Kakorwa says, “environment is life.” It needs to be nurtured and cared for, and human-induced stressors must be addressed to reduce negative impacts to livelihoods.
Brought up on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Katombi village in Kigoma Region, Kakorwa has watched the climate and his surrounding environment change over time. He has noticed changes in the forests and with rainfall patterns. And as a fisherman by trade, he’s watched his livelihood steadily deteriorate, as fish populations have declined or even disappeared entirely.
Kakorwa believes the cause for such issues is a lack of knowledge about environmental stewardship and sustainable natural resource management. He also recognizes that as rainfall patterns become more unpredictable, population sizes increase and poverty levels worsen, a changing climate will only exacerbate these challenges.
Kakorwa speaks a lot about deforestation, specifically forest fires and charcoal making. He links the increasingly deforested slopes near the Lake to the decline in fish populations due to run-off issues. There is either a lack of nutrients during drought or an overabundance of it during harsh rainstorms. Additionally, destructive fishing practices, such as “kokoro,” are becoming more common, which is only adding to the population troubles. One of Kakorwa’s favorite fish to catch as a boy, “birigi,” is no longer present in his part of the lake.
Kakorwa firmly believes more education and awareness is needed about these issues. People need to connect their surrounding environment, and how they manage it, to their own livelihoods. He feels the government should be more active in learning from the village level, to understand the problems and develop realistic solutions.
Kakorwa has started his own CSO, “Environment Against Poverty,” that promotes sustainable natural resource management and environmental stewardship in his community.