A Road Trip to Pemba

Pemba BeachTime is flying by here in Nampula. Another week has disappeared into a haze already. This is both good and bad. Good because it means that I will be home soon and the time between now and then will likely continue to pass quickly, but bad because there remains a lot of work to be done between now and then. Part of the reason why this week went by so quickly is because we had to go to Pemba, which is the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, the other province where this project will be working (the other being Nampula).

Pemba is a 5 to 6 hour drive from Nampula, located further north and on the coast. It is a smaller town, but has more tourist appeal as a result of the beautiful white sand beaches and palm trees. We left early on Wednesday morning so that we would arrive in Pemba with time to check into a hotel and eat some lunch before meeting with the provincial water department early in the afternoon. Our main goal of the trip was to collect as much information from Pemba as we could so that we can plan the implementation of the project in the districts there. We met with government officials and requested a long list of information, then set up some meetings with some other organizations who are active in the water sector for the following morning.

We had some time in the afternoon to visit a few craft shops which are more prominent in Pemba as a result of the tourism there. We went to one cooperative where three men were working on a carving. I bought some very nice wood carvings of a man and woman there which were carved by one of the men. I even got some sand between my toes. I wandered along the beach to snap a few photos while I had the chance. We ate dinner overlooking the ocean. It was lovely!

The following morning we met several organizations to discuss their activities in rural water and sanitation and try to gather more information. As we expected before going there we did not gather a lot of great information, which is going to make planning rather difficult, but it will still have to get done somehow. The provincial database which should have data on all the water points in the province, had stopped working (reasons were unclear) and so they only had the data in hard copy now. This is not uncommon. We left Pemba at around noon so that we could get back to Nampula before dark, as driving on the highway at night is dangerous – people don’t always have their lights on, there are always people on motorbikes, bicycles and walking along the side of the road and are difficult to see at night.

It was interesting to see Pemba. I wish we could have spent more time there and actually relaxed on the beach for a while, but I am here to work not to have a beach vacation! Maybe next time …

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Posted in mozambique | travel | work Submitted by Meg on Sun, 2009-07-12 07:45

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