Sometimes the barriers to economic growth and education access in Zambia are quite literal. This is the case for the Mkoma community in Nyimba district, where the local Lusemfwa River is all but impassable during the rainy season.
The communities around Mkoma have previously relied on small privately-owned boats in the area to cross the river for children to access the local school, and for businesses and farmers to move their goods in and out of the village. This means that while these boats are occupied for personal use, such as fishing, many communities members are simply unable to access facilities on the other side of the river.To address this, Mkoma village this year elected to use a portion of their REDD+ conservation fee income to purchase a Banana boat for community use. Mkoma VAG purchased the boat for 21,000 zmk (US $1,730) and have made it available to community members every day, ensuring local students can get to school and farmers can transport food supplies throughout the year.