I am writing this post sitting in my hotel room in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Right outside my patio window in the near distance is a beautiful, blue bay with connecting waters to the Indian Ocean. Dar es Salaam is the first coastal city I’ve visited in Africa. Its brightly colored buildings, abundant bougainvillea and palm trees make Dar es Salaam a visual paradise with the vast Indian Ocean serving as the main backdrop to the city.
Earlier today when I stepped off the plane in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city and major international shipping hub, I was immediately struck by how very hot it is here. You see, I was just in Zambia two months ago where it was winter and the weather was cool and pristine. Here in Tanzania – although the two countries border one another – the weather is steamy during the day and balmy even at night showing just how fast seasons change and how different countries are from one another even though they’re neighbors.
I’m here in Tanzania as an International Reporting Project fellow. If you follow my work you may recall that I traveled to Zambia with the International Reporting Project to cover infectious diseases in July. This time I am covering agriculture, food security, poverty, and hunger. I will be highlighting agricultural projects that work in Tanzania and explaining as best I can where many of the shortfalls are. After all, nearly fifty percent of all Tanzanian children have stunted growth and sixty-eight percent of the population lives in poverty while agriculture is the number one employer of Tanzanians.
Over the course of the next nine days I will be sharing my findings and discoveries about the agriculture sector here in Tanzania, report about NGOs that are working for the betterment of the county, and also relay the stories of Tanzanians who lie at the heart of this country and make up its farming and agricultural backbone.