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By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache

At the University of Comoros in Ngazidja with law students on April 2019

On August 2020, the World Bank wrote an economic report on Comoros Islands which explains that COVID-19 health crisis is affecting Comoros’ economy trade and tourism sectors.However, one knows that  the tourism industry is not well developed in the Union of Comoros as it is in countires such as Mauritius or Seychelles.On April 2019, Comoros Islands has been hit by a powerful cyclone which has smashed into Mozambique.According to the World Bank, the Comoros Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has fallen to 1.9% in 2019 as a result, from 3.6% in 2018.

Ivembeni-Mboude after Cyclone Kenneth hit Comoros on April 2019 Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
Serehini, Grande Comore, after Cyclone Kenneth came to Comoros Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement

Contribution of travel and tourism to GDP tended to decrease from 1999 to 2018 period ending at 10,1% in 2018. Even if the Union of Comoros is implementing a new strategy on emergence in the country by 2030, when the sustainable development goals is due to be achieved, there is a long way to go for these islands to be sustainable. « The pandemic will likely offset the positive impacts from reconstruction efforts after the cyclone, with real GDP growth expected to contract sharply to -1.4% in 2020 (compared to a pre-COVID-19 forecast of 4.4%),» indicates the report.

The roof of this house in Samba M’bodoni disappeared when Cyclone hit Comoros on April 2019 Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
A young boy in Maweni wa Mboude ( Grande Comore) , in front of a damaged tree, after cyclone Kenneth devastated a large area of  Comoros Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement

Impact of Covid 19

“The expected drop of remittances from the diaspora would substantially reduce households’ income, especially the poorer ones and the revenues from trade, which represent the bulk of the government’s domestic resources will decrease significantly, raising the fiscal deficit”, indicates the World Bank report. But one knows that Comoros Islands are mostly  leaving from the celebrations of the traditional wedding known as Grand Mariage. And the remittances are not used only to meet needs of prime urgency. These remittances do not target  the development of Comoros  but the money from the diaspora  keeps the” Grand Mariage ” alive with money spent to pay   traditional musicians, women and men groups and the whole habits from this wedding.

The celebrations of  weddings has been postponed to next year, said the president of the Union of Comoros, Azali Assoumani, in a recent statement. But weddings can be celebrated under certain circumstances.

A Traditional wedding a few days before cyclone Kenneth smashed into Comoros- Photo Credit:@eraenvironnement

“The current fragile situation of the SNPSF, a money transfer service, could take a sudden turn for the worse and seriously jeopardize financial stability,” underlines the  World Bank report. With a dense population under the age of 20 years olds, Comoros are  also suffering for many years from intense pressure on natural resources and  climate change .

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” Nearly one fourth of the population is extremely poor, unable to buy enough food to meet the minimum nutritional requirements of 2,200 kilocalories per person per day,” highlights the report.  Even if the Union of Comoros is comparing by the World Bank  to a middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,   the country is still part of the Least Developing Countries at the UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK  CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC). This week as  the United Nations convenes Heads of State and Government, ministers and international organisations virtually  for the General Debate, Mr Sonam P. Wangdi, the Chair of the Group of the 47 Least Developed Countries in the UN climate negotiations (LDC Group), said: “World leaders need to step up to respond collectively to the crises we’re facing. Global problems demand global solutions; cooperation is key.” And he added: ” “Leaders must make deep cuts to global emissions urgently, while at the same time as increasing support to vulnerable countries for efforts to adapt to climate change and build the resilience of at-risk communities.”

Africa is   facing climate change. The Union of Comoros indeed is highly vulnerable to climate change as an African Small Island developing state, being part of the Least Developed Countries. Water, agriculture, health sectors and the entire ecosystems are sensitive to climate change. In Comoros Islands,  rural and coastal areas were the most affected by cyclone Kenneth.  From April to June 2019, ERA ENVIRONNEMENT SARL went to various rural and coastal areas affected by cyclone Kenneth.

Damaged bananas trees in Grande Comore Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
A young student based in Moroni, in her hometown, Nkourani ya Sima ( a rural area, in Badjini, the south of Grande Comore), a few days after cyclone Kenneth damaged  Comoros houses and agriculture-Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache In Nkourani ya Sima with people from the town, a few days after cyclone Kenneth hit Comoros6 Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
In Foumbouni,  fishermen, after cylone Kenneth smashed into Comoros Islands- Photo Credit:@eraenvironnement

Understand sustainablility

.To achieve sustainable development,  the Union of Comoros has to understand sustainability, by integrating  profit, planet and people.


Since 2015, ERA ENVIRONNEMENT, an online media specialized on environmental issues and solutions ( established as a company in Comoros on April 2018) , has published many in-depth stories on a wide range of sustainable development topics.

As an online media based formerly in Paris ( France), ERA ENVIRONNEMENT plays a meaningful role in environmental education in Comoros Islands, where the company is now based and it is the unique media specialized on environmental challenges and solutions.

Election présidentielle aux Comores : Enjeux de développement durable

Election présidentielle aux Comores: la population en attente de solutions

The Radio for Environmental Education 

With the support of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO), under its information Programme for Development and Communication (IPDC),  ERA ENVIRONNEMENT SARL brought on November 2019 an innovative initiative that targeted 10 young women from rural and coastal areas of Comoros, eight months after cyclone Kenneth has smashed into the country.

Listen to Radio Era Environnement


The trainees and Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache In Bandabitisi ‘s headquaters, an environmental association working on recycling waste- Photo Credit: Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache

ERA ENVIRONNEMENT SARL  is the first private media to be supported  by UNESCO to implement a radio in Comoros Islands. During two weeks in november 2019,  10  women from rural and costal areas were trained on environmental radio journalism. ERA ENVIRONNEMENT SARL has organized workshops and reports in Samba M’bodoni and Boueni ya Oichili ( Grande Comore). From these activities, the company created a radio on environmental education, radio Era Environnement, with the support of UNESCO. ERA ENVIRONNEMENT SARL is a meaningful stakeholder in the push for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The trainee Thambati Thaoubi Machamba with Chamsia Ibrahim before coming to the  Lake Hantsangoma Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
Lake Hantsangoma Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement

In Itsandra Mjini, a trainee interviewed one of the main actor of handracft in Comoros Islands Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
The trainees with Mohamed Soulé from 2 mains, the association which helps the Union of Comoros to recycle its plastic waste, finds solutions on water sanitation, and clean energy Photo Credit:@eraenvironnement
The trainees in Samba M’bodoni, with a woman from Samba ‘s village Photo Credit: Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache
Houmi Ahamed- Mikidache with Chamsia Ibrahim , her colleague  in Boueni ya Oichili Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement- with
Djabhana Said Ibrahim, a representative of UNESCO in Comoros  and Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache during the  launching programme in Samba Mbodoni Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
The trainees in Boueni ya Oichili Credit Photo: @eraenvironnement
The trainees at Era Environnement’s headquaters in Samba M’bodoni with Kamitoine Zarkaou, the director of renewable energy of the national energy company, Sonelec
The trainees with the local expert Chamsia Ibrahim and women farmers in Boueni ya Oichili Photo Credit: @eraenvironnement
At the Comoros Islands University in Ngazidja with students and their lecturer , Abdoulwahab Msa Bacar on April 2019 Credit Photo: @eraenvironnement


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