Looking back at our Assumptions


Near the beginning of this project we wrote down all of our assumptions and formed a list of questions we needed to ask to either confirm or debunk our ideas. this was a very helpful activity to guide our research. It is useful to go through questions we had and evaluate whether we've answered the question:

Are cellphones common and available to people?
Yes, many people in Longido and the Maasai culture have begun using cellphones as a part of their daily lives. More Here. 

What sorts of technology is useful and being embraced? What solutions exist?
In addition to mobile phones, the Maasai use a variety of technology both old and new. Common traditional tools include biogas/biofuel,  metal & wooden pots, hoses, shovels, pangas, wheel barrows, and similar hardware.  More modern technology includes Solar panels, and social networking tools.

What is currently used as lighting?
Biomass such as charcoal, wood, and agricultural leftovers are used to provide fuel for fire that doubles as lighting for the home. Kerosene lamps are frequently used and less often a diesel generator is run providing electricity for lights. More info here

What energy sources exist, how is electricity obtained? Do alternative energy sources exist?
Solar energy and kerosene is common. More Here & Here

What materials are common in building?
Houses are mainly built out of bricks made mainly of cow manure and ash from the ground. Sheet metal is also used for roofing. More information can be found here.

What kind of agriculture exists in Longido, what crops are grown?
In Longido, the dry climate makes farming difficult. Livestock is very common and provides a source of food and income for many people. Major food crops include maize, beans, paddy, and sorghum.

What food is common?
In addition to the food mentioned above, the Maasai eat Ugali prepared with cornmeal, cassava flour, sorghum, or millet), pilau (rice dish), chapatti (an unleavened flat bread), supu (soup), Mandazi (doughnuts), ndizi kaanga (fried plantains or green bananas) and more... Details here

What kind of water system exists?
Water taps, which draws their water from the mountains, are placed around the village that are publicly available for all the villagers, however can only collected at designated times as per family. Learn more in the interview with Virginia here and here.

What is the situation with garbage and what are their environmental concerns?
There is a group called the Green Arusha that tries, but unsuccessfully, educate villagers of being environmentally aware. Information on this was from Virginia Taylor's interview, which can be found here.

Is sanitation an issue they are concerned about, what type of illnesses are common and how are they treated?
Access to clean water for drinking, water for cleaning, sanitary living and working conditions and sanitary latrines play a large role in the success of education. Illnesses like Cholera, Worms and Typhoid are issues that arise from poor water conditions, and medical facilities are not always easily accessible. More Here.

What is the daily life of a person in Longido like? What are their daily concerns?
The daily life includes collecting water, tending to livestock, taking care of the home and more. Details here.

What are common family dynamics for the Maasai? Are gender roles important? What are the roles of children?
Gender and age play a large role in family dynamics. Each family member has specific roles and chores based on their age. For example, the men take care of animals and the livestock. Young men and older boys often go with their fathers to learn and help tend to live stock. Very young children go to school, and may continue to as they get old if the family and community situation allows for it.Mothers and older daughters take care of children, tend to the home, collect water and prepare food. Details here.

Do children get an education? Are there community spaces for children?
Education is mandatory for children of school age but the situation is not perfect. Many children, especially older girls, are not able to get an education. Organizations such as Tembo are trying to improve the situation. More Here.

What do people do for recreation?
Recreation in Maasai culture tends to be low intensity and invlolves story telling and community engagement. More Here.
What kind of design is common in terms of visual aesthetics?
Designs in beading and clothing changes with the times. Jewellery often reflects the styles of an age-group and period of time. Textiles are also important for aesthetic in Tanzania. The Kanga is a common article of clothing, with colourful patterns.

How do people generate an income, what is the economic situation like?
Agriculture and Livestock is the main source of income for many people in Tanzania. Tourism has also provided a source of income in many situations, and micro-enterprising is a growing activity. More here.

What is the history of foreign aid in Longido?
There was an implementation of water tanks in a near by village of Kitala, Tanzania by Tanzania Development Trust United Kingdom.

Will we be seen as outsiders?
It is important to be sure that our designs and solutions make use of familiar technologies and use methods that locals will be able to understand and maintain.  More Here.

What can we learn from other foreign aid projects? 
It is incredibly important that we learn from past mistakes and are aware of the history of projects in the area. It is also important that we identify which projects were successful; we can learn techniques from successful projects. Furthermore, it is important that anything we build is understood by and can be maintained by people in Longido.

You may also like

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.