Al Ihsan Mission (AIM)
In 2007, I submitted my dissertation entitled, “Developing Sustainable Tourism Eliminating Poverty in Zanzibar : A Strategic Approach” as part of the requirements for the degree of MBA at Durham University Business School. In my dissertation, I studied the effects of tourism on a developing country, Zanzibar, which has a fragile eco and social system, dependent upon agriculture and fishing. A field study was carried out in the rural village of Jambiani. I developed a questionnaire to obtain qualitative information which covered four areas: economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts. This was part of my research on understanding the views of the people in the village of Jambiani. During that time, I supported Zanzibar Action Project (ZAP), a registered British NGO and a secular charity in Zanzibar. I was introduced to a local director of ZAP, Mr Pandu Ali Pandu, for whose invaluable help, the Research Work in Jambiani village would not have been possible. Also, I met Dr Mohammed Khalfan, Executive Director of the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture who assisted me towards reviewing the Research Work conducted in Jambiani.
In February 2015, my daughter and I were visiting friends in Zanzibar. We drove to Jambiani to see Mr Ali Pandu where he mentioned about the difficulties people were facing especially the shortage of drinking water. He took us to a plot of land where there was a poorly constructed school without walls. There, he was teaching children. He was desperately in need of help in the construction of Education Centre and water-well. I understood from him that ZAP was no longer active in Jambiani.
Incidentally, I was born in Zanzibar Town and came to the UK for further education in September 1972. I lived in Cornwall, Devon, Sussex, London and finally moved to Leicestershire. In recent years, I have been going to Zanzibar for various reasons such as meeting friends and finding out missions on how to assist people in need.
According to ZAP, in Jambiani, the situation was dire due to disastrous power outage during the first quarter of 2010. There was no electricity to pump safe water from deep wells at some distance from the Centre. People were forced to drink the water from contaminated wells and inevitably an outbreak of dysentery and cholera ensued. An emergency clinic was set up, but many people were hospitalized, and there were a number of deaths. As the weeks dragged on, the suffering of the people became acute. ZAP tried to raise awareness of their plight in the media and at government level, but to no avail.