22 February 2013

Tanzania: Marine Project Closed - Success or Failure?

Zanzibar — THE Marine and Coastal Environmental Management Project (MACEMP) has ended and closed last Friday February 15, 2013. The World Bank supported the six-year project which started in December, 2005.

Although the multi-million shillings project included coastal areas under Tanzania mainland territory, this article focus is on Zanzibar, where people particularly in coastal areas now comment on the achievements and failures of MACEMP. Between 2009 and 2010, fraud allegations emerged and reported in some media, saying there was misuse of funds and corruption including cheating in procurements of facilities like cars.

A total of 61m dollars was allocated for MACEMP in Zanzibar and Tanzania. Complaints on MACEMP also included bias in distribution of goods like fishing boats, discriminations in allocation of funds, and lack of transparency among the management of the project including recruitment of workers. However, Mr Yussuf Kombo, MACEMP General Manager, says: "The allegations were unfounded.

The Control and Auditor General (CAG) cleared MACEMP of any corruptions. We worked well, and we have a clean financial report from CAG indicating that the funds were used appropriately." Kombo joins other Zanzibaris to extol MACEMP that it has brought changes to the people in the intended coastal areas. "In fact we are happy that our objectives have been met. The only challenge would be on how to sustain the achievements."

According to Kombo, MACEMP successfully aimed to improve the livelihood of coastal communities by providing support to activities that enhance and diversify their income earning potential, while sustaining the integrity of coastal resources which form the basis of coastal communities' livelihoods.

The project also focused on sustainable management and use of the coastal and marine resources, with the ultimate goal of enabling economic growth and poverty reduction among the target coastal communities. It was also intended to support marine and near-shore policy reforms and implementation of activities to impact positively on the quality of the lives of the populations living in the coastal areas, and also on the integrity of the offshore resource base, that is of national and international significance.

Emphasis was placed on the establishment of an effective regulatory and institutional framework; participatory planning; creation of an enabling environment for integrated coastal and marine resources management, and private investment in the target areas. Mr Kombo said that the project activities were designed to assist the government in implementing the National Integrated Coastal Environment Management Strategy; the National Fisheries Master Plan; the Fisheries Acts and the Marine Parks and Reserves, and Marine Conservation Units Acts.

The ocean bordering the eastern coast of Africa was one of the last areas where fishing activities were largely unregulated. Therefore, this ignited the formation of MACEMP which has also helped to fill gaps in the data describing the fishery in Zanzibar/Tanzanian marine waters and the coastal and offshore environment upon which the fishery depends. MACEMP was implemented through four components to achieve the above outcomes.

The components were: Sound Management of the Exclusive Economic Zone; Sound Management of Coastal Marine Environment; Coastal Community Action Fund; and Project Implementation Support. Sound management of the Coastal Marine Environment was meant to establish and support a comprehensive system of managed marine areas in the Territorial Seas, building on ICM strategies that empower and benefit coastal communities.

The Coastal Community Action Fund facilitated empowerment of the target coastal communities, in order to enable them access opportunities, so that they can request, implement and monitor economic sub-projects that contribute to improved livelihoods and sustainable management of the marine and coastal ecosystems.

Project Implementation Support-component was intended to provide efficient and effective project implementation services, including: Core staffing and facilitation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Development Communication Strategy, and Safeguard issues.

Project spatial/geographical coverage: In Zanzibar, implementation of the project covered all the 10 districts in Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba Islands), plus a 223,000 square km EEZ area, for which the project put in place, a common governance regime and an effective management mechanism for the 64,000 square km territorial seas. Project Financial package- MACEMP, with its 61 million USD budget size, had no co financing.

It was fully financed by two external sources (the International Development Agency - IDA, and the Global Environment Facility - GEF), at 100 per cent, as follows: A soft loan of USD 51,000,000 from IDA, and a Grant of USD 10,000,000 from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The six-year project began on December 12, 2005 and was therefore supposed to officially close down last year (2011/2012).

However, due to the fact that, close to the scheduled winding up time of the project, a number of activities, particularly civil works and a few other activities had not been fully accomplished and handed over. Based on this scenario, the Government requested for a one-year no-cost extension, thereby pushing the closing date to February 15, 2013, which the World Bank approved.

Implementation of the MACEMP has scored an impressive number of tangible and beneficial deliverables, the manager says it has facilitated establishment of a common governance regime, known as the Deep Sea Fishing Authority (DSFA), which is intended to ensure sustainable management of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the United Republic of Tanzania. Construction of an office building for the Deep Sea Fishing Authority at Fumba Zanzibar has been completed, and is ready for official handing over.

Construction of Fisheries office buildings at Maruhubi, Unguja and at Weni Pemba are in final stages of landscaping and fencing; and are expected to be handed over soon. Landing site in Zanzibar like the one of Kendwa fish landing site in Unguja is complete.

The Tumbe landing site in Pemba, is in progress at roofing stage. Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) - on both sides of the Union, MACEMP has facilitated strengthening of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance, by reinforcement through provision of surveillance equipment (patrol boats, vehicles, and office furniture and communication gadgets). In Zanzibar a total of 163 man-day patrol operations were conducted.

A total of 237 local fishing boats with 1,085 fishermen were inspected for illegal, fishing practices. During the operations, 35 illegal fishers were apprehended, with 23 being taken to court, while 12 others received warnings. These patrols have significantly increased the degree of compliance, as manifested by a significant rise in revenue collection, reef protection, and reduced resources use conflicts.

Construction of new office structures to improve performance of the Marine Managed Areas (three office buildings in Zanzibar: Menai Bay Conservation Area, Pemba Channel Conservation Area and Mnemba Island Marine Conservation), were completed, and currently the offices are fully operational. The positive results of the above MACEMP initiatives include increased percentage of territorial sea under effective management of Marine Protected Areas, from four per cent to 13 per cent, following establishment of four new Marine Managed Areas.

This achievement is well above the initially set target of 10 per cent. The newly established Marine Protected Areas include: Tumbatu Marine Conservation Area (TUMCA), and Changuu Bawe Marine Conservation Area (CHABAMCA) in Zanzibar. A significant increase in the number of visitors and the amount of revenue collected from the Marine Managed Areas has been noted.

Women are fully involved in the management and utilization of marine resources e.g. sea weed farming, crab fattening and hand craft, etc. Sustainable mangrove management has been enhanced strengthening the Forestry and Beekeeping departments, through provision of working equipment (patrol boats, motor cycles, motor vehicles, computers and communication gadgets), including enhanced financing of operational activities.

The MACEMP has created Mangrove Inventory, study on social economic importance of mangrove and Mangrove Management Plan has been completed. 420 ha of Mangrove forests have been replanted and patrol started. The positive result of the above initiatives include the reduction in the incidences of illegal harvesting and trade of mangrove products, as a result of increased awareness and enhanced facilitation of patrol operations.

Furthermore, 127 village conservation groups have been established in Zanzibar. In effort to fully engage coastal communities in the management and conservation of mangroves, the Department of Forestry and Non-Renewable Resources Zanzibar, conducted several meetings to sensitize formulation of village by-laws. Additionally, a target was set to plant a total of 360,000 seedlings (144,000 in Unguja and 216,000 in Pemba).

During the reporting period, a total of 183,586 mangrove seedlings (117,000 in Unguja and 66,586 in Pemba) were planted. In addition, alternative income generating activities were initiated to enhance community livelihoods, whereby, a total of 780 hives were hanged in appropriate positions in mangrove areas, ready for honey production, which is expected to be about 15,600 kg.

Departments responsible for the conservation of cultural heritage sites have been strengthened through provision of working equipment (office equipment, vehicles, and motor cycles), supporting of useful consultancies and enhanced financing of operational activities. Thirteen historical sites rehabilitated by community groups, two historical buildings (World Heritage Site House of Wonders and Peace Palace Museum, situated within the Stone Town area, rehabilitated.

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