The Foundation, in close collaboration with the Manta Resort, has been involved in several community projects over the last five years. These are generally projects that have been requested by the community like sponsorship of the local football team trophy – the Kwanini Cup. Football means a lot to the local villagers and is a means of improving social cohesion and well-being.
The local constabulary have also benefited though donation of land from the Manta Resort and building of a new police station on the locality. This is really important for the locals as they now have somewhere local they can go to settle disputes and lodge complaints. The Kwanini Marine Protected Area has also benefited as the rangers are able to take offenders who breach the voluntary guidelines, rather than trying to settle disputes themselves. Recently, we have been working hard with the Fishermen’s Committees, the local communities, the police, the District Commissioner and the Department of Fisheries to agree a new bye-law that legally establishes the Kwanini Marine Protected Area and provides a much higher level of protection than the voluntary agreement could achieve. We believe that this is the first of its kind in Zanzibar.
The Manta Resort launched a programme of ‘Snorkelling for Conservation’ at the same time as the Kwanini Marine Protected Area was opened. Within this programme guests pay a fee to snorkel in the reserve area. The money collected finances the ranger services and the 24/7 surveillance and monitoring of the reserve. Any additional donations go towards community development projects requested by the community. The finances, and the community development projects, are managed by the Foundation. The financial driver comes from the tourism industry and we are working with the tourism enterprises in Pemba to expand the model to other critical marine areas along the west coast.
We have recently entered into an agreement with the Office of the District Commissioner to make sure that any community development projects requested by the villages are open and transparent, that they deliver visible projects on the ground and that they benefit as many people as possible. The District Council are also involved, and their role will be to make sure that projects are properly aligned with any national and local policies and strategies, that the project is not already receiving funding from other donor sources and that any permits, licences or approvals are correctly obtained. We call it a Public Private Community Partnership (PPCP) and we think this is a first in Zanzibar for this kind of co-management approach. We eagerly await the results of our pilot work so that we can hopefully replicate it elsewhere in Pemba.
We will be posting regular updates of the community projects that we fund on the website and we hope to supplement the work we do using your donations.
Football means a lot to the local villagers and is a means of improving social cohesion and well-being.