Story

Gallan

Gallan

Gallan Emmanuel, 27, comes from a small town in Mwanza, Tanzania called Ilemela where people are already experiencing the effects of the climate crisis. Ruined crops, polluted and disrupted water supplies, higher incidence of diseases such as cholera. But since joining DOT’s Climate Corps program, he has started developing ways to empower his community “by guiding them” and help develop solutions that protect the environment and the people living in this part of Tanzania. 

“My father owns a farm and grows maize which normally gets dried out in the sun, but we’ve had so much rain that is ruining the crops,” he explains. “People fish in the lake for dagaa or sardines then dry them in the sun so they can be stored and sent to market. But, again, it’s been too wet so the sardines are ruined.”

Tanzania has been hit by an economic crisis. Gallan explains that people can’t pay for their bills or pay for school fees. “One day, I saw a tweet about how this was connected to climate and realised this is what was happening in Mwanza,” he says. “Then last year, I found out about DOT’s climate project and decided this would be a great opportunity for me to help my family and my community.”

He spent a month training in Dar es Salaam learning about what causes climate change, how the problems can be mitigated and how people can adapt to deal with the outcomes of climate change. Then Gallan returned to his own community to share what he had learnt and put his new skills into practice. “People need to know the facts of climate change so that they can act. So I used the DOT toolkit of skills and information to explain climate change and help set up a tree planting project in a primary school in the nearby Magu district – people will remember we did that for years to come.”

As part of the Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, Gallan engaged a working group of three women and five men in Nyamagana district. “It felt more like guiding them because they are the ones who are experiencing climate change in their communities.  Once they became more aware of the issues, they bought their own ideas and solutions,” he says. “In Nyamagana district, climate change is making diseases like cholera, malaria and typhoid much more prevalent. Water sources have been polluted, floods continue and waste management is poor so people keep getting sick from drinking and cooking with dirty water. 

Gallan helped this PAR working group of eight people develop a zero waste project to start cleaning up the river and marsh. Twenty or so people joined in, including some local government leaders, collecting bags of plastic and litter. “Now this part of the river is so much cleaner,” Gallan says, proudly. He says he has learned so much from DOT, and also from the community: “It has been amazing.” He spoke to local government leaders and worked with officials to create signs that ask people not to dump waste here. “DOT helped me feel prepared to do this,” he adds.  

Gallan is currently self-employed, writing and designing CVs and cover letters for people applying for jobs. He already uses a lot of digital tech and social media – in terms of practical skills, the most valuable lesson for him from DOT has been project management. “I believe I can now manage a project, influence other people and create a positive impact. I’ve learnt a lot from DOT about report writing, data collection and social media management – now I can use storytelling to create climate content that people can engage with. I have learnt how to use algorithms to drive traffic to my content, create connection and build online engagement through Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp groups,” says Gallan who is already getting fantastic feedback from community members – “they tell me I’m a good facilitator and that I have taught them well” – and his enthusiasm is already having ripple effects. “I feel like I’ve generated more passion for climate advocacy,” he says. Next, his dream is to create a free and easy-to-use digital platform where he can share information, climate solutions and green job opportunities. Without DOT, I couldn’t have imagined doing that.”

Are you our next Community Leader, Digital Champion, or Social Innovator? Learn more about how to join #DOTYouth

Join #DOTYouth

Share this STORY

More STORIES

Read more inspiring stories like Gallan.

Husna

Story

Gallan

Story

Glory

Creating a sustainable livelihood for Hanang Women

Story