Our First Experience as a New Chapter: JUCO YouthMappers
Hello! My name is Emmanuel Richard Mahe, President of JUCO YouthMappers, a YouthMappers chapter at Jordan University College. On this blog, I will be sharing our very first activity as a YouthMappers chapter. It was great for us to receive back an email to inform us of our application to open a YouthMappers chapter in our University on 7th May 2022. We then started to Organise ourselves and see the need of engaging students and the community to bring collaborative efforts while addressing developmental challenges and solutions. We are thankful for the mind-opening training that we were introduced to by SMCoSE YouthMappers, and we are determined to carry that on.
Getting to know YouthMappers
With support from YouthMappers Regional Ambassador, Mr Erick Tamba Mnyali, Chapter officers were trained on using open-source data collection tools, which we planned to use on the Mini project of sharing the idea with the chapter members. It was a great experience for us as chapter officials, and we were excited to share the experience with the rest of the group.
JUCO YouthMappers Chapter officials trained in data collection tools
On 21st May 2022, we organised our first training as the chapter. Students were trained on how to collect field data. The open sources data collection tools that we were trained on included a Mobile route and survey tracking applications called “My Tracks” and “Mobile Topographer”. As a chapter, we saw the need to use this knowledge to collect field data in areas affected by floods in Morogoro Municipality. We planned our first field mapping experience on June 4th, 2022 at Lukobe in Morogoro Municipality – Tanzania.
Training for our first field mapping experience
On 04th June, we succeeded in conducting our first field mapping activity at Lukobe in Morogoro Municipality – Tanzania, located about 34 Kilometers from our university. We collected household flood experience datasets as well as routes to the places affected by floods. We also used “Organic maps” to add presets to OpenStreetMap, including Culverts, bridges, roads, and schools. It was also touching to hear the community elaborating on the challenge as we asked questions along the mapping process.
QUESTION: "WHAT ARE THE SOURCE AND EFFECT EFFECTS OF FLOODS IN THIS AREA?" One of the students asked.
ANSWER: “I have lived here for 15 years without experiencing this challenge. This year was surprising for us. Although it was not that intense, people's crops and properties were carried away. We don’t have enough understanding of the challenge, but on my side, urbanisation and climate change may be the major cause of this challenge here in Lukobe. Also, poor waste management contributes to a large extent since waterways are blocked during heavy storms.” Reply from a community member.
During field mapping at Lukobe, Morogoro Municipality Tanzania.
After our field Mapping, we organised several pieces of training on how to upload the data, including GPX routes, and also shared insights from the field mapping experience with the university students. From the experience shared, more students joined our chapter and are eager to learn and participate as we define our world by mapping it. We are also proud that more female students participate in the chapter activities, and we encourage more to participate.
About the Author.
I am Emmanuel Richard Mahe, a fourth-year Law student at Jordan University College and the president of the chapter “Jordan Universe College YouthMappers” ( JUCO YouthMappers ). I believe that youth are the bridge to a sustainable future.