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An honourable mention from the Tanzanians for Mwanza’s environmental care
Tampere provides its twin city with support in waste management knowhow

Practical training in Tanzania is part of the International Degree Programme of Environmental Engineering at the Tampere Polytechnic University of Applied Sciences and supports in an excellent way the development of Mwanza. Co-operation began already last year, and in May two more students will begin their practical training there. They will provide Mwanza with in particular with knowhow of sorting waste, composting and safe processing of biowaste, and the economic benefits of recycling.

Mwilumbwa Kibbassa (left) an environmental engineering undergraduate at the Tampere Polytechnic, University of Applied Sciences and senior lecturer Eeva-Liisa Viskari record that the temperature in test compost has reached 35 degrees Celsius.
High resolution image (543 Kb)
Photo: Kalle Heiska

During the upcoming summer Mwilumbwa Kibbassa and Reza Mziray, students at the Tampere Polytechnic University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) will be disseminating knowledge on waste sorting in ten different wards and at different schools of the city of Mwanza. They will also provide guidance in the composting of degradable waste and on recycling the compost in gardens. This in turn will serve to reduce the need for and costs of waste management, and indeed for artificial fertilizers in gardens and on farms.

Last year the Tanzanians presented an award to Tampere, their twin town, as the best developer of environmental care in the country. However, waste management continues to be a problem, especially in the fast-growing city of Mwanza (pop. 650,000), a seaport on the shores of the vast Lake Victoria. The lake covers an area equal to one sixth of Finland, and is a thoroughfare for traffic to Kenya and Uganda. The water is used as a source of drinking water and irrigating the land.

Most of the waste generated in the Mwanza area is biowaste and therefore possible to compost. It is a major challenge to avoid mixing this with other waste and in general to reduce the present custom of open burning the waste, which is dangerous to the atmosphere and for respiratory organs of humans. Further challenges are posed by an increasing amount of industrial effluent and construction work along the banks of the rivers running through Mwanza into Lake Victoria and on the surrounding hills. During the spring and autumn rains especially, mixed waste and nutrients are washed into the lake.

Water from Lake Victoria is used in significant amounts as a source for potable drinking water. The lake is extremely important also as a source of food, for fisheries and for recreation. The condition of the lake is being studied among others by Venla Pesonen, a TAMK student, who is at the service of the Mwanza local government.

TAMK participates as an expert in the environmental co-operation between Tampere and Mwanza. Since 1988 exchange of experiences in several areas of local governance concerning education, fire and rescue service, city councils and central administration. The twin cities are currently working on concrete collaboration for the period 2008 – 2010, and this is aimed to include in a local government development programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland between North and South.

Additional information:

Tampere Polytechnic - University of Applied Sciences
Eeva-Liisa Viskari, Senior Lecturer  
Tel. +358 40 846 9452
Tampere Polytechnic - University of Applied Sciences
Venla Pesonen, Student
puh. +255 75 557 3223
City of Tampere
Riikka Juuma, Project Co-ordinator
Tel. +358 40 570 0024

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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