Wave action at Kilwa KisiwaniCyArk
How is wave action eroding Kilwa Kisiwani's heritage?
The Historical Gereza Fort of Kilwa Kisiwani (2018-12) by CyArkCyArk
The Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara is one of seven world heritage sites in the United Republic of Tanzania.
By Eliot ElisofonLIFE Photo Collection
Others include the Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Parks, Selous Game Reserve, The Stone Town of Zanzibar and the Kondoa Rock-Art Sites and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Gereza fort, Kilwa KiswaniCyArk
However, climate change impacts are not limited to coastal sites and communities. Changes in weather patterns are being felt across the country.
Kilwa Kisiwani infographic rising sea levelsCyArk
Increased rainfall and rising sea levels
Climate projections suggest an increase in intense rainfall events and rising sea-levels.
Kilwa Kisiwani infographic cliff erosionCyArk
Increased wave action
Erosion caused by increased wave action is impacting the structural stability of the ruins.
Kilwa Kisiwani infographic increased wave actionCyArk
This drier weather, and subsequent heavy rainfall is already resulting in the deterioration of exposed heritage sites like the Kondoa rock art shelters or the famous Laetoli footprints.
Kilwa Kisiwani infographic mangrovesCyArk
Reducing wave action to protect the sites.
View From Above the Gereza Fort Courtyard in Kilwa Kisiwani (2018-12) by CyArkCyArk
By the 2040s, the number of days where the average temperature is over 30 degrees Celsius will increase from 10 to 80.
Goats in Kilwa Kisiwani (2018-12) by CyArkCyArk
Impact on communities
It is also affecting living communities and their intangible heritage, resulting in changes to traditional pastoral activities.
“I think heritage is important to us because first of all it's what defines us. It's part of our identity. It's part of our surroundings and it's what makes us who we are now.” - Neema Tesha
Dr William Megarry, ICOMOS, and Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast.