Ground test: March 2020

A big step has been taken! The ground test we have been waiting for has finally been carried out. Two geologists traveled all the way from Arusha to carry out geological and technical measurements in Mgora. They were received by the Masai in an inn. Freshly strengthened, we went to the city administration in Mafisa. After the mayor received the two geologists, they wrote down in the local guest book. Then it went into the bush to Mgora. A promising area from all over Mgora was selected in the visual procedure and after consultation with the Masai. A kilometer was set there, on which two different cables were rolled out above ground. This kilometer sometimes did not adhere to existing paths, so the way for the cables had to be cut through bushes and scrub with machetes. The geologists carried out two tests with a mobile measuring device. For the first test, the kilometer was walked piece by piece, a measuring probe was knocked into the ground every few meters in order to measure the ground tension with the mobile measuring device. The data obtained was neatly recorded in a large book. Now three points could be selected that appeared most suitable for a later well drilling. In a second measurement procedure, additional data was collected at each of these three points in order to determine the probable depth and the soil conditions. The Maasai were involved in carrying out the tests and supported the geologists in running the kilometer, hitting the measuring probe in the ground and thereby obtaining the necessary data. The whole process lasted until late evening, so the second measurement was made at the third and last drill point the next morning.

Due to this, the geologists could not leave after dinner, but stayed in an inn. Both the meals and the overnight stay in the inn were provided to the geologists by the Masai free of charge. The Masai community was very proud of their guests. They don't have a lot of money, but they all went together to invite the geologists as good hosts. After completing the final test the next morning, the geologists reported that when they returned to their office, they entered all the data they had collected into their computers. The computer programs calculate the probable depths and the soil conditions of the respective drilling points. At this point in time, they cannot present any results. Through their experience and expertise, they assess the local conditions positively. They will send the report with the results, which hopefully confirms their assessment, to the well construction company commissioned by us to carry out this test.

 

Video text:

Soil test for a well in Mgora, Tansania

Agreement of the test area

One kilometer long...

...the required data was recorded

Turn on the sound for watching the video!

Review: January - February 2020

In 2019, more than 3,800 euros were donated to Mapiti e.V. At this point, once again, our heartfelt thanks to all donors! So we had enough money to do a soil test. This should provide us with facts so that we can plan the further course of our project. Another meeting was called with the Council of Elders. It was decided that Mapiti e.V. should introduce itself to the city administration in Mafisa in order to be authorized from there. Said and done. Of course, the Mayor was also happy about our commitment and after consulting the Mayor with the District waterengeneer Mr. Mboya, Mapiti e.V. was an officially recognized association in the region. The company we selected was commissioned to carry out the ground test.

Review: August - December 2020

In August I visited Shukrani in the WorldVison office in Kiberashi. We talked and could talk about different things. We cannot expect financial help from WorldVision. But their know-how, their knowledge of the region and contacts with other local institutions are very valuable. We stayed in touch easily after our meeting. She made contact with a well construction company with which WorldVision has already realized projects.

Furthermore, she put me in touch with the District water-enginer Mr. Mboya. It is the highest authority in the region when it comes to water matters. Together with the Masai, I organized an appointment with him. Mr. Mboya was pleased to hear that our association would like to get involved in the region. He also gave us the contact of a hydraulic engineering company and offered his support for our project. So we now had three companies from which we requested written offers. After repeated reminders, we received offers that we evaluated and compared.

Ultimately, we chose a company from Arusha.

Review: July 2019

It starts! I fly to Tanzania to take care of the progress of our project on site. Founding member Erik accompanies me for 3 weeks!

We carry out their tasks together with the girls and women to experience what it means to accomplish these tasks and how much time the tasks really take.

 

Example: 2 hours one way on foot with the donkeys to the water hole. The heat and the sandy path, which is sometimes very hilly, make us difficult. The water must be scooped out of a hole with the canisters and carried to the donkeys. After fetching water we were exhausted : -)

Big meeting with the Council of Elders

The Masai community is organized strictly hierarchically. We asked for a meeting with the elders to introduce ourselves appropriately and to discuss and define our project goals with them. The day had come and I was really excited. We went to the place where all the important meetings are held. A place with a big tree. The elders sit in chairs around the tree. The warriors on logs on one side and the women on the ground on the other. There are a lot of people and I am happy that the women are also there. Erik and I are greeted by the oldest and I am asked to stand in the middle of the tree. Fortunately, I had previously written a keyword slip. An interpreter is at my side. I report from our club in Germany and we discuss the needs, opportunities and an approximate schedule. Finally, I suggest starting a Mapiti-Tanzania group. This group should be responsible, able to make decisions and be our contact person. There is discussion and the people are named. There are also women in the group, that made us very happy!

