Atanas Ndanu is our main contact in Tanzania for tank and stove building activities. He has continued to take leadership as the head builder, 'fundi mkuu'. He has actively striven to learn new techniques and afterwards taught them to the other builders within the project. He was first trained in tank building by Liana in 2006. Later he expanded his skills to several stove models and several other rainwater harvesting tank models. As we continue to spread the technology to new villages, Ndanu is in the key role in mobilising the fundis, the communities and schools.


Anenmose Maro has been collaborating with Liana since 2006 as a facilitator and trainer. Maro acquired his MSc in Irrigation Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium in 1994. His multidisciplinary work experience (29 years) has involved planning and surveying for and design of hydraulic structures; environmental impact assessments; supervising construction and other project activities (related to water supply, agriculture, environmental conservation and sanitation); and evaluation. He has recently started an NGO called Land and Water Development Organisation (LWDO) together with other development professionals. He has been Liana's key partner in recent (2016-17) project planning.

Maogola Mbelwa has had a long association with Liana as a trainer. He acquired his diploma in horticulture in 1988 from HORTI Tengeru, a national horticultural research and training institute which teaches diploma students in horticulture. His work experience of 30 years in training has involved teaching students subjects such as growing vegetables, fruits and flowers, plant propagation, soil and water conservation, nursery establishment and management, and plant protection.He has worked as a trainer in farmers’ short courses and farmer group training organised by the institute and by various NGOs. He is a founding member of Land and Water Development Organisation (LWDO) and has had a key role in Liana's recent project planning.

Eija Soini, Development geographer  (Founder member, Liana Chair) Eija has a PhD in Development Geography. Her PhD thesis from 2006 is on Livelihoods, environment and land use interactions in the highlands of East Africa. Eija’s work experience (16y) is of both interdisciplinary research for development in environmental and human sciences, and practical rural development projects in East Africa, mainly Tanzania. Her work experience includes a wide range of modes in international development: research for development at an international research organisation; practical development work in NGOs; and baselines and other assessments in international development consultancies. She is experienced in the whole project cycle from planning to evaluation. Home page:

Miika Mäkelä, Human Geographer (Joined in May 2006, Liana Vice-Chair as from 2009) Miika has an MSc in Geography. His professional interests are focused on Geographic information systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing applications. In 2004 he got his first experience of Africa. While doing his Master's Thesis at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya, he also had the opportunity to carry out field work assignments in rural parts of Uganda. Since then Miika has worked in several GIS expert roles, including 3 years in Nairobi as a GIS Analyst at ICRAF. Besides his experience in GIS methods, he has practical experience in designing and researching Payments for Environmental Services (PES) mechanisms in East and West Africa. Currently Miika works for a large international software company in Helsinki. Home page:

Richard Coe, Biometrician (Founder member, Liana Secretary) Ric has a professional background in biometrics and statistics. He is currently sharing his time between the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Statistics for Sustainable Development. His areas of expertise are: Planning sound data collection; Baseline surveys, monitoring and evaluation data collection, impact analysis, adaptive management, experiments; Agriculture, rural development, natural resource management, environmental sciences; Managing data and information; Data analysis, quantitative modeling and statistics; Research project planning; Planning participatory enquiries to generate quantitative evidence; Quality assurance for research and investigative activities; Research project evaluation; and Professional training and capacity building. Home page:

Jarno Hämäläinen, Forester (Joined in September 2005, Selected to the Board in 2008) Jarno completed his Master's studies with specialisation in environmental forest management. His thesis (published in 2000) deals with the cost effects that originate from field storage of logging residues in large-scale procurement of forest chips. In Tanzania he assisted the Rural Integrated Project Support Programme (RIPS) within the fields of IT facility and community forestry support in Mtwara and Lindi Regions. In the Province of Zambézia, Mozambique he served the Sustained Forest Resource Management Programme (PMSR) as the Provincial Forest Adviser. Currently his interests focus on wild land fire prevention, control and management that effectively involve local communities, public institutions and private sector, and guarantees sufficient incentives for each stakeholder group. He is currently working in Arbonaut Ltd, Helsinki as a Manager of REDD and Sustainable Forestry Services.

