Eco-credit/MKUBA groups (formed and trained to issue loans to their member and track their repayment)

Published: 08 September 2021
Last edited: 19 January 2023

MKUBA stands for Mfuko wa Kutunza Bahari: “Fund to care for the sea” in Kiswahili. It is a type of Community Eco-Credit scheme.

Community eco-credit is defined as:  “credit, managed at the community level, conditional on ecological actions undertaken by the community member borrower required under the loan terms.” (Wild, et al, 2020) – will send ref is there space for it.

In our MKUBA pilot five groups, constituted according to the main livelihood activity of their members, have been initially established in 2018; they were made of foot fishers, net fishers, seaweed farmers, mangrove users, and the last group were the member of the WFCs. 
The eco-credit group members attended a series of training to enable the group to operate and follow the rules they have to abide by to receive the capital funding from the supporting organisation. Trainings included the following main topics: Leadership training, Record keeping, How to protect the cash box, By-laws of each group, Fines, Capacity building in business (brief), Conservation management and reporting procedures. 


Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • A clear and relatively well-respected local management plan or by-laws (or one that is not subject to acute conflicts), that is therefore quite easy to translate into compliance conditions of access for the loans by the eco-credit groups’ members. 

  • Previous local experience, in the supporting organisation(s) and/or in the communities benefitting, of formal or informal community credit handling loans cycles and revolving funds 

  • A generally good mutual trust across the members of the groups to be established. 

Lessons learned

  • Eventual drop-outs from the eco-credit groups should be regularly and closely monitored.
  • If drop-outs signal a common problem it should be investigated and addressed quickly, particularly to avoid spreading further and endangering the whole scheme. 

  • Duty of care: it is important for the project to operate a duty of care when encouraging individuals to do business, and to avoid encouraging inexperienced people to take on risky businesses. 

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