Gaudencia Kalabamu/WWF TCO

Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

Restoring the Usambara Mountains, lowlands and coastal forests that are critical water sources

Our Impact

Through funds received from Trillion Trees, WWF has been working to restore the forests of the Usambara Mountains which are both important for water supply and for hydropower for the country of Tanzania. WWF has worked with two civil society organisations, Friends of Usambara and 4H Tanzania to engage communities in the area. By the end of December 2021, 67,047 trees were planted in water sources, 10,800 trees planted on farms and 2,500 trees were planted on ridges, making a total of 80,347 planted trees.


Lessons Learnt from 10 years of restoration

Our Target

  • Plant 30,000 seedlings in the East Usambara
  • Plant over 100,000 trees in the West Usambara around water sources, on farms and degraded lands
  • Engage 150 households with information on restoration activities

How We Work

WWF works with Tanzania 4H Organization which focuses on engaging six schools (both primary and secondary schools) as an entry point to reach at least 600 young people and 150 households with information and other benefits from restoration activities.  This is done through increased environmental awareness and ability to interact with local communities and engage in tree planting and its management activities. The aim is that, by the end of project pupils, teachers and parents will be inspired and improve their knowledge, skills, attitude and enthusiasm to engage in sustainable tree planting.

WWF also partners with Friends of Usambara, an ecotourism-based NGO that works amongst and with communities in the efforts to restore the West Usambara which is a key source of water channels to the Mkomazi Wildlife National Park. Friends of Usambara runs a number of nurseries producing both indigenous tree and food tree crops for restoration amongst communities west of the Usambara.

Why the Usambara Mountains?

The Usambara Mountains are considered a Key Biodiversity Area, and play a huge role in supplying water to cities and for hydropower. These montane, lowland and coastal forests are facing degradation pressures from adjacent agricultural areas, fires, illegal logging, artisanal gold mining and illegal livestock grazing. Therefore, restoration of natural habitat is critical to ensure that a critical water supply is sustainable.

The region is also home to endangered species including the Usambara Hyliota (Hyliota usambara) in high mountain forest and the black and white coloured Colobus monkeys in the mid elevations. As well as the critically endangered long-billed Tailorbird.

Partners and Contributors

Lead partner: WWF

Friends of Usambara

4H Tanzania