VP Bilal Speech
Excerpts from February 25, 2014 Speech by His Excellency Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Mohammed G. Bilal
From his historic visit to the Project, February 25, 2014 Enguiki Village, Monduli Juu, Tanzania
The issue of the environment has not yet been taken into account with its full weight and importance. Some people think the issue does not involve them. But the world is dynamic, always changing. In 1961 there were nine million people in Tanzania. Now there are over forty-four million, and all their needs must be met from the environment.
When I arrived in Monduli Chini, I saw the (Maasai Stoves & Solar) Project factory and it is amazing. It took the Project one and a half year to design the stove. That is science. The main objective of science is to serve the people. I want the students here today to take this Project as an example of being helpful to their communities in the future.
I am very happy to see that there are many improved homes. I visited two homes, one with and one without the new stove and the difference is like night and day. Through the Project, exposure to the dangerous, even poisonous elements in the indoor smoke is reduced.
I am very happy to see the Maasai women are the stove experts (the mafundi.) I observed this myself when I saw them installing a stove. I am very impressed with them and I am told they are the teachers of other women as well. I want to congratulate all the women who are doing this. It is very good for the community and for the country, as well.
Now the women don’t need Bob or Kisioki to be with them when they are building a stove. That is wonderful. And I have heard that they can solve problems themselves that arise during their work, and that is science. You don’t need a lab and equipment for science. Science is in the home.
I want this technology to spread, all over Arusha district and the country. But credit must go the women of Monduli because the journey started here.
I want men to cooperate with the women. The women have brought large benefits to your homes. In addition to the stoves, now you have solar lights and a cell phone charger and don’t have to go to town or get a generator to charge your phone. These benefits came through the women.
The director of the Ministry of Environment told me there is another added benefit and trees are going to be planted at the homes with the new stoves. I like that trees are being planted in this connection, and in any way. Our problems with drought and floods follow from our destruction of the environment. So let’s do all we can to preserve our environment.
I will come back to see the growth of the Project and the work, and to see how you have been able to reach out to other sectors, as you are starting to do, such as addressing the urgent need for clean water.
Women! Be good mafundi! Be good teachers! Work hard to protect our environment!
-Translated from the Swahili by Kisioki Moitiko