Helping preserve our culture and heritage for future generations
Stone Town, Zanzibar
A place where cultures from East
Africa, Asia and the Middle East
have collided and lived together for
Its built environment is a testament
to this history of cultural fusion.
Winding streets and buildings evoke
a past of trade in people, ivory and
spices, Sultans and their harems,
and colonial power struggles.
In 2000, UNESCO named Stone
Town a World Heritage Site. Now,
that site is threatened due to
environmental degradation and
development pressures.
Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society
The ZSTHS was established in 2002 with 13
members. Now, a registered NGO with over 230
To promote the conservation of Zanzibar Stone
Town's heritage and the environmental and cultural
welfare of its inhabitants.
What we do
•Building restorations
•Capacity-building and training
•Awareness and cultural promotion
Restoration Projects
The ZSTHS has taken a lead role in restoring
many of the cultural sites of Stone Town. These
restoration projects include:
•Tippu Tip Tomb
•Old Customs House (photo, left)
•Hamamni School Door (photo, below)
•Ahmed Naaman Tomb
•Kajificheni School Door
•Forodhani School Women’s Mosque
•And much more
Our Restoration Projects:
•Are done in partnership with
local experts and local fundis
•Include maintenance plans
•Use only locally available
•Use only sustainable, traditional
building techniques
•Ensure buildings are
environmentally safe and stable
•Are used as training provided
free of charge to local fundis
Capacity-building and training
Each of our restoration projects is done in a workshop
format, providing training opportunities for local
“fundis” (Swahili for skilled worker). Local fundis are
trained in proper restoration and maintenance
technique for wood, coral stone, and other traditional
building materials used throughout Stone Town.
Through these workshop training programs, we
•A more capable and skilled private sector with access
to more secure livelihoods
•Ensured quality restoration of private buildings and
structures in Stone Town
•Contribution to the restoration of the built environment
of Stone Town
•Increased awareness of the importance of heritage
conservation and proper restoration for skilled building
Awareness and Cultural Promotion
The ZSTHS believes awareness is an
integral part of every cultural
restoration project. When Stone Town’s
residents recognize and appreciate that
they are living in a World Heritage Site,
more importance will be place on proper
treatment and maintenance of our
urban environment.
Our awareness projects include:
•Oral histories (recorded and played on
local radio stations)
•Leaflet Campaigns (photos, left)
•Public presentations
•Neighbourhood awareness campaigns
Awareness Projects - Student Programs
The ZSTHS believes educating children about the
importance of our heritage is key to ensuring the
future of Stone Town. Our children will grow up to
be advocates for responsible development if they
truly understand the value of their environment.
The ZSTHS visits Stone Town schools to educate
students about the importance of taking care of
their environment. This includes topics from
building safety and maintenance, to litter, to the
importance of our history and the development
pressures we face.
The ZSTHS has also run youth exhibitions and
photographic competitions in the past for youth
Environmental Projects
The ZSTHS also heads up small scale
environmental projects throughout the year. Our
environmental projects include beach cleaning,
litter cleanups, and tree-planting programs.
The ZSTHS completes these environmental
projects with partners from the Zanzibar tourism
sector and local government.
Upcoming Activities
2012 is our 10th anniversary year. In addition to a year-end celebration, we will be beginning a largescale restoration project on the Tippu Tip House with help from our partners.
Depending on funding, this year we will be expanding and rejuvenating our restoration and training
program to focus on the world-famous Zanzibar doors and other wooden structures.
Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society [ZSTHS]
P.O. Box 3892,
[email protected]

stone town presentation