Kijani Pamoja, a Tanzanian organization, is on a mission to restore degraded ecosystems and empower local communities. On the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, the organization is driven by a passion for the planet and its people.
In 2016, Sarah Scott founded Kijani Pamoja with a vision to restore the ecosystems around Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro, and West Usambaras. As a marketing and communications professional who loves storytelling, she was passionate about rewriting the story of restoration in these areas.
Kijani Pamoja's mission was to address the large-scale degradation of rivers that flow from Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. Factors like land clearance for agriculture and charcoal production have impacted over 5 million people in the Pangani Basin.
“The vision for Kijani Pamoja started with a conversation I had with a friend. She had an idea of depicting Kilimanjaro covered with local fabric, known as kanga, to symbolize climate change. This idea inspired me to not only bring attention to the need for change, but also be part of the change. We do not just need awareness, we need action more than anything,” shared Sarah.
Kijani Pamoja received support from TerraFund for AFR100, an initiative of World Resources Institute, One Tree Planted, and Realize Impact that finances Africa's top restoration enterprises and projects.
With this grant, Kijani Pamoja is restoring a riparian area to conserve biodiversity. The project is creating corridors of safe passage to facilitate the return of diverse plant and animal species to the region. It works with individual farmers to educate and train them on best practices for restoration. By involving the farmers and communities, Kijani Pamoja ensures community ownership of the restoration efforts.
The organization collaborates with district commissioners, local government officials, village chairmen, and the Tanzanian government to ensure that water is accessible to all. They also work with water users associations to achieve this goal.
The project aims to plant 10 million trees on 10,000 hectares of land within 10 years. As of April 2022, they have successfully planted trees in ten communities. The Tanzanian leadership recognizes the positive impact of the project and actively supports its efforts.
Kijani Pamoja has been making significant strides in promoting ecosystem restoration and empowering communities in Tanzania. Their commitment to sustainability and community engagement sets a model for conservation initiatives in Tanzania and beyond.