Community celebrates benefits of Participatory Forest Management

On 5th of February 2014, MCDI staff joined the people of Nanjirinji (one of our partner villages) to celebrate the launch of a new primary school, which they funded using revenue gained by sustainably harvesting timber from their community-managed forest. They were also able to finance 200 new school uniforms for children in the community with this money, which they distributed during the ceremony.

It was a proud day for the residents in Nanjirinji as they invited honourable guest – Kilwa District commissioner, Hon. Abdallah, H. Ulega – to launch their new primary school. Journalists from local and regional magazines, newspapers and radio stations were also present to document the event, hopefully sparking interest among other villages in respect to the benefits of Participatory Forest Management (PFM).

The building (comprising two classrooms and one office) cost approximately TSh 30,000,000/- (USD $18,470) to complete. All of which was met using funds generated from sustainable timber harvesting in the Village Land Forest Reserve (VLFR), an area of land legally set aside and managed by the community under the PFM framework.

These are far from the first successes that Nanjirinji have achieved since starting on PFM in 2011. In just over a year since they began harvesting from their VLFR, the village has earned TSh 111,340,000/- (nearly USD $70,000) from trading forest products. As well as the new school, the village has repaired crucial water pumps and built a local marketplace with this money.

In order to sustain and maximise future forest revenues Nanjirinji have implemented policies to prevent agricultural encroachment into their VLFR. They are working with MCDI to set up a second VLFR on village lands.