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Coronavirus Precautions Ad

 

As a compliment to our Social Media Campaign and also a careful concern as an organization on the spread and impact of Corona virus, at a time where most of the restrictions were lifted in Tanzania, schools opening up, transportation too does not support the 1 meter precaution, and above all many people ignore the fact that Corona still exists regardless of the numbers of the infection going down and it’s high time to take precautions and save themselves and others from the spread of the virus.

 

The AD with a hashtag #HatukoSalamaMpakaWoteTuweSalama – meaning ‘No one is safe until we all are safe!’ aimed to reach Tanzanians of age 13 – 65+ as a target and managed to reach 280,000+ Tanzanians.

UN75 – Shaping our Future together and building the future we want

 

United Nations Secretary General – Antonio Guterres

“No country, no community can resolve the complex problems of our world on its own. We must come together, not only to talk, but also to listen to each other says” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations who refers to the biggest-ever global conversation event on the role of global cooperation in building the future we want. The event is held to celebrate United Nations 75th anniversary and invites everybody with the purpose to discuss the important challenges of our time, first and foremost climate change, increasing inequality, migration, and impact of digital technologies.

These discussions which have the intention of including as many people as possible – including young people, critics, and marginalized groups, includes exchanging ideas and solutions that will be shared with others in order for the challenges to be tackled. The people’s suggestions on solutions and ideas will thereby be evaluated and discussed with the heads of government of the UN Member States in September. The campaign is run by Assistant Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond who put emphasis on the importance of having a dialogue and to reinvigorate the spirit of global cooperation, a spirit that is absolutely fundamental and essential for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the remaining ten years up until 2030.

 

A race against time: Decade of Action

Five years have passed since all UN members took a joint decision of accepting the Sustainable Development Goals, which became one of the generous and ambitious global decision made through history. Now, with just 10 years remaining, called Decade of Action, an ambitious global effort is underway to deliver the 2030 promise by mobilizing more governments, civil society, businesses and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own. The reason why the Decade of Action has been set high up on the UN´s agenda is that the action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required.

We, the United Nations Association of Tanzania, have suggested actions to be taken for Tanzania to reach the Sustainable Development Goals through the SDGs Decade of Action Toolkit. The main purpose of this Toolkit is to guide the Parliament and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) on how they can work towards the implementation of SDGs particularly SDGs integration into National and Local (Regional and District) plans, policies and budgets.

The objectives are:

  1. To motivate all stakeholders who are working on Agenda 2030 to accelerate actions towards achieving the SDGs from a local, national, and global level.
  2. To help all stakeholders who are working around the SDGs implementation to learn more about and work with the opportunities that the SDGs offer in each development sector.
  3. To strengthen partnership amongst key stakeholders working on SDGs implementation.
  4. To increase SDGs awareness amongst stakeholders considering the remaining time on SDGs implementation (Decade of Action).
  5. To identify priorities for action and understand key implementation challenges.

 

 

Youth Climate Summit Panel Discussion

UN Youth Climate Summit

The UN Youth Climate Summit was a platform for young climate action leaders to showcase their solutions at the United Nations and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time.

This historic event took place on Saturday, September 21st 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York prior to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on Monday, September 23.

The Youth Climate Action Summit brought youth climate champions together from more than 140 countries and territories to share their solutions on the global stage, and deliver a clear message to world leaders: we need to act now to address climate change. The event gave voice to the demands of young people for far swifter action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

How COVID-19 is likely to affect the SDGs

How the outbreak of COVID-19 is likely to affect the overall SDG’s.

The year 2020, is a special year in the implementation of Agenda 2030, it’s the year we begin the Decade of Action, the last 10 years of Agenda 2063 aimed at accelerating and fast-tracking the implementation of SDGs worldwide. All these ambitions to achieve SDGs are without a contingency plan for something of the magnitude of the COVID 19, which is affecting everyone globally, inflicting devastating losses to human life, businesses and our existence generally.

