Mwambao : Linking communities for Sustainable Coastal Management
Mwambao Coastal Community Network (‘Mwambao’) connects Tanzanian coastal communities to each other and to other stakeholders, facilitating information sharing, learning and action for improved marine ecosystems and local livelihoods. We do this by:
Enabling community voice & advocacy
...about key coastal management issues and to advocate for rights. Mwambao has gathered statements and testimonials from coastal stakeholders about detrimental practice of using explosives for fishing. This helped to put the practice into context and identify what is needed to curb this harmful activity.
Implementing projects that improve community-based coastal management
...enabling communities to steward and benefit from marine resources. On the island of Pemba we are working with Village Fishery Committees to build their capacity to manage their local fisheries. We are also partnering with fishers on the main island of Zanzibar to increase their resource base by creating areas of artificial reef using cement reefballs.
Providing a coastal communications platform
...for sharing best practices and building skills and knowledge. Each year we bring together community representatives from our network to exchange stories, discuss common challenges and set a shared agenda of issues and priorities. We build local capacity to manage resources in the context of the existing legislative framework.
Facilitating conflict resolution
...over access to resources at community level. Conflict for coastal resources includes access to freshwater by villagers and tourist hotels. We have helped villagers use community film to bring the issues to the table with the Zanzibar Water Authority and local hoteliers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-58FrxfG8Y
Providing a link for knowledge sharing
...between scientists and local communities. Octopus biology dictates that a mature female needs at least 30 undisturbed days to brood her eggs. Therefore, by closing off an area for a couple of months octopus populations can quickly recover. By coordinating an octopus recovery period around Ramadhan, which is when octopus fetch the best price, we are bringing science and local cultural practice together for improved management.