Kisangi

Kisangi Kisambara Village, one of four villages in Kikole Ward, has a population of approximately 900 people.  It was officially registered as a village in 1997.

Our Work in Kisangi

Kisangi village was the second village supported by MCDI to have its Village Land Forest Reserve (VLFR) management plan approved by the Kilwa District Council. Working with us, the community identified nearly 2,000 hectares of forestland to set aside as community-managed forest. This VLFR is comprised mainly of miombo, and it contains a wide variety of valuable timber species, including mpingo.

Kisangi village joined MCDI’s FSC group certificate scheme in October 2009.  Since then, the village has earned Tsh 18,072,400 (USD $11,150) as of mid 2013 from timber sales, which has been used to build a house for the local midwife and to make improvements on the local dispensary.  In addition to financial benefits, there have also been improvements made to the village governance systems. For example, changes were made to the membership of the Village Natural Resource Committee, removing any leaders they felt were involved in corrupt practices. They also monitor the forests for illegal logging and make any perpetrators pay a fine, which goes back to the community.

More about Kisangi Village

Kisangi was originally a sub-village of Ruhatwe; however, the two separated in the 1980’s in large part because the Kisangi village area was located far from Ruhatwe village services, which were often inaccessible during the rainy season. Today, Kisangi village is divided into two sub-villages, Kisangi and Mikuryungu with approximately 50 and 35 households in each respectively.  The village does not have a proper office or a dispensary, but it does contain a school and mosque. The majority of residents support the dominant political party, CCM, but there are opposition supporters in the community as well (supporting CUF and CHADEMA parties).

The main economic activity in Kisangi is farming, although the village does not have a functional market for trade or a milling machine. Both sub-villages have fertile soil, but Mikuryungu does not have a borehole (the main village has three, but one is salty).

When MCDI surveyed residents living in Kisangi, 96% of those interviewed reported that farming was their main source of income. The most important food crop in the area is maize, with cassava, sorghum and rice also considered important crops. However, 73% of respondents said that sesame is the most important cash crop, earning them income from sales to traders from Dar es Salaam.

The majority of the community (83%) said they also depend on the forest to support their livelihoods. Specifically, they depend on it for building materials and firewood, and some earn income from selling forest resources, such as charcoal and firewood. In the late 1990s a logging company operated in the area, harvesting timber including mpingo. However, these activities were stopped in 2000 and now community members have had to find other sources of income generating activities from the forest.