In Mtwara and other part of our country, community has been affected by allowance acquisitions as factor for training and meeting attending. That is even in activities that benefit an individual person such as training or a small meeting if you will not provide them with allowances very few will attend you meeting.
This was an issue when we visited BMU at Namgogoli Village on 23rd August 2011 for Monitoring visits. We were discussing on issues related to past training on roles and rights of BMUs on marine resources management and conservation, its applicability to their daily activities as well as environmental situation as a result of obtained training.
Many were discussed, but on winding up and no signs of allowance availability one among the participants stood up and asked; “You are winding up, nothing you came with for us? How can you invite us with nothing, how can we sustain our day?” I replied “I’m sorry. For sure I have nothing to offer you and if you had gone through my latter it explained clear that I’m a student and I will be here for studying and sharing information and knowledge with you. Addition to that is that we should value much the knowledge and skills we get from these visits and trainings rather that little allowances that in most cases are not enough to our life…” .
The man interrupted; “No! And tell those who send you here that you cannot put us for here for nothing. We are just volunteering, nothing we get from these responsibilities we have rather that problems and angrily form the community. Tell them that even the trainings they provide to us are not enough, training that was supposed to take place for one month only a week takes place...”
Later on we asked them the possibility of undertaking bee keeping training as Mbuo BMU has asked for strengthening sources of income and improved marine conservation. Then another man answered; “No, as there will be no allowances we cannot, maybe late us thing more on that and we can answer you next time ...”
The question to ask, can we transform the community in these situation? Can volunteers, who even the way to sustain their life is difficult can them fit on these situation? How can one share his/her knowledge to community while no allowances on his/her hands?.
Its challenge to us as YETs, WWF and community in general. There should be something to be done particularly to community side that they should not consider allowances as most important as knowledge that is obtained from the said training.
Samli Hassan-YET 2011.