Review: May - June 2019

Even more research ... but now more in terms of content. How do you find suitable companies on site? Which clubs from Germany have already built wells and can give us tips? I got the contact from a well construction company from Arusha from an association that is also involved in Tanzania. I have already made contact and the responsible employee is an Austrian. We agreed to meet in August 2019 to discuss.

On my first eight hour bus trip to Mgora in November 2018, I saw a couple of signs on the way stating that WorldVision had built wells there. Through WoldVision Germany I came to WorldVision Tanzania which referred me to WorldVision Japan. After they told me in Japanese that I should contact Germany, I asked WorldVision Tanzania for help again. I finally got in touch with Shukrani from the WorldVision office in Kiberashi near Mgora. I contacted her and we agreed to meet when I was there.

This time was characterized by research and paperwork of all kinds. Ok, we want to get involved in Tanzania. But how does one do it? After many emails and phone calls, I was smarter. The One World Network NRW and in particular the Schmitz Foundation helped me a lot! I decided to start my own NGO.

How do you found an association? Not an easy task, there are a number of things to consider, for example in the drafting of the statutes.

If you are about to found a club yourself, please feel free to contact us, we like to share our knowledge and, above all, our little mistakes in order to spare these others ;-)

Review: December 2018

Back in Germany, I looked back at everything in peace and the experience never let go. In particular, I couldn't get the adversities of life there, which mostly have to be mastered by women, out of my head. Every time I used my faucet or light switch, I was back in Mgora, where these things that are so natural for us are not available. I told my friends about my impressions and the idea to support the people in this region was born.

Welcome to the Maasai region of Mgora, in the Kilindi District in Tanzania. Here the Maasai still live quite originally in their culture and in harmony with nature. They are not a tourist attraction like many others who live closer to the tourist hotspots of Tanzania. We are in the middle of the Maasai steppe, many hours by bus, on mostly bad sandy slopes, away from the big cities. The last part of the way has to be done on foot or with a moped taxi, the huts in the bush can hardly be reached by car.

As it turned out, my fear was completely unfounded. I was warmly welcomed by everyone and especially the women touched me and helped me to get along in this strange world. Example: How do you “take a shower” from a plastic bucket standing on the floor?

Masai visit: November 2018

How it all started: August 2018

Vacation ... the best time of the year! This time on Zanzibar, a beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania and my first time in East Africa.

Our great bungalow in a chic hotel right on the beach was quickly occupied and we went down a few steps on the wall that separated our hotel from the beach. We were immediately surrounded by young men in Masai clothing who talked to us and wanted to sell us wristbands or a reef guide. We were overwhelmed and we were uncomfortable. After countless "No thank you." And "we want to walk alone" they let go of us. After our walk we scurried up the stairs again. We sat down with a cocktail in front of our bungalow and saw the heads that looked over the wall and hands that waved incessantly. The wall was the dividing line between rich and poor. Now the wall that had "protected" us was uncomfortable. The following days we started talking to the young beach vendors and learned that they came to Zanzibar from the mainland to do business. They sell handicrafts and jewelry to tourists, although they would rather be at home, with their families and their everything and everything ... their cattle. We had many interesting conversations about their and our cultures and both sides were equally amazed at one or the other difference. As different as the cultures are and how different they have developed, one thing is probably the same almost everywhere in the world ... young people own a smartphone these days. This allowed us to stay in touch loosely after our return home (provided they could afford internet credit).

A few weeks passed and I thought more and more about what the Maasai told us about themselves and their culture.

I started looking for contacts to people who are involved in Tanzania. I found a project that interested me and since I still had a lot of vacation left I wanted to fly there. I communicated it to the Masai in a subordinate clause and they invited me to their home. "If you are coming to the mainland in Tanzania, then you have to visit us!" At first I refused for fear of the foreign culture and the remoteness of the place. After further deliberation, I came to the conclusion that I would not get this chance again, to try out such an exciting culture, completely untouristically. So I accepted the invitation.

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