Kirsi Saaristo, Geographer, Education specialist (Joined Liana in September 2005, Reselected to the Board in 2012) Kirsi has a MSc degree in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics and a post graduate diploma in Practical Pedagogic. Her Masters’ theses focused on Livelihoods and Risk Management Strategies of Pastoral Communities in Ethiopia. Her areas of expertise are Environmental Education, community mobilization and empowerment, participatory methods, training needs assessment and project cycle management. Kirsi has over twenty years of experience from education sector including teaching Geography and Environmental Science, improving quality of basic education, education management and research. She worked ten years in Africa (Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Somaliland and Somalia, Kenya). Currently she is back in the very north of Norway (70 degrees North) in a teaching job.

Ari Koivu, Geographer, Youth/Sports development expert (Founder member) Ari Koivu, is a Geographer (MSc) who has been actively involved in development research or development co-operation in Africa since 1994. Ari has specific expertise in Sports Development and health education. He is one of the founding members of LiiKe which has become the leading sports development organisation in Finland. Koivu is currently leading large physical education development programmes in Tanzania. In addition, he works actively in making 'Sports for Development' concept more widely known through awareness raising campaigns, development education, conferences, workshops, TV documentaries and publishing. Ari is the Executive Director of LiiKe, based in Helsinki, Finland.

Erja-Riitta Alander, Surface designer Erja came to Liana as a volunteer in 2008. Erja's task was to lead a one-month basketry workshop in Kapedo village in the northern semi-desert area of Kenya. The Kikapu workshop (Kikapu=basket in Swa), Kapedo basketry workshop for women to create new designs and products for improved marketing and income generation was implemented together with the local CBO KEDA (Kapedo Educational and Development Association). Erja is a textile artist, designer and illustrator. She studied in the Seinäjoki polytechnic (BA) and University of Art and Design Helsinki (MA). As a designer she has a keen interest in using recycled materials. She is also passionate about using textiles as a medium in socioeconomic projects with handloom weavers in Asia and Africa. Her emphasis lies in utilizing the unique skills, eco-friendly processes and fair-trade transactions that mass manufacturing currently strives to provide.

Susanna Mäkelä, Human Resources Management Specialist Susanna came to Liana as a volunteer in October 2008. She compiled a review on Firewood/Energy saving stoves based on the documentation available on the Internet. This has guided us in the selection of models for further testing and introduction in our projects in Tanzania. Susanna currently works at Lemminkäinen.



Johanna Kolehmainen, Biologist (Joined in February 2010) Johanna has a PhD degree in Plant Biology. Her MSc and PhD thesis projects focused on the population ecology and genetics of the endangered African Violets (genus Saintpaulia) of the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. Johanna's professional interests include Tanzania (East Africa), plant species identification and plant ecology, conservation biology, integrated conservation and development projects, tropical forest conservation, and ecotourism. Johanna's earlier work history consists of miscellaneous plant biological jobs at the University of Helsinki and at the Finnish Environment Institute. Currently, she works as a Conservator in charge of the study herbarium at the Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki. On her spare time, Johanna has engaged in voluntary NGO work and development projects in Tanzania.

Alex Fenwick, Social anthropologist, joined Liana as a volunteer consultant in April 2012. He graduated as a social anthropologist from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in September 2011. His task in Mwanga District, Northern Tanzania include 1. Piloting of the Liana adult education package by using it with Form 3 students in two secondary schools, 2. Making a film about the technologies Liana projects promote, and 3. Assisting in the Liana stove project.


Supporting members:

Marja Färm (Joined February 2006), Matti Jalonen (Joined February 2006), Anneli Soini (Joined February 2006), Reijo Soini (Joined February 2006), JSu (Joined October 2007), Pia Rinne (Joined October 2007), Ritva Stenberg (Joined December 2008), Minesh Parmar (Joined May 2011)