Open data and environmental conservation on Zanzibar - Event Report

Saturday 6 March 2021
20:00 (EAT)
Online, Tanzania (Europe, Middle East & Africa)
Zanzibar Volunteers for Environmental Conservation (ZAVECO) and SUZA Youth Mappers

On Saturday 6th March 2021, the eleventh Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising hundreds of events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme.

This event received an Open Knowledge Foundation mini-grant thanks to support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Labs.

Photo of Open data and environmental conservation on Zanzibar

How did your event celebrate open data?

On Saturday 06 March 2021, we celebrated Open Data Day by recruiting students from SUZA YouthMappers and multimedia group, community members and members from ZAVECO. 

From 3:30am to 11am, we collected plastic and other litter from the coastal mangroves. 398kg of trash was collected and sent to the recycling centre. Items collected included; plastic bottles, plastic bags, tie-tie, sandals, shoes, clothes, tyres, mosquito nets and glass bottles.

The event then was followed by a short dialogue on the importance of volunteerism in generating quality data. This dialogue was facilitated by Ms Asma Ahmada Hamad (ZAVECO) and Mrs Raya Idrissa Ahmada (SUZA)

At last students got the opportunity to observe biodiversity associated with mangrove forests. Mr Iddi Hassan Ali (ZAVECO) guided students through the mangrove ecosystem to let them explore the real world, linking theories and practices. We would like to express our gratitude to the Open Knowledge Foundation for their support.

Lessons learned from your event

Through volunteerism, we can collect quality data and make them freely accessible to those in need. Local NGOs run by local communities often lack access to funding for this kind of work but can partner with students in collecting quality, timely and relevant data to help make informed decisions about their projects. In this manner, students can gain useful work experience before entering formal employment and it could be a chance to innovate to solve more societal problems.

Why do you love Open Data Day?

It gives an opportunity for people to understand more about the accessibility of the data and importance of the data and challenges in collection, management and uses.

Did you or your team produce any resources (datasets/tools/maps/code/etc) during your Open Data Day celebrations?

ZAVECO - in collaboration with the regional YouthMappers ambassador - plan to establish a volunteerism programme for final year students. For a maximum of two weeks, students will be working with ZAVECO as part of their Biodiversity Conservation and Community Sustainability Program.

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