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Largest-Ever UAE Delegation Build Water Facility for Remote Mangrove Community in Mozambique

Largest-Ever UAE Delegation Build Water Facility for Remote Mangrove Community in Mozambique

UAE-based mangrove reforestation company, Blue Forest, has inaugurated its latest community initiative in Mozambique in celebration of World Water Day 2024.

As part of MozBlue, Africa’s largest mangrove reforestation project, Blue Forest has built a water station for a remote island community in Zambezia province in partnership with Zalala Foundation and UAE-based Fathers And Kids Camping. The works were completed with the help from 45 volunteers from Fathers And Kids Camping, the largest-ever UAE delegation to Mozambique.

MozBlue is one of the largest community-led forestry projects in the world and is planting more than 300 million mangroves by 2030. The project spans across 150,000 hectares and will positively impact the lives of 400,000 community members that live near the mangroves. The project area is larger than New York, Paris, and Mumbai combined.

The UAE volunteers worked with Zalala Foundation to construct a new water borehole, solar-powered mechanical pump, 10 meter high water tower, and 10,000-liter elevated tank. This new water station will now supply up to 15,000 liters a day of safe and clean drinking water for the island’s 10,000 residents and enable proper sanitation and cooking at the island’s only primary school for the first time.

Vahid Fotuhi, Blue Forest’s founder and CEO said: “I am honoured to have brought together communities from the UAE and Mozambique to work hand-in-hand on a life-changing project. This new water facility will now deliver healthy clean water for the next 100 years. It is a physical symbol of Blue Forest’s long-term commitment to working with local communities in Zambezia on both mangrove forest restoration as well as community livelihood improvement.”

The Idugo community water facility is one of many projects spearheaded by Blue Forest as part of the MozBlue project. The community focus ensures that all materials and labour at Idugo are sourced locally, and locals are trained to maintain the installed water system. The community-first approach to forest restoration extends across the MozBlue project to work with Community Land Associations and establish Mangrove Guardianship Agreements.

This approach by Blue Forest supports both communities and mangroves, protecting the forests from exploitation and ensuring that a majority of income generated through carbon credits is distributed directly to the local communities. In addition to generated income, the mangrove forests provide significant benefits for biodiversity enrichment, climate management, and community prosperity.

Mangroves support local livelihoods as nurseries for fisheries, provide important storm protection and material provision for communities, and have a vital role in capturing and storing CO2 from the atmosphere. Among the world’s most important climate mitigation solutions, mangroves are five times more effective at storing CO2 than rainforests. The MozBlue project, supported by its communities and investors, is expected to remove 26 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, equivalent to taking more than six million petrol cars off the road.

The involvement of UAE volunteers at Idugo, alongside Blue Forest’s long-term agenda in Zambezia, fosters broader opportunities for bilateral UAE-Mozambique tourism and investment. These opportunities herald a win-win scenario for communities, climate, investors, and future generations alike.

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