Hamad’s Story

by Community Forests International on December 16, 2017


This month, Community Forests International is sharing the impact our supporters are having on the lives of everyday people on Pemba Island, Tanzania - one of the world's most threatened regions.

These stories come from farmers, fishermen, and families on the frontlines of climate change who are are blazing a new path for us all. We hope that they inspire you with the ability we all have to make a positive impact in this world. Tuko pamoja - we are together.


Meet Hamad,

Hamad with one of his grafted mango seedlings. Just one of the many techniques he has learned over the last few years.


Hamad Mwitanii starts his day navigating the steep slope of a ravine just outside his village. This challenging terrain is his farm - a small 0.45 hectare plot that despite its size, is something to marvel at. In the past, this steep hillside was cultivated with a monoculture of cassava by his family. Over the years, the land became weakened with the constant cultivation, and the monsoon carried away much of the soil's nutrients.  “There are a lot of farmers who face the same challenges,” Hamad explains as we slowly navigate between freshly planted vanilla cuttings that climb fast-growing gliricidia trees. “Initially it was hard, but now I can see the way forward.”

Not too long ago, Hamad was living on the mainland of Tanzania.  He left the island looking for work as a young man and ended up labouring on farms where he became interested in growing and planting trees. When Hamad inherited his family farm from his aging parents, he moved back to Pemba and began to experiment with planting fruit and spice trees to help stabilize and build the soil. Then Hamad met Community Forests International's agroforestry expert Ali and found the support and technical assistance he needed to take his small farm to the next level. Hamad hasn't looked back since - transforming his land into an incredibly diverse Spice Forest that grows a dizzying array of food, medicine, and spice- all in a small area. 

Hamad takes us down the steep slope of his farm, pausing to show us the latest addition - Vanilla cuttings.

Next Steps

Hamad is a natural teacher. We hope to use his inspiring Spice Forest as one of our new Farmer Field Schools - outdoor classrooms that champion local experts and help spread our reach in remote communities. Thanks to a new partnership with Lush Cosmetics, Community Forests International has also helped build a new farmer-owned spice cooperative that will help Hamad and other farmers market and sell their spices.

Invest In Hamad

With a monthly donation of $65 we can establish a new Farmer Field School at Hamad's farm – helping others in his community to learn new techniques. Demonstration site like Hamad’s offer a great way to spread new ideas – all while highlighting local expertise. Not ready to give monthly? Make a one-time donation. Every little bit helps!



Growing Change

From helping communities protect their endangered forests to enabling women in Pemba to create their own green businesses, Community Forests International is committed to working in partnership with people and communities to fight poverty in ways that heal the planet. Please read on and learn how we're putting your generous donations to work in our collective fight against climate change.  



Kiweni Fights to Save its Endangered Forest


Women’s Empowerment is Critical to the Fight Against Climate Change


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