Ololosokwan ward being composed of 2 villages and a population of 13,000 people is blessed in certain ways! It has vast and beautiful lands, strong people and its location strategic. It has some challenges too. The growing population means more demand for services and support. There is a need to protect our cultural heritage and transmit to future generations. But most importantly we need to face change strategically and not head on, because it is coming our way, inevitably!
The most challenged (troubled) sections in our community are four – which Our dear father of our Nation cautioned us about many years back! He said that: In order to develop we need four things: land, people, good politics and good leadership. If we use Nyerere’s equation we should have been the most advanced people in Tanzania! We have a complete list of needs!! But what do we lack???
Land – we derive our entire livelihood from the land – our land. Over the past decade, both human and livestock numbers have nearly doubled causing gradual land decrease in size and in value. However, the greater land threat facing Ololosokwan ward emanates from tourism investment and national conservation interests that seek to take community land for these purposes. These pressures from within and outside are increasingly causing serious land conflicts over use and ownership of the land. However, as a people and if we are to survive, we must protect our land vigorously and manage it appropriately for the current and future generations.
People – Numbers is power! The increasing population gives us the number we need to create the power we need to survive! In order to have the meaningful power we need we have to be organized which is opposed to the current situation in Ololosokwan where defragmentation is becoming a norm. The society is structured based on the age system and roles and responsibilities should be distributed on these terms. The skills and indigenous knowledge attributes of each age group are not being utilized accordingly. The world is changing every day, and faster than our pace to accommodate or even to grasp to opportunities of these changes. We have to gather and store our cultural heritage for the future generations while at the same time acquire the skills to master and transform our lives in this turbulent world!
We must fight laziness, alcoholism, and unbecoming behaviours!
Politics – Every five years we have elections in Tanzania. This routine election process has come to define our politics. We ultimately have a very poor understanding of what is politics, because the majority thinks that politics is voting, campaigning and election. While partly this is true, this is not the main definition of politics. In this way, we tend to personalize campaigns, issues and concerns rather addressing the gist of the matter. Indeed, after election the role of politics to determine who gets what when and how is undermined. We must define our ideology which is specific to our community; to foster self-reliance, patriotism and hard working. The end result of politics is division, fragmentation, mud throwing at each other!
Leadership – Everybody appreciates the need to have good leadership which is accountable to the people and provides visions and direction. In Ololosokwan, our definition of politics has affected the leadership quality. Due to this problem, leadership vacuum becomes almost empty often leaving good governance and leadership to the ruins. Leaders are not trusted and their credibility diminishes every year to election! Divisions develop easily. Although it is not possible to train our leaders before they assume leadership responsibilities, we must elect leaders impartially, support them and criticize openly and objectively. This is a new tradition which we must adopt to move forward as a community.