A joint field visit by Kesho Trust [Peter Millanga and I] and SANA [Costa Coucoulis and Ally Abdallah]. We travelled from Dar es Salaam to Mkange where we met with village representatives to discuss the onsite implementation of the initial Kihembe facilities. We also confirmed details for the traditional dedication ceremony that is planned to mark the commitment and bestow blessing on the site for its intended use.
Hamza Msangeni [Village Executive Officer] and Ramadhani Jelejeza welcomed us and were enthusiastic about the imminent concrete steps. The requirements for the ceremony were discussed and a date of November 15th was confirmed subject to the agreement by the elders of the village. We also met Hatibu Msamvu, Chair of the village environmental committee and member of our PECC committee. With Hatibu we discussed the matter of signs for the property to alert people to the boundaries of the area as a way of preventing inappropriate access and use. In his role as chair of the environment committee, he will ensure that the signs are produced and posted.
From our meetings at the village office we proceeded to the Kihembe site. Our task was to specifically locate sites for the preliminary staff facilities which will be used as a base for further facility development for the centre. Accommodation units and supporting facilities to cater to staff and volunteers involved in the site development were discussed and a site plan created. Such facilities follow the design concept for the centre in both style and general location and will serve as prototypes for other similar units proposed in the full centre concept.
To complete the visit we drove to Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge for a brief visit and then returned to Mkange through the park enjoying the peaceful environment and the wildlife we encountered.
The following day details of construction requirements were developed so a detailed cost estimate could be prepared. It is anticipated that the facilities will be in place by early December.