Despite being so isolated, the future and fate of the Lake Tanganyika Basin could not be more connected to the rest of the world. Rich in natural resources, like oil and minerals, and a place of enormous environmental importance because it contains one fifth of the world’s fresh water, the lake exists at the nexus of several global struggles and is increasingly attracting the attention of outside interests ranging from multi-national energy and mining corporations to global powers. The lake region is home to millions of indigenous and displaced poor, spread across four countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Burundi and Zambia.
Recognizing the complexity of the region, the organization has mobilized itself to engage on policy, legislation and technologies that promote effective development, transparency and ensure the safety of Lake Tanganyika’s populations.
We are bringing new ways of working, new thinking and new energy to one of the most neglected, yet important places on Earth. Watch footage of our efforts here >>
- Updates from the field: South Kivu
Data collection is absolutely vital to our work– it is how we build a greater understanding of the challenges and barriers in the Lake Tanganyika Basin so that we can better design interventions and serve the populations living there and address their needs.
Over the course of five days in October, members of our team visited eleven rural health clinics in Fizi, Nundu and Uvira Health Zones of DRC’s South Kivu territory serving 82,428 people. During these visits, our small team met with community members, local chiefs and health care workers (HCWs) in addition to gathering epidemiologic and technology survey data. The results were rich and fascinating, including showing direct correlations between security and public health, the effects of road access, hotspots of under-5 mortality, and the ingenious ways the local HCWs were finding solutions to some of their problems. Dr. Amy Lehman updated us from the field:
“Back in Uvira after a very, very interesting 4 days in Nundu/Fizi. Five more surveys to go, a trip to the Uvira port and then, back to Bujumbura. I never cease to be completely impressed by the dedication of Congolese health care workers. I met some absolutely terrific female community health workers and I can’t wait to work with them in the future!”
We plan to further explore the peninsula of Fizi Health Zone in 2015, where we will visit 10 health areas covering 100,000 people, which have no road or cellular phone access. Please consider supporting these efforts with a year-end gift.