Tanzania Diary – Day 1 – 25/11/08

Children at Rene MDC, Dar Es Salaam >>more photos

Well, where do I start? I’ve learnt so much in such a short time. Here is a brief run-down of the day. It’s a bit ‘notey’ but I need to get some sleeeep!

The programme for the day was an introductory talk which I missed as I was still in the sky. Followed by a visit to the Kwanza Bottling Plant and three Manual Distribution Centres (MDCs). The ones we visited were run by women.

There are about 20 people here and they are all going to be great contacts for taking ColaLife forward. I think the best way forward is to try and engage some of these people, including people from Coca-Cola, in co-developing a business plan to trial. Otherwise we are going to have to put up something ourselves which there will be no commitment to and will be shot down. Anyway, that’s the tactic I’m going to try.

Key learning points:

  • I’m getting challenged by some of the ‘development professionals’ here but I was expecting that. But I think I’m responding OK but I’m not sure they are listening!
  • The Moo cards are BRILLIANT at getting people’s attention
  • 350 ml glass bottles account for 80% of sales – I’ll get some measurements before I leave
  • There are two sorts of crates that these go into:
  • A full height crate that is deeper that the bottles and is load-bearing
  • A ‘Ian Bishop’ crate which the bottles stick out of the top of (these are being phased out – which is good as it would be more difficult to carry stuff in these)
  • See the photos
  • The Manual Distribution Centres (MDCs) – we were taken to ones run by women – take a lorry load of crates at a time (ie the lorry doesn’t go on a circuit it leaves the bottling plant and goes to one MDC which takes the whole load (helpful when thinking at which point the ColaLife Pods could be inserted)

Tomorrow is the main meeting so I’ll report back on that and hjopefully provide more photos for you to see.

Sorry, but the Flickr photos are still uploading – I’ll put the link into these tomorrow.


  1. Great stuff, thanks for reporting back to us all Simon, and good luck for the rest of the trip!


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