Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar

I travelled from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam yesterday morning early, and checked into the conference hotel – a vast place, but not that well run! Later in the day I met up with Mohamed Siddig from our field office in Darfur. Today, I went with a couple of other delegates for a day out in Zanzibar, travelling by ferry. The island has such a different feel from Tanzania – very Arab in its architecture, and though the old Stone town is run down, it is full of character. First impressions of Dar es Salaam is of greater poverty than Kenya, though people are extremely friendly and welcoming. This evening we all gathered together for the conference welcome dinner, and allocation to our different groups for the field visits that will take place over the coming 2 days. Guests included the Minister for Environment in Tanzania, Mrs Batilda Burian, and the Tanzanian climate change lead negotiator, Richard Muyungi, whom I have met a number of times at UNFCCC negotiations.

All of us from Practical Action have arrived safely – Mohamed Siddig from Sudan, Eric Kisiangani from Kenya, Douglas Gumbo from Zimbabwe and Bhattiya Kekulandala from Sri Lanka, whom I am meeting for the first time. There are five different field visits, and we are each in a different group; I can’t believe my good fortune – I have been put in the group going to visit coastal communities within the Saadani National Park. Only downside is – it is over 4 hours drive in a minibus!

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