Mangrove Rehabilitation in Zanzibar

The Sazani Trust is protecting mangrove and seagrass reserves in Zanzibar through community coastal management and livelihood programs supporting adaptation for climate change.

Blue forests are ecosystems made up of mangroves, seagrass beds and saltmarshes which provide vital resources for coastal communities throughout the tropics, including Zanzibar, who are among the poorest and most vulnerable to climate change.

The blue forests protect against coastal erosion, regulate water quality, provide a breeding ground and habitat for countless marine species and supply food and raw materials for local livelihoods. In addition, blue forests sequester 6 times more carbon per unit area than undisturbed tropical rainforest.

Despite only making up 3% of the worlds terrestrial forest cover, 55% of all carbon captured in forests across the globe is blue carbon. However, blue forest ecosystems in Zanzibar are under threat from deforestation and degradation resulting from unsustainable resource extraction, primarily for fuel wood collection.

Despite new legislation, without strengthening local mechanisms for governing mangrove and sea grass reserves communities driven by urgent necessity will continue to over exploit and destroy the remnants of these two habitats.

The Sazani Trust, working with coastal communities in the semi-autonomous government of Zanzibar, aims to establish a system of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) for avoiding deforestation, the prevention of the destruction of sea grass meadows, the strengthening of local land tenure and rights over marine resources all underpinned through a program of sustainable livelihoods development.

As well as reducing carbon emissions and conserving biodiversity, this project will help to alleviate poverty and increase community resilience in a region under threat from climate change.

Mangrove rehabilitation

Clean Cookstoves in Zanzibar

Sazani Associates, a ‘not for profit’ organisation that forms part of the Sazani Global network, introduced rocket stoves to Zanzibar in 2012 as part of their coastal livelihoods program and has embedded community champions to support the production and use of such stoves. Overcoming social and traditional barriers to their use has been a critical investment and conservation estimates show that the rocket stoves help to reduce fuel wood consumption by up to 50%, as well as reducing the particle size in the resulting smoke, promoting cleaner air and resulting in fewer eye and respiratory health problems in users compared to traditional wood burning. As well as the economic benefits of using rocket stoves, women have more time to engage in other livelihood activities thanks to a lower demand for wood collection and there is a reduced pressure on the fragile local environment.

In the promotion of the rocket stoves, Sazani brought together 15 villages to set up a community cooking enterprise in the form of a self-help federation called Kinamama (meaning “women together” in Swahili). The women were trained to use the new cook stoves in order to set up a low-carbon, fuel efficient and sustainable enterprise producing jams, preserves and dried fruit from the seasonal fruits and spices available locally. With marketing support from Sazani Associates, the women were then able to set up successful contracts with several of the large hotels in the region, many of which placing large orders. In addition, the local crafts and farmers market was established, taking place once a week, to provide a sales platform for Kinamama and other community enterprises to market their products to tourists and engage visitors in local livelihoods. This market provides a regular source of income and helps to promote sustainable business practice. Due to the ongoing success of the Kinamama clean energy enterprise project, the government has allocated a plot of land to Kinamama to build production facilities. The introduction of the stoves in a commercial setting has allowed the communities to learn how to use the stoves and indirectly promoted domestic usage.

Supporting the cost of production and promotion of rocket stoves in Zanzibar through The Sazani Trust and its associate projects therefore has tangible results for carbon emissions reduction, as well as socioeconomic development.

Estimate of how much fuel would be saved annually with 100 stoves= 386261.25 kg of tropical hardwood
1 kg dry wood stores approximately 0.45 kg C (ranging from 0.42 to 0.55 kg C)= 1.65 kg CO2
100 stoves would save approximately 637 tonnes of carbon per annum= 3186 tonnes of carbon over 5 years

Not included in these carbon calculations is the environmental impact of tropical forest losses, which is resulting from the harvesting of fuel wood. At least a portion of the wood cut is from mangrove coastal forests, which are believed to be many times more efficient at trapping carbon than tropical rain forest. Increased fuel efficiency of the rocket stoves will further preserve carbon by decreasing the amount of wood cut from forests and reducing pressure on the islands natural resource base.

CASA Media

In March 2016 Sazani Associates were successfully awarded a small grant from Hub Cymru Africa and The Welsh Government to enable young people in West Wales and Zanzibar to learn about climate change and sustainable development goals from one another’s perspective, to interpret their understanding through digital media and to produce a short film on a climate change or sustainable development issue of their choice.