As late as February this year we were in Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe for the 6th edition of the Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development, taking a look at how Africa is progressing in the implementation of both Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, and how we can accelerate implementation in the last 10 years of agenda 2030. Tanzania was making commendable progress in accountability for SDGs, doing our first and successful National Voluntary Review in 2019

Now, everything has almost come into a complete halt. The world’s focus is now shifted on how to first slow down the pandemic from causing more devastating loss and then adapting to new ways of doing things, but the focus is on saving lives first.

 

What sectors of SDG’s are likely to be hit most?

So far reports indicate declines almost in every sector, the lockdowns are affecting productivity, businesses are being closed down, unemployment rates are spiking up globally. At this point it’s I won’t give a sector-specific analysis,  but I would like to focus on how some of the SDGs are likely to be affected by the Covid19 Crisis’. This being a health crisis, I am tempted to say SDG3(Health & WellBeing) is suffering the most right now, but with the nature of SDGs slow progress in one goal could potentially affect progress of all other 16 goals. The following analysis will showcase how different SDGs are likely to be affected and how it’s all connected:

Goal 1 and 2 (No poverty and Zero hunger) which due to loss of income, will increase the numbers of those living below the poverty line while food production and distribution could be disrupted impacting nutrition among the vulnerable.

Goal No 3, Good health and Well-being will probably be the most affected, as it states well being, and as of this date, more than 200k deaths are reported worldwide, that no one was prepared for three months ago.

Goal 4 on Quality Education is also reported to have been affected, especially among marginalized communities who cannot access online learning, therefore, leaving some students behind, there are reports that Female Genital Mutilation, child labour and early marriage are on the rise in some areas even in Tanzania, schools being closed gives an opportunity for parents to conduct such acts.

Goal no 5 Gender Equality, reports form UNFPA indicate an increased risk of gender-based violence, especially on women with violent partners and will most likely cause physical and emotional effects on women which will amount to secondary effects of COVID-19.

Goal no 8 Decent Work; Economic activities are being suspended, lower-income, unemployment rates are surging globally and cut in pay for some industries this also affects goal 10, there is a risk of the inequality gap widening as an aftermath of COVID-19.

Goal 16, on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, countries with conflicts will struggle to collectively agree to work in fighting COVID-19 which will lead to even more devastating losses and we are also witnessing what is happening in other countries such as South Africa, cases of police brutality and major violations of human rights. The situation could also be a potential breeding ground for corruption, and misappropriation of funds dedicated to fighting the pandemic.

SDG  17 Partnership for the Goals, each country is focusing on fighting the pandemic at home first, with the anticipated historic economic downturn as an aftermath, a shift in priorities may happen especially in donor countries that would affect how developing countries progress. Also a negative effect on globalization might happen because of how COVID-19 spread across the world.

A similar analysis can be made for all other SDGs, this is not exhaustive.

 

What about youth? 

As much as reports indicate that young people have mild fatality risks due to COVID-19,  young people are likely to be the most affected by the aftermath of this pandemic economically than other groups, being the largest group. Several factors work against this demographic, in 2019 ILO estimated youth unemployment rate to be at 12% that’s a big number already, with COVID-19 affecting the global economy overall, factories being shut down, businesses collapsing and we expect the number to be rising for youth unemployment in the coming months.

Small businesses run by young people will be the most affected as well, they already have a hard time securing capital when the world is not going through an expected historical economic recession. And in most corporations and organisations youth are most likely to be in lower positions that are vulnerable to unpaid leave or retrenchment. Progress on SDG 8 on Decent work is affected by this largely.

There needs to be special stimulus packages designed to rescue small businesses run by young people. I remain hopeful in the resilience that comes from being young, and the ability for young people to innovate and adapt. Therefore despite the trauma that comes with a global pandemic, there are also new opportunities that come with it, such as a surge in e-commerce, and since life will not go back to what it was at a hundred percent, it’s a great opportunity to innovate for what will be our new normal, living with COVID-19 hanging in the air.

 

What should be done especially in developing countries like Tanzania?

