Tim Senden vanuit Tanzania


Tim Senden vanuit Tanzania

Tim Senden, communication officer at Both ENDS is traveling to Arusha, Tanzania. In Tanzania he will interview farmers, NGOs and people from business involved in jatropha production. The oil extracted from the fruit of the jatropha plant can be used to generate energy, this makes jatropha a very sought-after plant. With regular blogs Tim will keep you posted on the local issues concerning the production and processing of jatropha. Of course he will also write about his African encounters, spirited people and the beautiful surroundings of Arusha. Stay tuned for regular updates, or follow Tim on Twitter:!/both_ends, or check our Facebook. For six comprehensive videos on the topic please visit our Both ENDS Youtube channel.

  • 1 October 2011:

    Small can be big

    Yesterday morning my alarm clock went off at 6.30 am, yes working days start early in Tanzania. After having a quick breakfast of bananas, toast and tea, I get down to the lobby to wait for my appointment for today.  Jan, a friendly Belgian from Gent, greets me and together we get in his 4x4. Jan is the director of the Tanzanian branch of the Dutch company Diligent Energy Systems. He has been living in Arusha for the last six years. It has made him fluent in both Kiswahili and the Tanzanian pace of life, which is hectic and relaxed at the same time.


    Jan is taking me to see the Diligent jatropha plant on the outskirts of Arusha. After driving up a very bumpy dirt road he honks the horn and a big iron gate swings open. When I step out of the car a friendly dog comes out to meet me, Jan tells me that after two years they have almost become friends. I look around and the first thing I notice are warehouses and containers in which big bags filled with jatropha seeds are stacked up till the roof.  Jan tells me that the production of jatropha seeds by small scale famers has increased tremendously this year and that because of the daily power cuts his presses can not run on full capacity.

  • 30 September 2011:


    Apparently European stomachs are not made for Africa, luckily the worst is over and now that I see the smiling face of Nicodemus Mpemba, I cannot help but smile myself. Nicodemus works with the Tanzanian organisation Faida MaLi and is taking us to Mbaseen, a small village surrounded by banana trees near the giant of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. At the village boundary we are stopped by two elder men who would like us to sign their guestbook. Behind the village house, coffee farmers are drying and selecting their beans.


    Going up the road we see a collective of beautifully decorated women and men waiting for us. They are all farmers of the Soku group. They grow bananas, coffee, maize and pigeon pears and combine these crops with jatropha. They use the jatropha plants mainly to fence their lands, because animals don't eat from the leaves and have a hard time crawling through the dense bushes. One of the women is working the jatropha press, which extracts the oil from the seeds.

  • 28 September 2011:

    A rookie

    Disembarking the plane sweet and smoky smells make my nostrils flare. The sounds of exotic birds give the dark landing strip the air of a true African savannah, which is not surprising since the strip is part of Kilimanjaro airport. A quick pass through customs and a dazzling ride (and dodging oncoming headlights) into Arusha city, make my first encounter with Africa one to remember.


    This morning I met Desdery and Faithfull who work for a Tanzanian NGO which is based in Arusha. In their four-wheel drive we set out towards the Babati district, which is located south west of Arusha. A two and a half hours drive takes us past barren lands, coloured brown, red and yellow because of the enormous drought, which is hitting this part of Tanzania hard. For miles and miles we pass Masai women walking along the road with big plastic buckets and barrels. They are fetching water for their families, their livestock and their lands. It is an ongoing struggle that repeats itself day in and day out. People are definitely craving for the small rainy season which will start in October.



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