Our mission is to empower the people of Pemba Island to build sustainable and resilient communities through education, healthcare, environmental conservation, and marine protection. The Kwanini Foundation has a clear vision – we want to make a positive contribution to the future of Pemba Island by working alongside the local communities to help them understand and conserve the natural world on which they depend.
Pemba Island is a unique and beautiful place that has a rich cultural and ecological heritage. However, the island faces many challenges, including poverty, lack of access to quality education and healthcare, environmental degradation, and threats to marine biodiversity. Kwanini, the Swahili word for ‘why’ embodies purpose and through this our intention to preserve the island’s natural resources and cultural heritage for future generations. We also believe that community engagement and empowerment are essential for the success of sustainable development initiatives.
At Kwanini Foundation, we work in partnership with local communities and stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs and develop targeted programs and initiatives that address those needs. Our approach is participatory and community-led, which means that we involve the community in every stage of our projects, from planning to implementation to evaluation. We also prioritize sustainability and long-term impact in our work to ensure that our efforts benefit the community for years to come.
Our work benefits the people of Pemba Island, particularly those who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. Through our marine protection programs, we promote sustainable fishing practices, protect the marine ecosystem, and ensure food security and economic stability for local communities. Our community engagement initiatives also help raise awareness of the importance of marine conservation and empower local communities to take action to protect their coastal ecosystems. Additionally, our education and healthcare programs benefit the entire community by improving access to education and healthcare, which are essential for the well-being of individuals and the community.
By working alongside the local communities, we aim to contribute to a sustainable and resilient future for Pemba Island and its people.
The Kwanini Foundation takes a holistic approach to sustainable development, considering social, economic, and environmental aspects. The Foundation focuses on marine and terrestrial conservation, waste management, water supply, education, and community development. Through community engagement programs, the Foundation raises awareness of the importance of marine conservation and empowers local communities to protect their coastal ecosystems. The Foundation also provides access to quality education to underprivileged children and works to improve healthcare.
Pemba has diverse marine habitats, with coral reefs being a priority area for conservation due to unsustainable fishing practices and global challenges; the Kwanini Marine Protected Area has been successful in increasing fish populations through community-based conservation efforts, and the goal is to create similar protected areas along the coast with the cooperation of local communities, government, and tourism enterprises to secure a sustainable future for the people and the environment.
Pemba Island is home to unique plant and animal species, some found only in the Ngezi Forest Reserve, one of the last remnants of natural forest, with five different vegetation zones and a high level of biodiversity, including globally rare species; however, threats such as deforestation, hunting, and invasive species remain, and careful management is needed to preserve this important cultural and heritage resource.
Pemba Island faces challenges of waste management due to its growing population and tourism industry, with little public awareness and no sustainable waste collection or recycling facilities; this results in burning, burying, and dumping waste at sea, causing pollution and health hazards, but the Kwanini Foundation aims to tackle the issue through education programs and innovative waste processing technologies.
Pemba Island faces a serious lack of clean drinking water, with overconsumption and uneven distribution affecting remote communities; past international support has provided some piped water and sanitation facilities, but there is no treatment for drinking and bathing water and wastewater, and the Kwanini Foundation aims to work with the Zanzibar Water Authority for a sustainable solution that fits within the wider water strategy of the island.
Basic education in Zanzibar is compulsory for 10 years, with limited infrastructure and insufficient funding for basic requirements, and the Kwanini Foundation aims to support local education and expand an informal school to include natural history, conservation, and environmental management to empower future generations of Pemba.
The Kwanini Foundation has collaborated with the Manta Resort on various community projects, including the donation of land and building of a police station, and launching the 'Snorkelling for Conservation' program which funds ranger services and community development projects. They have entered an agreement with the Office of the District Commissioner for transparency and alignment with national policies, forming a Public Private Community Partnership (PPCP) which is a first in Zanzibar.
The Kwanini Foundation receives support from two sources, namely Manta Pemba Island and Blue Finance. Manta Pemba Island provides support through an impact contribution that is charged to every guest who visits the lodge. Meanwhile, Blue Finance serves as the co-manager of the foundation, working towards developing sustainable revenues through tourism and blue economy initiatives. This partnership aims to ensure long-term financial sustainability, allowing the foundation to continue its efforts in promoting sustainable practices and initiatives in the region.
A non-profit foundation dedicated to the sustainable future of Pemba Island, Tanzania.