Despite stories of the country’s two southern regions of Mtwara and Lindi being easily accessible by road throughout the year after major road works and construction of Mkapa bridge, the ugly truth of the matter is that, access remains restricted to the dry season.
I have been stuck since last Sunday in Dar es Salaam trying to get a bus to Lindi region where my first assignment for the maiden Tanzania Media Fund fellowship is scheduled. Last Sunday, I failed to leave because my CRDB bank card got stuck at a faulty ATM at Kijitonyama, a few minutes before my departure.
I got my card back on Monday morning and by 1000hrs I was at Ubungo bus terminal to catch one for Lindi-Mtwara. Bus attendants said there was no bus traveling to the two regions from the city’s main terminal and instead advised me to try at Temeke Stereo or Mbagala Zakhem where there are regular buses.
After further inquiries I was convinced that several buses were stuck at Nangurukuru and that no decent bus was traveling to the regions since last Sunday. I chose to go to Mbagala Zakhem on Tuesday which I did at 0600hrs.
A rug tag small enclosed area with no semblance of a bus stand, Mbagala Zakhem was a beehive of activity when I arrived. The number of touts outpaced both passengers and buses but the fact that there were buses made me have hope of departing, at last.
Yes after shoving and arguing with a forest of tickets waiving touts, I got into a somewhat decent bus christened, Wifi Coach. The tout got me a seat inside the bus and as I got down to pay him the fare, the actual conductor said the seat was occupied.
I got down and proceeded to the next bus and the story was the same, full. After some half hour of moving around trying to get space in one of the remaining shabby aged buses which were competing in honking and roaring without movement, I realized that none had space, in fact several of them were full not only with seated passengers but also a good number of those standing.
Time was running out and I had to get my act together after day three was elapsing before I was at my place of schedule as per my timetable. I had little choice but to get a ticket on one of the worst buses on the morning.
After 0830hrs with the majority of passengers venting anger against the driver and his conductor, the rugged Scania model 113 bus took off. A few kilometers after leaving the bus stand, it halted and a man called Mudi, the bus conductor ordered those standing to disembark because there was a mobile weigh bridge ahead.
Over 20 passengers dropped including those who were seated because apparently the aged bus was overloaded with cargo also. The obeying passengers were stuffed in a Toyota Hiace mini bus plying the Temeke-Mkuranga route and re-boarded the main bus after the weigh bridge.
We went past the weight bridge but I was very concerned by the deteriorating state of the bus which had problems changing gears and overloaded with cargo and people, was swaying dangerously as it negotiated anti-hills dotting the area between Mbagala and Mkuranga.
Luck was on our side because after getting past Mkuranga’s main business district, the aged Scania engine whose body is that of a Nissan Diesel finally succumbed to a malfunction and it halted.
It took the determined mechanics or technicians, over an hour between 0938hrs to1040hrs before they tried to reignite the bus. It roared but the problem which was a leaking oil sample, I guess from my poor knowledge of motor vehicles, got worse.
They started hammering the failed aged bus part and the tired, worried faces of mothers and children stood by the side watching and hoping for the best. It didn’t happen until mid day when the ill qualified and inexperienced technicians decided to remove the leaking part and refer it to their better skilled and equipped Dar es Salaam peers.
By 1400hrs, they were no-where to be seen and a good number of passengers who knew that the trip was no longer possible, chose to take a bus to Temeke Stereo and confront the owners before dusk fell for refunds of fares.
I joined them because under normal circumstances, this aged poorly maintained bus could not go past Nangurukuru or Manzese and Somanga which were described as the worst parts of the road to Lindi and Mtwara regions.
My impromptu investigation revealed that the bus christened, Karim’s Executive used to ply between Dar and Handeni in Tanga but frequent breaking down and availability of better buses on the route forced it to relocate to Dar-Mtwara route.
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Kwanini ni vigumu kuomba msaada?
