Kwale Island

June 2013

Conservation benefit: Protection of endangered species and conservation of a 741-acre mangrove forest for 10 years

Community benefit: Construction of a 158,503-gallon water cistern and support of community awareness program

Tanzania’s Kwale Island has an area of 7.1 square kilometers (2.7 square miles) and is located approximately 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Dar es Salaam. The island is located in Mkuranga District, Pwani Region and has a population of nearly 2,500. A 300-hectare (741-acre) mangrove forest is located on the island, and the surrounding marine waters are a renowned ecological hotspot. There are various turtle species, whale sharks, migratory humpback whales, and the only resident population of dugongs along the East African Coast. The people on the island depend on the extensive coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds that are being damaged from overfishing, use of destructive gear, clear-cutting, and climate change.

Local organizations Action for Conservation, Research and Development in Africa and Umoja wa Wavuvi Wadogo Wadogo Dar es Salaam are launching a project to enhance stewardship and management of coastal and marine resources through protection of the Kwale Island’s mangrove forest, as well as protection of species such as turtles, dugongs, and whale sharks.

The community has agreed to protect its 300-hectare (741-acre) mangrove forest for at least 10 years. In return, Seacology is funding construction of a 600 cubic meter (158,503-gallon) cistern to store rainwater for use during the dry season. There are no sources of freshwater  on the island, and most residents lack access to potable water. The lack of clean water causes health problems, affecting the island’s children in particular. Seacology will also fund conservation-related activities such as demarcation of the protected area and mangrove replanting.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
June 2015
East Africa Field Representative Dishon Murage attended the dedication ceremony for the project, which was attended by a delegation from the government ministry in charge of forests and water, in...
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January 2015
Community members have drafted bylaws to protect the forest; they will be finalized and signed by community leaders and the Mkuranga District Director in January 2015. In addition, community...
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June 2014
Project implementation has made significant headway and the project is nearly 80% complete. In the past four months, mapping and the demarcation of the 300 hectare mangrove forest around Kwale...
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February 2014
Numerous community meetings have been held, the grant documentation has been signed and a first payment on the project made. Local government officials have been solicited to provide support for...
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