Our First Annual Beach & Underwater Cleanup
In 2005, we heard about the Ocean Conservancy's 20th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day and decided to participate. We made flyers, invitation letters, sign up sheets and had lengthy discussions with our community sheha and village elders. The evening before we were disappointed that not many people had shown interest to come and sign up. To our surprise, the next morning we had overwhelming support! The group photo was taken of the dive team which started earlier and we didn't get a photo of the large group of volunteers.
The turnout of people and rubbish collected far exceeded our expectations! One of our returning guests was looking at the pile of rubbish bags and commented, “This place is so clean I didn’t expect you to find anything.” I think that sums it up nicely – Kendwa is one of the most beautiful places in Zanzibar and with the environmental awareness of our community members and guests, we will be able to keep it this way! At the end of the event, one village elder personally thanked us expressing his gratitude and appreciation which inspires us to keep participating year after year.
As for our results, from our best estimates (not everyone put their names on our signup sheet), we had approximately 82 people participating in the cleanup! Nearly 75% of the people participating in the event were from the local community with the remainder being overseas holiday makers visiting Kendwa. It was wonderful to see the Kendwa villagers, businesses and guests united and working together for a common goal... we collected 108 bags of rubbish with a total weight of 729 kilograms!!