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View videos about the ICSEE (T) work that has earned the Uhuru Torch four times
Laying bricks with the Maasai Women’s Installation Team, by Philip Lange.
Teresia Turns on the Light, by Morgana Wingard for USAID.
Light of Maasai, by Zoomin Dutch Television
Uhuru Torch honors Maasai Stoves & Solar
Julius Nyerere originated the Uhuru Torch tribute when he served as the first president of the country. The torch travels each year around Tanzania. Each district government chooses their region’s best efforts that exemplify the creative spirit brought by Nyerere, as the independence struggle he led came to fruition.
Each year brings a different theme for the torch. A national symbol of Tanzania, the torch signifies truth, light, and independence. First lit in 1961 at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the torch travels cross-country, stopping to honor the awardees.
2018 Uhuru Torch Award to the International Collaborative
Tanzania has bestowed this honor on the work of the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project four times, most recently in September, 2018.
The 2018 theme spotlighted better herding methods. And the Project received the award again this year, specifically for modeling caring for cows when grass growing out in the plains is not adequate to support the herd.
In addition, the Project’s work was honored and praised due to its emphasis on the production of cow fodder from agricultural waste. The torch visited the Manyara Feedlot areas that demonstrate cattle care and fodder production.
Here, the Project’s own herd is in residence, along with fifty cows owned by Maasai herders, which the Project boards.
The torch visiting team, our community, neighboring Maasai, and local officials came to the ICSEE(T) Manyara Feedlot. They observed our larger scale production of cow fodder. Ingredients include:
1. Nourishing residue remaining after corn flour is made at the large mills in Arusha
2. Sunflower cake, the residue left after sunflower seeds are pressed for oil
3. Ground corncobs, providing more carbohydrate and energy
Concurrently, we are moving ahead with our lignin removal research at our Cypress Hill Institute campus. To improve digestibility, and to add better nutrition levels, we are striving to master lignin removal from corn cobs, and other agricultural waste. Thinking ahead, if we are able to capture the lignin well, we may be able to use that byproduct as excellent cooking fuel.
Earlier Uhuru Torch honors
In 2017, the Project received the award for industrial development. We were honored then because of our industrious efforts to produce cow food using small machines at our Manyara Feedlot.
On August 10, 2012, in Eslilalei in Monduli District, Tanzania, the Uhuru torch stopped to “celebrate the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project and the kinds of action that enhance economic development, conservation, and freedom from hardship for the people”.
Greeted by our staff, groups arrived throughout the morning, viewed the improved homes, and heard our installers talk about how this work improved their lives. It then rained heavily for five minutes, so very welcome in this dry climate, and everyone said it was truly a blessed day.
The torch arrived at 3 p.m. with an entourage of 32 vehicles. District Commissioner Kasunga visited a home with the Maasai Stoves & Solar stove installed. He invited Village Leader Mzee Meshuko Olemapi to officially launch the project in Esilalei, congratulating him for setting an example for ending smoke-related diseases. Olemapi has 32 wives and has already purchased 10 stoves.
Olemapi provided a large cow, four goats, and six crates of soda for the celebration, attended by 100 of our customers and staff who received recognition for their achievements. “Congratulations continue to pour in”, says Project Manager-in-Chief Kisioki Moitiko.
ICSEE(T) is grateful
Thank you to the Monduli District Government for nominating us for this meaningful award. We are honored to receive it, and will continue to work passionately for the health and well-being of local communities and pastoral people everywhere.