Ukerewe market women plan to have access to bank loan. Photo Credit -Oluwabusayo Sotunde/ Rural Reporters

Rural Women, ICT Drive and Other Reports

Every week, collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.

This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.

Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:           

Unequal Rights for Indigenous, Rural Women Endanger Forest Lands – Researchers

Community practices often relegate women’s tenure rights solely to land access and use rather than full control over customarily governed land and natural resources

Inadequate rights for indigenous and rural women are jeopardising forests and common lands across the globe as demand for land and resources grows, underlining the urgent need for legal reforms, researchers said on Thursday.

Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ lands cover more than half the global land mass, and women make up more than half the 2.5 billion people who customarily own and use these lands.

Namibia Connects Rural Communities Through ICT Drive

In a move to make ICT part of the universal services in the Namibia, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa Namibia launched Telecom Namibia services in three constituencies of the Zambezi Region.

The Deputy Minister in a statement on Wednesday said, “We want to provide equal opportunities to all Namibians, whether in urban or rural areas of our country. This becomes even more important in rural Namibia.”

At the event, he praised Telecom Namibia for heeding to government call and expanding its network to the Sibbinda, Katima Rural and Kabbe constituencies in the Zambezi Region.

We Need an International Environmental Criminal Court     

My own experience highlights the dangers facing environmental crusaders. For eight years, my community in rural Kenya, Owino Uhuru, has been exposed to toxic lead poisoning caused by the operations of a state-licensed smelter. The World Health Organization’s measure of lead poisoning is five micrograms per deciliter. The highest lead level recorded in Owino Uhuru was 420 micrograms per deciliter. In the highly publicized contamination case in Flint, Michigan, the readings were 35 micrograms per deciliter.

Tanzania: Use Telemedicine Well to Serve Rural Tanzanians

With 68-39 per cent of Tanzania’s population living in rural areas, where many roads are impassable during the rainy season, water and health services are wanting and poverty is higher there than in urban centres, challenges abound.

One of the aspects so vital to gainsay is health, whose system is decrepit in rural Tanzania. As we are all aware of, it is dangerous to narrow health as just the absence of disease, leaving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual canker sores to fester.

Enugu: The Ugwuanyi Lesson in Rural Development

The two-year development trajectory of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration in Enugu State signposts a clear and systematic departure from the past when most major achievements were concentrated in the urban areas.

During his inauguration on May 29, 2015, Ugwuanyi, in his inaugural address, told the people of Enugu that his administration will “pay a special attention to rural development because majority of our people live in the rural areas”.

In an explicit commitment to rural development, he emphasized that his administration will open up the rural areas, create more urban centres, develop fresh economic opportunities and reduce pressure on Enugu metropolis to boost socio-economic expansion and give rural dwellers a sense of belonging by equipping and modernizing some satellite towns such as Nsukka, 9th  Mile Corner, Emene, Awgu and Abakpa, among others.

Expert Decries Poor Access to Quality Water in Rural Areas

Mr Bassey Uwe, a retired Director of Service, Akwa Ibom Water Company, Oron office, on Tuesday in Abuja decried poor access to quality water in rural areas across the country.

Uwe, who made the observation in an interview with the Newsmen, blamed the development on failure by the three tiers of government to live up to their responsibilities.

“Responsibility of water supply in Nigeria is shared between the three tiers of government.

“ The Federal Government is in charge of water resources management; state governments have the primary responsibility for urban water supply, and local government is responsible for rural water supply.“

According to Uwe, the level of water supply in rural communities in the country is poor and the situation is pathetic.

Adolescent Girls in Rural Areas Still Use Rags as Sanitary Pad 

Despite the abundance of sanitary pads, some adolescent girls in some communities in the Northern Region continue to use rags during their menstrual cycle, whiles others have no or little knowledge on menstrual hygiene.

Checks by TV3 has revealed there are no sanitary pads in shops at most rural communities in the region, and in areas where there is availability, affordability has become a challenge to parents and their girl child.

Most adolescent girls, including 13-year-old Tibornyaan Yabdow from Nanjuni in the Yendi District have no option than to resort to the use of rags as sanitary pads whenever they are in their menstruating.



Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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