When the Mugumu Safe House was set up in December 2014 the surrounding areas were, like all of rural Tanzania, extremely poorly mapped. This made the outreach work in the villages and rescuing the girls both very difficult.
Therefore we set up Crowd2Map Tanzania a crowdsourced mapping project aiming to put rural Tanzania on the map. Since 2015, we have been adding schools, hospitals, roads, buildings and villages to OpenStreetMap with the help of over 2000 volunteers worldwide and 200 on the ground in Tanzania. You can see more about how maps help here. We are concentrating first on the areas where girls are at risk of FGM such as Mara. With zero budget we have so far added over a million buildings and mapped over 70,000 sq kilometres. Having better maps helped prevent 2257 girls from being cut during this year’s “cutting season” and the numbers dying was reduced from 12 to 4. We were recently awarded a microgrant by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap to train community mappers in 8 areas of Tanzania, and presented a community webinar for them. We have also been featured on Al Jazeera, The Guardian and Missing Maps. as well as setting up a Youthmappers Chapter at the Institute of Rural Development and Planning in Mwanza and Dodoma. There is an update of our project here
On 13th August, to celebrate the 13th anniversary of OpenStreetMap we hosted ab online mapathon in which hundreds of people from 45 different people participated. We have also talked about Crowd2Map at conferences in Kampala and Japan, and next month Rhobi has been invited to present to the HOT Summit in Canada. On Tuesday 22nd we are hosting this webinar to demonstrate some of the maps our Summer of Maps intern has produced - everyone is welcome!
Mapping involves remote mappers tracing roads and buildings from satellite images to produce a base map that people on the ground in Tanzania can add local knowledge to. Anyone with an internet connection can help! There are instructions here and please contact me if you would like more information, or if you are interested in organising a mapathon for your school, college or workplace.
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