Prioritise regenerative resources, Design for the future
11Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
15Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Deforestation and land degradation in Tanzania’s coastal regions have been driven by a combination of drought, shifting cultivation, overgrazing and demand for firewood and timber. The effects of climate change are starting to become more and more palpable, as is the need to adapt to resilient and drought-resistant agricultural practices. The land needs to be restored in order to support food security, while creating new economic opportunities for farmers and their communities.
When Gumbo was 24 he was horrified to see the forest being cleared in his childhood home of Bagamoyo District, on the east coast of Tanzania. This drove him to focus on conserving nature, first through his study at the Institute of Rural Development Planning in Dodoma, and then his work on a series of conservation initiatives. In 2017 he joined the Kanthari International Institute for Social Change in Kerala, India, to study leadership for social change.
It was this experience that led him to found ambakofi.
ambakofi implements ambitious agroforestry projects in two villages, Mkange and Mihuga, which are both in Bagamoyo District, on Tanzania’s coast. ambakofi has also undertaken mangrove restoration in Pangani District. Each of the villages has 50 acres of land under restoration.
The organisation’s purpose is to invest in nature by restoring deforested land, improving soil fertility, and replenishing the water table and river channels. As it does so it will increase food production, produce sustainable timber, repair the ecosystem and progressively reduce the deleterious effects of climate change. Typically farmers are limited to seasonal cropping but ambakofi’s approach enables them to generate income year round.
To date, more than 5000 trees have been planted, both for timber and fruit. The project has 246 direct beneficiaries and more than 3000 indirect beneficiaries. Ambakofi’s ambition is to scale up significantly through the creation of an agribusiness network – a business entity that organises and unites small scale farmers. The network will take care of marketing and connecting farmers with domestic and international value chains.