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Masingini Indigenous Forest


Conservation benefit: Conservation of the 1,374-acre Masingini forest for 10 years

Community benefit: Village water pump and culverts, reforestation, and sustainable livelihood training

Date Approved: 02.2014


This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

The Masingini Indigenous Forest is one of the key forests of Zanzibar, recognized for its rare trees and animals, including the Zanzibar red colobus monkey. Other species found in the forest include various trees and shrubs, unique to the island, that are used for their medicinal value. The forest covers 556 hectares (1,374 acres) and serves as the main water catchment for Old Town Zanzibar and other surrounding communities. However, recently the forest has faced increased degradation due to encroachment and illegal cutting. As a result, a number of springs have dried up or become intermittent. Local communities are left with a decreased supply of fresh water.

To mitigate further destruction of the forest, forest management must be enforced, degraded parts of the forest must be rehabilitated, and local communities must learn about the need to sustainably manage the forest. Communities also need ways to protect themselves against water shortages.

The communities of Mwanyanya and Bububu have promised to manage the forest sustainably for at least 10 years. In return, Seacology is providing funding for water pumps and culverts, reforestation, and sustainable livelihood activities in the communities.

Project Updates

August 2019

This summer, Seacology representatives visited the replanted areas, which are being effectively monitored by our local partners. During our visit, the rangers intercepted individuals attempting to illegally cut native trees and issued citations. While still in early stages of development, the ecotourism initiatives at the Masingini city park are expanding, the trails are well-developed, and the area is kept free of trash. The Seacology-funded well is still in use.

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January 2016

Reforestation and alternative livelihood activities have been ongoing, and the remaining activities were completed in summer 2015.

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January 2015

Local students have planted 3,250 tree seedlings and have received conservation education stressing history, biodiversity, water, tourism, and other issues. Women from local villages have received training in alternative ways to generate income, including making soap and jewelry. Fifty beehives have also been bought; they will be distributed to community members, and beekeeping instruction will be offered. Thirty signs, warning against destruction of the forest, have been produced and are ready to be installed in the forest and surrounding area. After meetings with community members, construction of a well has begun and will be completed soon.

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