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 have begun to produce white papers and articles that highlight key issues, provide objective analysis, and name specific opportunities and risks that decision makers should know about. Earlier this year, we released “From Curse to Cure: A Special Report on the Impact of Energy Exploration & Production in the Lake Tanganyika Basin” to expose the vulnerability of the Lake Tanganyika watershed and ensure it is properly protected—as the ecological health of the lake is inextricably tied to the health of the people living along its shores. Download the paper here >>
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 >>
- Upcoming Contraceptive Outreach in Rukwa, Tanzania
In the Lake Tanganyika Basin, reproductive health care is nearly non-existent. Contraceptive and prenatal care is inaccessible, childbearing often begins in teen years, and extreme poverty is the norm. As a result, maternal-fetal death rates are extremely high (under-five childhood death rate is near 20-25 percent in certain areas in the basin), as is fistula formation in women and girls who survive obstructed labor. The LTFHC/WAVE is committed to addressing high birthrate in the region through accessible contraception, not only as a means of empowering local women but also to save lives and prevent disease.
As such, the LTFHC/WAVE will conduct a comprehensive contraceptive project, funded by Hivos International, in Rukwa, Tanzania, that will include the following:
- Sexual education for couples
- Community didactics on sexual health, prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraceptive options including oral contraceptive pills, injectable methods and both female and male condoms
- General training in sexual health and contraception for health care workers
- Intra-uterine device (IUD) insertion training for health care workers
- Free provision of contraceptives for patients during the outreaches
- Establishment of reliable contraceptive supply chains
Through this outreach we aim to increase community awareness of contraceptive methods, increase male partner knowledge and involvement in contraceptive decision-making, build capacity in terms of health care workers skilled in contraception provision (with a particular focus on the longest-lasting, most reliable methods), and improve long term availability of contraceptives.
We are particularly grateful to DKT Tanzania for their assistance in sourcing medical supplies at a discounted rate.
This outreach will begin on May 23rd with a community “kick off” festival. Organized in cooperation with Femina HIP (a Tanzanian organization that promotes sexual health and wellness for young people through the use of multimedia) and community health care workers, the festival will feature a local theater group performing plays to help dispel common myths about contraception. Femina HIP will serve as the “master of ceremonies” to maximize community involvement and spread the word about the outreach during the festival.