Imagine a small island with a lush and dense forest, home to the largest living crabs in the world and surrounded by an incredibly diverse coral reef, teaming with marine life. An island that has protected and safeguarded its natural resources, both on land and in the ocean, for more than 25 years through a committed and hardworking local team on site that calls this island a home.
Such an island truly exists off the coast of Zanzibar/Tanzania: Chumbe Island – a dream that has become alive for many of you who have stayed with us and have become part of our Chumbe family, but also a dream to look forward to for those of you who had plans to visit.
Due to Covid-19, however, we are in the middle of unprecedented and uncertain times, which is unsettling and affects all of us, Chumbe Island not being an exception. The tourism industry in Zanzibar has collapsed and cannot continue for an undetermined time which has put us, a not-for -profit organization that entirely relies on funding from ecotourism activities, into a massive crisis.
But protecting and managing vital marine and terrestrial resources cannot be put on hold. Now, more than ever, the marine environment needs to be secured to support local fisheries to meet communities’ food needs; and habitats need to remain secured to support generations beyond this critical time. Therefore, we can’t give up but we need YOUR support to keep our dream alive!!
- We need safety patrols! Our rangers have protected our marine park and forest reserve 24/7 since the project began, more than 25 years ago. Through this protection we have managed to keep our reef one of the best in region with over 500 species of fish, and with increases in biomass ‘spilling over’ to re-stock neighboring fishing grounds. Now, more than ever, these patrols must continue, to ensure the reef is protected through these desperate times.
- Chumbe family – we need our staff. We have 43 local staff members, many of whom have been with the project since the beginning. On average, each of these team members supports 12 dependents; including family and associated community members. Like a family, the team has overcome many challenges in the past, but Covid19 has hit us particularly hard. We have funds to keep paying our staff for the next two months, but after that we will be forced to put them onto reduced salaries or unpaid leave. We have set aside funds to keep paying health insurances for the staff and their families for the next six months as a priority.
- Environmental education needs to continue, as it is the key to a sustainable future for Zanzibar. While we can no longer run our regular schools programme at the moment (that has educated more the 10,000 children and villagers in sustainable resource management), we are using this time to prepare wider educational resources and opportunities to respond to safety issues all are currently facing.
If you would like to support us through this period, we share here with you – entirely openly – our operational finance needs and three scenario thresholds.
1- BASE OPERATIONS – for 6 months (including reduced, but continuing salaries, food and health insurances for all staff and their families): 110,000 USD target.
2- MINIMIZED OPERATIONS – for 6 months (key departments only retained, to include food and health insurances): 95,000 USD target.
3- FUNDAMENTAL OPS ONLY – core patrols only for 6 months (to include food and health insurances): 50.000 USD target.
Here is how you can support us:
Book an “open booking”
You can support us by pre-arranging an “open booking” with us. For this, we are offering a special price of 200 USD per person per night (full board) open booking, valid for the next 18 months after the corona virus pandemic subsides. This offer is a 29% discount on our usual high season price of 280 USD. This offer is available until June 2020. You can book now, pay your 50% deposit to secure the booking, and later choose the dates that you want to stay anytime in the next 18 months. Use this link and enter “Chumbe 2021” in the description field: https://payments.pesapal.com/chumbeisland
Click here to read our terms and conditions.