At this time, it’s clear that none of us is safe until all of us are safe, therefore it is a collective responsibility as much as it is personal to stay safe and keep the whole community safe. In most developing countries, the biggest problem is the flow of information, timely and accurate data is one of our biggest challenges. By making the correct information about COVID-19 available timely and accessible to all it will help the general public to take the situation more seriously, and take precaution, in turn, saving more lives. Also, this will prevent the general public from being fed with misinformation.

There also needs to be an increased sense of urgency in our response and interventions. We need to be strategic in creating solutions that work for us as a country, and do this fast, with a united front, private sector, civil society, development partners, scientists, the medical community and the government working together to flatten the curve and to assist those affected by the wake of the pandemic. This is the spirit of the SDGs, to make sure that no one is left behind even in the toughest of times.

 

In the wake of COVID-19, what is your call/ Advice to the government, the youth, CSO’s and other stakeholders

It’s not time to work in silos or in a divide. Let’s work together in co-creation to find solutions for now and for the future, it’s more likely than not things will not go back to normal 100% for many months from now until a permanent solution is found whether a vaccine or some kind of cure.  This doesn’t mean we stop and wait, we need to be resilient, we are being tested in our ability to push through in times of adversity, our other problems did not go away, there are still thousands of girls succumbing to child marriage, unemployment rates for youth are still high, quality education is still a challenge etc the list is endless and we have to keep working to solve all this while we are also being aggressive and resilient in combating COVID-19 in our country. Whether it’s the government, CSO, Private sector, DPs and other groups we should all have a common goal and responsibility that is to create a safer and better Tanzania, for us and generations to come. This is a Decade of Action for the SDGs, and it calls for aggressive measures to make sure we end poverty by 2030, it’s exactly what we should be doing, collectively.

 

What plans & strategies should be put in place to address this COVID 19?

It’s not a one size fits all situation, we need to act urgently and strategically, keeping in mind our socio-economic situation as a country, we can borrow lessons from countries that are in the same settings as us. But our first and foremost priority as a country should be to flatten the curve, ensure no more new infections, no more deaths. This can only be achieved by strengthening our ability in responding to COVID-19,  starting firstly by ensuring that our doctors, nurses and all hospital staff are all protected so that they can take care of those who are sick properly. Make testing available widely, and results immediately, and improvements in patient care in the quarantine centres.

Most importantly I want to stress on the importance of an informed public when we are all correctly informed about the implication of a full-blown pandemic in the country, we are able to make the right decisions to keep ourselves and others safe and following official directives from credible sources and medical professionals.

Position Statement – released by Policy Forum

 

Introduction

We members of Policy Forum through the Local Government Working Group have the responsibility of lobbying national policies on the devolution of good governance, local government reforms and the raising of public voices in public matters and processes,

After reviewing the actual prevalence of the Coronavirus and increase of patients and deaths,

Being aware of the effects on humanity and the impact on the global economy and our country caused by the outbreak of Covid-19,

In addition to recognizing the major efforts made by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and the Prime Minister’s Office Disaster Control Unit under the leadership of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania His Excellency Dr John Pombe Magufuli for setting a plan, forming a national team and allocating resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic,

With an understanding of the role and responsibility of the local government as defined within the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 Article 145 and 146 and the Local Government Act Chapter 287 and Chapter 288 of the year 1982, whereas, in conjunction with empowering the public, should ensure that the law is enforced, strengthen security and democracy to accelerate development in their respective areas.

We feel that it is best to use our influence as a Civil Society Organization with an obligation and position according to the NGO Act of 2002 as amended in 2019 to help the government reach out and defend its people, especially those living in the villages and in the margins of the central economy in which most of them are coordinated by the local government,

We decided to write this statement which is an analysis of the current Covid-19 situation, efforts that have been done, evident challenges and finally our recommendations to help strengthen local government efforts in the fight against Covid-19.

