Somehow a year appears to have passed since I last posted here… I suppose I’ve just been very busy. I’ve made some changes around Ecologue – I’ve moved the Sustainable East Africa content to a new domain – so check out the Sustainable East Africa website for news about my work (and what’s been keeping me busy all this time)!
I’ll be back with a proper post shortly, but for now, here’s a piece of art by Laurel Burch, which adorns my notebook (as in pulped dead tree bound together (from a sustainable source, of course) not my computer).
Life is chaotic here in Zanzibar, fluctuating wildly from utterly bewildering or tragic to simply spectacular, and everything in between except boredom. It’s necessary every now and again to take a step back and just accept things. Being reminded of it by these words whenever I get out my notebook is a daily reminder.
There are also sections contributed by various Zanzibar projects, organisations and businesses involved in recycling and education about waste (including Sustainable East Africa).
Congratulations to ACRA and Ulli for a phenomenal publication and essential resource for anyone doing environmental outreach in Zanzibar and thank you so much for giving me permission to make it available online here on Ecologue.
You may be wondering why am I raving so much about this book in particular? Well the thing is – an education resource is only any good if it is used. You can compile all the pertinent information in the world into the most comprehensive resource – but if nobody ever uses it, then you may as well not bother. And I love this book because I have seen first hand that people want to read it. The information is presented in an easy-to follow, simple, straightforward and relevant way, and is all about Zanzibar.
And when I gave a copy to members of the PLCI Environment Club (SEA partners) during a clean-up day recently in Vikokotoni – every time I looked, a different student was reading it.
I have started topics on composting and sustainable seafood. But if you have a sustainable project that you are proud of and would like to share – whether it’s a rainwater catchment system, recycling bin set up, solar power system – or anything – then please let us see. I will showcase the best ideas on the blog to give you exposure.
And if you have any questions about how other people are solving a particular problem that you are stuck on, then start a conversation about it and see who can help.
There’s an extra bonus for any hotels who are working towards RTTZ (Responsible Tourism Tanzania) certification: participating an online environmental forum is one of the criteria used for evaluating eligibility for sapling-level certification, so join the conversation and tick that box.
There are few sustainability challenges experienced in Zanzibar that have not been solved already by someone, somewhere, so I hope this forum will help us avoid reinventing the wheel and enable everyone concerned about sustainability to find the solutions they need (and that work) that bit more easily.
I have created a Sustainability Directory for Zanzibar (and the Swahili Coast), including links for sustainable initiatives, NGOs and projects, and information about how we can live more sustainably.
I hope it will be a useful resource for everyone in Zanzibar who is interested in the environment, recycling, sustainability and other related issues. – Check it out here.
This is just the start, and I know I have missed many exciting and important projects, so I hope you will help make the resource as comprehensive as possible by suggesting additional links I might have missed through the form provided on the Directory page, or contact me if the information about your initiative is incorrect.
Did you know there is now a recycling collection point in Stone Town? Sustainable East Africa together with partners Manispaa Jamii Vikokotoni, and with funding from SMOLE / GoZ Dept Environment, have built two recycling trolleys for Vikokotoni!
So you can now take all your plastic bottles and cans to our recycling trolley outside Barclays in Darajani!
Materials collected will be upcycled locally where possible, or if unsuitable, will be sold for their scrap value to exporters to provide sustainaable funding for Vikokotoni’s community clean-up programe.
I’ve been working on the following infographic to share as a leaflet with people and let them know the impact plastic waste can have on the fish we depend on for food and livelihoods. What do you think?!
(approximate) English translation below the graphic
Waste is killing our fish!
Do you like to eat fish?
Are there fishers in your family?
Do you know what this is? Fishers use plastic bait like this to catch fish.
If fish eat these … what do you think they do with these?
This fish ate a plastic gun!
When fish eat plastic, it blocks their stomachs and kills them!
Marine and coastal litter is killing our fish!
Don’t dump waste in streets or on the beach.
Keep our coastal communities CLEAN!
Let’s clean up Zanzibar together …
to protect our fish and fishing!
If you’ve been wondering what work Sustainable East Africa, the NGO I founded here in Zanzibar, is doing, you can now read all about our programme, partners and activities on Ecologue!
So to learn how waste plastic water bottles helped provide water for a rural community, how young school leavers are earning sustainable income for the first time, or how a community transformed its streets to become clean and healthy – have a look around!
I’ve been making some more changes around here, adding new sections, and am delighted to announce the new features!
English not your first language? No problem – you can now translate this site! Look up and to the left and you’ll see a row of flags. Click on the one that relates to the language you prefer and the site will be translated. You can even correct any errors in the translation.
Please let me know how this works for you! I can change the languages available and add new ones. So let me know which you use (to make sure I keep it there), or if your language isn’t there yet, let me know in the comments and I will add it for you!
While we’re speaking about languages, under the Resources tab above you can now find a page of Swahili Sayings relating to the environment that you might enjoy. Let us know in the comments if you know any more (or if you have any corrections to the translations).
Also under the Resources tab are some Links. I plan to expand this page with more sections and more links as time goes by, to be as useful to you as possible. So if you have any links you think should be there, or new sections to request, let me know in the comments!
The third page under the Resources section is Downloads – which will become a repository for all sorts of interesting materials related to the subjects I blog about – and so far includes a link to the text book I wrote with colleagues at Chumbe back in 2011. Contact me if you want the Kiswahili version!
Again – this is supposed to be useful for you, so let me know what you think and what products you’d like to see. If you already have any of the products I’ve listed, I’d love to start including some product reviews from you! So have a look around, start shopping, or follow the links to Amazon websites if you can’t find what you want here (yet).
So enjoy looking around the new features and let me know what you think!