Tanzania

Daily exposure to water hazards, coupled with the inability to swim, can prove a fatal combination for Tanzania’s people. The country has a big fishing community along its coastline, and with cargo and passenger boats active between the mainland coast and islands such as Zanzibar, Tanzania has suffered a series of high profile tragedies in its waters.

How we’re helping

Aquatic Survival programme

We chose Zanzibar as the location for us to deliver the first ever Aquatic Survival programme. Building on our swim survival work in Cameroon, the next steps ensure that future generations can spot hazards before they develop, and help themselves and others should the worst happen.

Since 2013 we’ve been working with local partners - The Panje Project - to develop the programme. The ultimate aim is to give children aged 7-16 the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe in and around water. 

A local teacher delivers the classroom element of Aquatic Survival training to children on Zanzibar

Photo: Mike Lavis

A local teacher delivers the classroom element of Aquatic Survival training to children on Zanzibar

Aquatic Survival has two modules:

1: Water safety education

This is a classroom-based lesson that delivers 10 water safety messages. The interactive lessons last about an hour, and use a variety of techniques including song and dance.  

2: Survival swimming skills

This teaches older children basic swimming skills so they can swim to safety if they fall into water, and safe rescue skills so that they can help someone in difficulty. In 2015 we expanded this programme to four sites across northern Zanzibar, gave training to 460 children, and employed 16 swimming teachers. We will continue this training into 2016 with the aim of better understanding the impact of the programme.

Children on Zanzibar take part in the swimming skills element of the Aquatic Survival programme

Photo: Mike Lavis

Children on Zanzibar take part in the swimming skills element of the Aquatic Survival programme

Maritime Search and Rescue training

In recent years there have been a number of high-profile ferry accidents around Zanzibar, in which thousands of people have drowned. To help address this, the RNLI has been working closely with the Zanzibar Maritime Authority and other partners to develop a Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) programme suitable for Tanzania. 

In 2015 the RNLI ran a SAR training course in Stone Town, Zanzibar, for 24 candidates from a variety of organisations tasked with responding in an emergency.

Lifeguard training

In September 2013, three RNLI lifeguard trainers spent 2 weeks at Dar es Salaam, teaching Tanzanian and Ugandan trainees. By the end of the fortnight, 16 lifeguard instructors were trained, meaning that they can now run local lifeguard courses and set up lifesaving services in their own communities.

Lifeguards from Tanzania and Uganda training with the RNLI

Photo: Mike Lavis

Lifeguards from Tanzania and Uganda training with the RNLI