The young people in Wales are part of the Home School Network and Dr M’z, a youth drop in centre run by Carmarthen Youth Project; whilst the young people from Zanzibar attend one of three secondary schools based in Stone Town.

The CASA participants attended workshops about climate change and sustainable development and were then trained in basic film making using mobile phones and the use of other media equipment. The film workshops covered training on the use of camera, lighting, sound, editing, directing, and script writing. The project ran simultaneously in Zanzibar and Wales and the young people from both countries were able to learn from one another and share ideas, as well as evaluating each other’s films.

Sazani worked in collaboration with Broadside, a Carmarthenshire based film company dedicated to getting youths interested in media. Broadside provides opportunities such as script writing, production, acting and post production to name but a few. Their philosophy is to develop skills in film making and to provide a platform to get young people’s work shown and recognised. Our Zanzibar partners were Keys Media, an organisation set up by young Zanzibari’s to train their peer group in the art of film making and digital communication.

The completed films were shown in Zanzibar to a full house as part of 2017’s Sauti za Busara festival and will be shown in Wales, later this year, as part of the Wales One World Film Festival.

“Through this project I have realised that we are all connected and that how I treat the planet affects other people. I am grateful to the project to teaching me how to manage a project and for encouraging me to improve my organisational skills.” – Bruno, age 14, Wales

“I have gained knowledge about what climate change is and how important it is to protect our environment for the future and to utilise resources that are around us. This is a global problem so it is important to share information and ideas with people from other countries. I have also gained so much knowledge about filming and editing films and will continue to learn more. I’ve really enjoyed this project.” – Abdul Fatakh Abass, age 17, Zanzibar

Political & Social Risk

Sazani works closely with its global partners to offer its world leading expertise in social engagement to tackle the ‘wicked problems’ of modern day business. We recognise that most problems faced by businesses in the real world involve a multiplicity of factors for which there is rarely a simple solution. Sazani reduces risk to businesses by offering an iterative, solution orientated process of social engagement to build and maintain a relationship of mutual trust and credibility between stakeholders; working in a way that aligns the interests of the majority in order to develop permanent and lasting solutions.

“Dealing with Business Risk – the biggest risk, when you can quantify uncertainty, is social (people). We define business risk linked to Social Licence to Operate and will locate and deliver the opportunities for working with communities.”

Sazani’s skilled social professionals around the world can assist in finding creative project solutions, in any location. Supporting our strong grasp of social change theory is years of hands on experience working with governments, corporate entities, private sector stakeholders, academic bodies and, most importantly, communities in conflict. We also have a strong understanding of financial governance mechanisms and the limitations of working in the Global South.

We recognise specific cultural and political requirements when working within different countries and take special considerations when designing engagement processes and solutions. Sazani also works very closely with the Equator Principles and International Finance Corporation (IFC) Guidelines to define and address wicked problems, often working within difficult confidentiality constraints, in order to reduce social risk to businesses. We offer comprehensive support to our clients throughout the process to ensure you meet both the host country regulatory requirements and the leading international standards. We work hard with our clients to ensure they are positioned to make the most of their investments, both locally and internationally, and effective social risk management can often be used to support product marketing and differentiation.

Over the past 10 years Sazani has assisted corporate clients through all aspects of the social engagement and problem solving process to successfully align the interests of stakeholders and promote good practice in various aspects of social development. Our practitioners have experience working with communities across the globe -including Africa, Europe and Central America – and are particularly comfortable working with conservative Islamic communities. Sazani has the ability to operate with a variety of languages including English, Welsh, French, Swahili, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, Italian, Norwegian and others.


  • Consultation Planning and Problem Scoping
  • Social Engagement and Community Development Programs
  • Ecosystem Services Management
  • Social Investment Fund and Foundation Models
  • Restoration and Development of Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Corporate Social Strategies
  • Capacity Building
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Health Impact Assessment

For more information please call us on +44 (0)1267 243576 or by email.

Jointly Framing Problems
Creation of Appropriate Soultions
Monitoring, Evaluation & Review

Enterprise & Employability

Sazani have developed and delivered vocational training in partnership with local African based colleges. Building on local strengths and supporting existing capacity, linking were possible to government provision is what we do. Enterprise for youths and bridging gaps between technical and vocational provision requires an in depth understanding of the local economy.

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” — Chinese Proverb

Get in touch with us to find out more.

This video gives an example of how Sazani empowers local people with training, skills and education to build sustainable livelihoods within the tourism sector in Zanzibar