 

Recommendations

  1. Local Government Authorities should relieve fines to be paid by small businesses that have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
  2. Local Government Authorities should enact By-laws to facilitate management and monitoring of hygiene and prevention methods and regulations rather than letting the question of masks and washing hands remain a matter of individual will.
  3. Local Government Authorities to collaborate with stakeholders in their areas including Civil Society Organizations to provide education on Covid-19 awareness to citizens under their jurisdiction through advertising by using billboards but also through driving around the streets with a car, educating the community about COVID-19.
  4. Local Government Authorities to put in place specific and transparent mechanisms to enable various stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations, companies and organizations in providing education, financial aid, food and other basic needs for people with special needs, especially persons with disabilities, the elderly, orphans and poor households so that they can make ends meet during this period of  COVID-19.
  5. Local Government leaders should provide more education to people who continue with business as usual during this period of COVID-19 to avoid escalating the problem and disrupting the government’s efforts against Corona.
  6. Local Governments should enforce the implementation of the directives set by of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and ensure that people are prohibited from gathering in large groups and markets without a specific activity and to make sure protective buying and selling procedures are adhered to, especially that of maintaining a distance of at least one meter between the seller and the buyer.
  7. The Central Government should send emergency funds intended to combat the Coronavirus to Local Government Authorities to strengthen the health care system and hasten the goal of eradicating Corona in Tanzania.
  8. The Government should be transparent regarding all the donations it receives, provides updates on the implementation status of the fight against Corona, receives feedback from the intended beneficiaries, and monitor whether the aid given reaches the intended beneficiaries.

4% Youth Funds from the Municipal Council

 

Municipal Councils in Tanzania allocate 10% of its revenue collections to improve citizen livelihood economically. These funds are provided as a loan with no interest to groups of women, youth, and people with disabilities. Of those funds (10%), 4% is for allocated for youth.

 

#Testimonials

Mariam Mohamed – Youth Entrepreneurship Group Nzuguni, Dodoma 

“I belong to a youth entrepreneurship group that benefit from the 4% youth funds from the Municipal Council. This group, consisting of 4 women and 9 men, manufacture standardized small charcoal stoves.

The process of applying for the loan began as we went to introduce ourselves to our county leadership. Meeting the county chairman, he referred us to the executive officer who then informed us that we needed to register the group at the Municipality office. Thereafter, we were educated about the 4% youth loan.

As a group, we agreed to apply for a loan of tshs 1 million. However, after the municipality inspected our group and project, we received an additional tshs 3 million – totaling the loan to tshs 4 million. The reason this loan was increased was that the funding we requested was not sufficient to implement our desired project.

Our goal is to improve our livelihood status by creating projects that will help them become independent. We decided to do this due to the unemployment situation youth face for not having the privilege of going to school or after graduation for those who have had the privilege of going to school.

Because His Excellency Minister of Industry and Trade insists on starting up of industries in the country, my colleagues and I are striving to meet this request through hard work and perseverance.”

 

Joel Jackson – Vijana Kwanza Group Usangara, Mwanza

“Our group was founded in 2015 and started with only welding crafts. However, in 2016 we, through UNA Tanzania, expanded our scope and grew in number. This meant that we were now able to weld aluminum thus enabling us to manufacture aluminum windows, doors – basically, everything involving aluminum.

We requested for a loan of tshs 10 million, and after fulfilling all the requirements, it was granted. Therefore, I would like for all young people to know that the government is there to help us improve our livelihood. And my advice would be to make use of this opportunity, whether you are literate or illiterate.”

 

Rethinking Project Implementation with clusters amidst the COVID-19 outbreak

On the 6th of April, UNA Tanzania in collaboration with the Foundation of Civil Society held an emergency meeting with cluster organizations to rethink project implementation methods amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the general elections season.

Clusters were informed about the ongoing ban of social gatherings due to the status of the coronavirus infection rates and were educated on the transmission and prevention methods. Furthermore, this meeting provided clusters with an opportunity to discuss project implementation methods that will erase the assumption that illegal campaigns are being carried out and entice more adolescents to participate in development projects.