Zanzibar is no stranger to festivities, in fact the people of Unguja & Pemba are known for celebrating (almost) everything – really, any excuse (not really!) to colourfully dress up, cook up spicy feasts and invite your neighbours and friends for a good ‘show’, is how life is like under the skies of Zanzibar.
It strengthens the communities and conveys a sense of appreciation for every milestone in life. In short, island people love to celebrate and frankly speaking, the warm sun is what simply makes us happy and friendly (all year round).
So, when we recently met up with some of the founders of the Creative Festival of Water for a chat, we knew we had to join in on the celebration, using creativity as a platform to expose positive developments on the issues of water in Zanzibar.
After an interactive morning with freshly brewed coffee, we simply must share the gems:
What’s happening? In support of World Water day, the Creative Festival of Water to be held in Matemwe (North-East coast of Unguja, main island of Zanzibar) will celebrate the water we have, the water we’d like and what people are doing across the islands of Zanzibar to achieve this.
Through music, performance, visual arts and media – the festival aims to bring communities together to have fun, to explore and to celebrate creativity and artistic talent. Various organisations are expected to use this platform to showcase their creativity and water solutions. One of these organisations is Sustainable East Africa, whose work involves promoting sustainability, sustainable livelihoods, respect for the environment to mention a few.
The festival will be a true sharing and reflection of the talent and entrepreneurship living on the islands, together with other creative people from across the globe.
Why water?Access to water is a human right, and vital for life. The issue of water has many important aspects: social, economic, artistic, technical and environmental. In Zanzibar, we are surrounded by water – the sea – and hugely influenced by the monsoon seasons, which bring water to the islands. Despite the prevalence of water here, there are still many issues concerning access to water for drinking, washing, cooking, sewerage as well as for agriculture. Indeed there is much to be done to enable a sustainable marine environment.
Why Matemwe? Matemwe is made up of 8 coastal villages as well as a number of villages set back from the sea, but still integrated into a coastal economy. It sits on a dry coastal plain with much less rainwater fall than the west of the island of Unguja. With the growing number of hotels, Matemwe’s fragile ecosystem is increasingly challenged, and the increased demand for water exacerbates the need for excellent water management.
What do you expect the festival to achieve? We hope and aim that the festival will stimulate interest in Matemwe and positive efforts to meet the challenges faced. Also, that is stimulates interest in Matemwe as a place of creativity, culture and activity.
Who is behind the Creative Festival of Water? The Zanzibar team includes people from the community of Matemwe – both those born here and those who have made Matemwe their home – together with NGO Sustainable East Africa.
Who is it for? All those who love and appreciate water: Zanzibari community, artists, non-governmental organisations, visitors to Tanzania, schools and the ethical tourism industry, as well as entrepreneurs in the field.
See you all on 28 March 2015 in Matemwe to celebrate the precious gems of water & creativity!
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