuse of their human rights.

‘’I have spoken to Mbeya regional commissioner [Mr Chalamila], and I told him: 'You did a great job caning them'.

"He should have caned them even more. Those who advocate for human rights should pay for the dormitories - these buildings were built by poor parents' contributions,’’ the president said.

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Tanzanian official admits to caning school students

Clouds Digital

A Tanzanian official has admitted to caning secondary school students after a video of the beating was widely shared.

Regional commissioner Albert Chalamila hit the boarding school students after they were accused of setting fire to their dormitories.

They have also been suspended from the school and fined.

But Mr Chalamila was criticised for hitting the students by Local Government Minister Suleman Jafo, who said that there was no law allowing regional commissioners to punish students.

The regional commissioner defended his action saying that he was the boss of the school's headteacher and therefore was responsible for what happened in the school.

The video shows a group of students lying face down as Mr Chalamila hits each one in turn three times as a large number of students look on.

Corporal punishment is not outlawed in Tanzania and is frequently used to discipline students. But it is only school headteachers who are allowed to do it.

Tanzania fails to report Ebola cases to WHO

Munira Hussein

BBC Africa

Ebola workers
Getty Images

The government of Tanzania has conceded that it did not send the World Health Organization (WHO) clinical reports of two suspected Ebola cases reported in the country in September.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said they were not under any obligation to do so since the tests were negative.

On 14 September, the minister said there was no confirmed Ebola case in the East African country.

A week later, WHO rebuked the country for failing to provide information about a suspected fatal case in the country's main city, Dar es Salaam.

On Thursday Ms Mwalimu said she was surprised why WHO had issued the statement, arguing that international regulations require a member state to report clinical samples for secondary testing only when the local tests are positive.

She added that a total of 25 cases must be reported for WHO to be informed and Tanzania experienced only two suspected cases in September.

There is growing international pressure for Tanzania to share the samples. The US and UK have both issued travel advisories over the scare.

Polkadot zebra moves from Kenya to Tanzania

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Unusual zebra spotted in Kenya reserve

Tira, the rare polkadot zebra spotted in Kenya's Masai Mara, has crossed over the border to Tanzania.

The foal moved to the Serengeti in the annual wildebeest migration, when millions of animals search for fresh pasture to graze on.

Tira became famous when she was spotted by the photographer and tour guide Anthony Tira, who she is named after.

It is thought her unusual polkadot skin pattern is caused by a condition called melanism - an excess of dark pigment.

According to the Daily Nation, there had been social media reports that the animal had been caged and captured, but these have been dismissed as fake.