Ni matarajio au matamanio ya kila mtu kusaidiwa kukamilisha jambo fulani. Iwe kazini au kwenye shughuli yoyote ya kijamii, utahitaji watu wenye ujuzi na maarifa tofauti tofauti kufanikisha malengo yako. Mfano, wachezaji wakiwa uwanjani wanacheza kwa kusaidiana kila mmoja katika nafasi yake ili kuifunga timu pinzani na kuibuka na ushindi.
Hakuna jambo lolote linaloweza kukamilika bila ya kuwa na usaidizi wa namna fulani. Lakini umewahi kujiuliza kwanini ni vigumu kwa watu kuomba msaada?
Jibu linatolewa na Mwanasaikolojia ya Jamii, Heidi Grant anaeleza kuwa, kilichopo nyuma ya kuomba msaada ni hofu ya kukataliwa ambayo imekita mizizi katika saikolojia ya uumbaji wa mwanadamu.
Katika kitabu chake kiitwacho, Reinforcements anaandika kuwa kuomba msaada ni jambo lisilopendeza linalomfanya mtu ajisikie mgonjwa.
Hilo linathibitishwa na Mtaalamu wa Saikolojia mwingine nchini Marekani, Stanley Milgram ambaye alifanya jaribio la utii na mamlaka ambapo aliwaelekeza wanafunzi wake ambao walikuwa wamesimama ndani ya treni kuomba nafasi ya kukaa kwenye viti. Anasema majibu aliyopata ni kwamba wengi wao waliogopa kuomba msaada huo. “Niliogopa ningesingeweza,” alisema mmoja wa wanafunzi.
Lakini Milgram aliamua kuomba siti na akakubaliwa , “ Kichwa changu kilizama katikati ya miguu yangu na nilihisi nimepigwa na butwaa,” anaandika. “Sikufanya wajibu wangu. Nilikuwa najisikia kama naenda kupotea.”
Muitiko huo ambao Grant ameuelezea unahusiana na tabia za kijamii ambazo zimeunganishwa kwenye ubongo wa mwanadamu tangu karne nyingi za uumbaji. Kama wanyama wengine, binadamu wameumbwa kupata msaada kutoka kwa familia na jamii zao ili waweze kuishi. Lakini inafika wakati tunaogopa kuomba msaada hata kama tuna shida.
Kwanini watu wanaogopa kuomba msaada?
Zipo sababu mbalimbali ambazo zinasababisha watu kuogopa kuomba msaada ni kupoteza hadhi na heshima katika jamii. Wapo baadhi ya watu wana hadhi fulani ambayo anahisi akiomba msaada kwa watu atadharaulika. Pia kukataliwa, siyo kila ombi linakubaliwa, mengine yanakatiliwa; hofu hiyo huwazuia watu kuomba msaada. Wakati mwingine ukiomba msaada inakuwa ni njia ya watu kufahamu matatizo yako na kuwaambia wengine; jambo linaloweza kutengeneza huzuni katika maisha.
Grant anaeleza kuwa kuomba msaada kunakuweka wazi zaidi na hatari za kijamii ambazo zinaweza kudhihirisha unyonge na kukaribisha maumivu.
Anaeleza zaidi kuwa inatengeneza huzuni, na kukaribisha uwezekano wa kukataliwa. “Hajalishi, ndiyo maana tunaogopa kuomba msaada kama tunavyogoopa maradhi,” ameandika. “Maradhi yanaweza kuwa na hatari ndogo kwetu ukilinganisha na kuomba msaada.”
Hata hivyo, ni mara chache sana matokeo hasi tuliyoyaona hapo juu kutokea mara tunapoomba msaada. Katika utafiti mwingine, Mwanasaikolojia Vanessa Bohns alichunguza sampuli ya watu 14,000 ambao walitakiwa kuomba msaada. Na alibaini kuwa idadi kubwa ya walioomba msaada walikuwa na uwezekano mkubwa wa kupata kuliko ambavyo walikuwa wanaamini awali.
Katika semina mbalimbali, Mhamasishaji, Antony Luvanda amekuwa akisisitiza kuwa kuomba msaada siyo ishara ya unyonge bali ni ishara kuwa umeimarika kimaisha.
Kwa maneno mengine, inaweza kuwa rahisi kupata msaada kuliko kuomba.
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