Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It was in the mid hours of the day, May 13, 2009 when a team of young environmental trainees with WWF-TPO personnel visited the Pugu Forest Reserve in Kisarawe Village, Coastal Region which is now under a severely devastated situation due to unenvironmentaly friendly activities undertaken at the heart of this potential forest resource. The team witnessed a group of 40 to 50 individual sand miners being busy in the process of mining sands while several trucks parked beside the big mining pits. Some of these individuals were seen working under dangerous land cliffs that might fall any time and cause death to these people but when one of the YET’s members asked one of the sand miners by the name of “Mwili Jumba” to tell him the reason of working under such dangerous environments, he responded that, “Kisarawe yenyewe haina lolote la maana kuniingizia kipato…. Sanasana nifanye biashara ya matunda na mihogo ambayo kila mtu mahali hapa anaitolea macho”. While speaking in Swahili, he meant that he can’t think any kind of work to raise his income rather than sand mining because even the business of fruits and cassavas which is very popular in the area, it is still difficult for him because many people in the area have been doing such kind of business hence no tangible profit can be earned because of stiff competition on such business. With this kind of understanding it is very hard to rescue this forest from these destructive activities unless the government will heavily invest the available resources to capacitize these people with the appropriate education on entrepreneurship and other relevant educations to enhance proper earning of income to sustain their livelihood. It was also spoken by the team that, in Kisarawe Village where the Pugu Forest Reserve is located, people can utilize the forest for activities such as Bee-Keeping and Traditional Herbs selling to raise their income instead of sand mining but also in this, the government should closely work with these people and empower them to improve such activities which can be an alternative source of earning income to these villagers of Kisarawe.
Ally Mbugi,

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