Coming soon to National Geographic
Climate change is causing sea levels to rise around the many small islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago, contaminating drinking water and flooding farmland. In 2019 we want to bring clean water, solar energy, and coastal forest restoration to two more island communities – Njao and Kisiwa Panza.
Before communities can plant trees or set up energy systems, they need water. Njao Island, in particular, is in desperate need - so we are starting there. Help us by donating and sharing this campaign. Together we can support entire islands adapt and thrive in the face of climate change!
Climate change affects us all, but not all equally. Small tropical islands around the world are like the canary in the coal mine for climate change. Drastic shifts in the environment around the Zanzibar islands – rising seas, unpredictable rainfall, and dying coral reefs - are deeply impacting people’s lives. Island communities like Kokota, Njao, and Kisiwa Panza are trying to adapt now because they have to. Families are relocating, farmers are changing their practices, and fishing communities are finding new ways to make a living.
It’s one of the poorest regions of the world per capita, and now it’s on the frontlines of one of the biggest threats that humans have ever faced.
Agroforestry expert Ali Hamad and Kokota community leader Adam Khamis in a food forest.
The transformation of Kokota islet was made possible by listening to people facing inequality and climate change daily, and standing by to help remove barriers rather than perpetuate them. At Community Forests International we know that solutions often come directly from the people who need them most, and that empowered people can be the restorative force that the world needs.
Communities tell us they need water – so we’re starting there.
"To us the biggest major burning issue we fight for is water." -Bibi Tumu, Kokotan elder
Ten years ago, Community Forests International was created to help people restore their lost forests. But before trees can be planted, communities first needed a reliable supply of water. With the generous support of our partners and donors, Community Forests International has been able to set up rainwater harvesting systems on Kokota, Uvinje, Mtambwe, and Kiweni already.
Now with your help, we can do it again. Your donation will help build a new rainwater catchment system for Njao Island, bringing fresh water to 500 people
Mangrove forests are a nature's defense against rising seas. They hug coastlines, growing half on the land and half in the sea, and they surround small islands like a living “bioshield”. Their strong interlocking roots hold soils in place against waves and flooding, and they provide important habitat for fish and other wildlife. Mangrove forests are threatened globally. We planted over 100,000 mangrove seedlings in the last year alone, protecting coastal homes and farmland from erosion and saltwater intrusion.
Without energy, many people living on islands don’t have light. To make matters worse, they need to travel several hours by boat just to charge cell phones – leaving less time for work, education, and family. We have helped over 1000 people living on the remote Islands of Kokota and Fundo get access to solar electricity. We want to bring clean energy to Njao Island next!
Children from Njao Island heading to school. The community must travel across the Pemba Channel for the basics.
We all live on a beautiful island – Earth. Climate change is now pushing many communities on this planet to radically transform the way they live and work. The lessons we are learning today from places like Kokota are invaluable as we all strive to adapt not just to climate change, but to life on Earth.
Tuko Pamoja. We are together
Community Forests International is a registered charity in Canada and all donations of $25 or more automatically receive a tax-deductible charitable receipt.And a biThanks to our partners: