In Kilwa’s Seascape, a transformative initiative is taking shape, one that promises to empower coastal communities and foster sustainable marine conservation. The USAID Heshimu Bahari project, a beacon of hope for Tanzania’s marine ecosystems, has entrusted Aqua-Farms Organization (AFO) and a number of several organizations with a pivotal role in this endeavor along Tanzania’s coastal region. The USAID Heshimu Bahari Project runs under USAID and is supported by the American people.

AFO Kilwa Seascape Coordinator, Joyce Mganga giving out a presentation at the grant kick-off inception meeting in Dar es salaam.

From May to September 2024, AFO will focus on implementing a groundbreaking community-based activity that focuses on the empowerment and resilience of Kilwa Seascape. The activity is addressed as ‘USAID Heshimu Bahari Activity – Community-Based Activity Implementation Program in Kilwa Seascape by AFO’

From 6th to 7th of May, AFO participated in an insightful meeting session for the USAID Heshimu Bahari project grant kickoff that took place at Coral Beach Hotel in Dar es salaam.

This meeting offered a clear picture on the requirements, procedural takes and insights as well as expectations from the project, this is to help in conducting the project with efficiency and effectiveness.

Moreover, this meeting marked the beginning of intense fieldwork and activities for the activity that runs under the project, this is to meet both deadlines and expectations with accuracy and expected impact.

In another milestone, on the 13th of May 2024, AFO had an honor to conduct an introduction meeting for the activity to the Kilwa community that took place in Kilwa Masoko in Lindi, Tanzania. Amongst us at the meeting we were joined by a number of regional, district and other local leaders, BMUs as well as community members from our activity focus area.

A number of things were brought to light shedding out the overall implementation structure and strategy of the activity as well as what is expected as impact by the end of grant lifespan under the project.

Now, in the light of the activity a number of sub-activities will be looked upon and implemented so as to yield the expected impact.

Fostering Community Engagement and Stewardship

At the heart of AFO’s commitment lies a deep understanding of the inextricable link between coastal communities and the marine environment. Through this community-based activity, AFO will forge strong partnerships with local stakeholders, ensuring their active participation and ownership in the conservation efforts. By engaging community leaders, fishermen, and residents, the activity aims to cultivate a sense of stewardship and shared responsibility for the protection of Kilwa Seascape’s rich biodiversity.

Capacity Building and Sustainable Livelihoods

Recognizing the intrinsic connection between environmental conservation and economic well-being, AFO’s activity will place a strong emphasis on capacity building and sustainable livelihood development. Through targeted training programs and workshops, local communities will gain valuable skills and knowledge to pursue environmentally friendly income-generating activities. This holistic approach not only empowers individuals but also contributes to the long-term sustainability of the conservation efforts, ensuring that communities can thrive while safeguarding their natural heritage.

Collaborative Governance and Co-Management

Effective marine conservation requires a collaborative approach that brings together diverse stakeholders. AFO’s community-based activity will facilitate dialogues and foster partnerships between local communities, government agencies, private sector and other relevant organizations. By establishing co-management frameworks and strengthening governance structures, the activity aims to create an enabling environment where decisions are made transparently and with the active participation of all stakeholders, ensuring the long-term success of the conservation efforts.


Monitoring and Adaptive Management

Throughout the six-month period, AFO will implement robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track progress, identify challenges, and adapt strategies as needed. This data-driven approach will ensure that the community-based activity remains responsive and effective, maximizing its impact on the ground. By continuously learning and adapting, AFO under the project will contribute to the development of best practices and replicable models for community-based marine conservation initiatives.


A Lot will be brought across in the coming six-months of the first phase of this grant and we look forward to sharing and expanding our capacity to build, nurture and elevate community-based conservation efforts and improved livelihoods.

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