Lalane is a small coastal rural village. The name Lalane was supposedly given to the village by a hunter who stumbled upon the village one night. Despite the hunter wanting to continue his journey looking for animals to hunt, the local community urged him to stay over and sleep. The hunter refused and wanted to continue, yet the residents continued to beg him to stay and sleep. The village then got the name “Lalane”, which means “sleep” in the local Kimwani dialect.

Data Sources

Our entry to Lalane was facilitated by the Cabo Delgado associação do meio ambiente (AMA – the environmental associate of Cabo Delgado) “extensionalist”. AMA have also begun working in the area and the extensionalist is permanently present in Lalane. Information for this community profile predominantly came from Key Informant Interviews that were conducted in the village

The area where Lalane subdivisions are situated

The area where Lalane subdivisions are situated


Lalane is within the Olumbi administrative post in Palma District (both to the North of Lalane) in Cabo Delgado Province. Lalane has three subdivisions: Nsimba, Nfindi and Macambe. Mcambe is separated by a considerable distance from the other two subdivisions.  There are three other villages relatively close by called Nhungi, Tchukuani and Kissenge.


Lalane has approximately 1150 inhabitants (information from AMA). More detailed demographic data was not readily available, and will be extracted from the household surveys.


The village is incredibly remote. Despite its proximity to Mocimboa da Praia, the road which connects the community to the district capital is incredibly bad. It floods regularly during the rainy season and is narrow and bumpy. Consequently, most Lalane residents travel by boat to Olumbi or Mocimboa rather than head back inland to connect to the main road by car. Indeed, no cars were present in the village during the community profile period (one week).  There is some movement in and out of the community from other villages to sell agriculture products and trade fish (though this depends on the season). In terms of education there is one school which started in 1976 which originally only supplied only primary education from 1st to 5th grade, but has recently expanded its teaching to 7th grade. To continue to secondary level, the parents must send the children to Mocimboa da Praia or to Olumbi. There are no banks or no formal ways to save money in the area. A very few people save money in tin cans and use it to buy coconut trees, goats and luxury items as a form of investment.

Lalane Village

Lalane Village

Due to the poor infrastructure and Lalane’s remoteness, most people rely on the environment for food and drink. Brands of soda and other forms of “cold drinks” are relatively rare and often run out. There is no electricity in Lalane, and hence it is not possible to refrigerate food. There was a severe lack of vegetables during the SPACES visit, and nutritional deficiency (as noticed in many of the children in particular, with swelling of the abdomen) may be a serious problem. There is a small market in the village (“pandule”) where one can find a few huts selling foodstuffs and products for basic needs.

There is no established hospital in the village, but there is one healthcare worker who started work in 1980. He received a kit to help treat local patients but the local health authority stopped sending kits because they want to introduce a new health program (when this will occur is unknown). This health worker is still seeking to educate people and help prevent the spread of diseases especially water borne diseases during the rainy season. The village has four well pumps, but only two of these in Nsimba are currently working properly. There is also no sewer system in the village and hence the inhabitants use the bush and the mangroves. All members of the community are believed to be Muslim and there is a religious education within a school for children called “madrassa”. The Muslim leaders are called Imed Abdala and Momade Suali .

There are few formal institutions apart from the Muslim church, a school and the Frelimo and Renamo political parties. There are two local organisations; the OJM (Organisation of Young Mozambicans) and NAP (Community Force Protection) in operation in the area according to the community leader, but their level of presence in Lalane is unknown.

Weaving baskets outside a home in Lalane

Weaving baskets outside a home in Lalane

Fishing and fisheries related activities are the most important activities in Cabo Delgado coastal zones and Lalane is no different. Agriculture is second most important followed by small local businesses, artisanal objects, boat transporters and boat repairmen.

The ocean is the most important resource in Lalane as it currently provides the majority of the community needs, such as fish to eat and sell, and transport from Lalane to other locations.  The land is also used for agriculture for foods to eat and sell, and there is a coconut plantation for copra.

Small emperors (Lethrinus harak) caught in Lalane

Small emperors (Lethrinus harak) caught in Lalane

High season for fishing is February and March whilst July to November is the low season. Gears used include hook and line, spear guns and fish traps. However, beach seine nets are also used where 8 to 10 men push the net out slowly from the shore line and they wait long periods of time before hauling the net back in. The boats that are used for fishing are small, ~2 metres in length and typically can hold only one person.

When our fisher was asked about formal regulations regarding the fisheries in Lalane, he mentioned it was not allowed to fish in MPAs, or to use mosquito nets to fish. He further added that this latter law was decreed by the ministry of fishing and the community is aware of these laws.

The fisher mentions that there were more fish in the past and the current reductions are due to the number of fishermen in the village increasing the pressure on the existing fish. There is also growing concern from this fisher and the FRELIMO secretary that stocks are further reduced by fishermen from Nacala that come in large numbers during the high season.

There are no formal fish landing sites, and few traders due to difficulty in accessing the village. Furthermore there is no electricity and most fishers dry fish to preserve them. The fish is mostly sold to the local Lalane market (Fisherman).

Table 1: Number of fishers and boats at each site (OSOL)

Village Landing site Total number of boat (no  engine) Total number of boat with engine Total number of female fishers Total number of male fishers
Lalane Lalane Nsimba 74 0 60 152
Lalane Enfindi 79 0 6 88

Lalane experiences little to no tourism. It has had foreign researchers in the area recently, but sees few tourists. Occasionally Lalane is as a point to access tourist islands in the Quirimbas archipelago (Vamizi, Quifuky or Vumba) but this is very rare.

Mangroves in Lalane

Mangroves in Lalane


There are very few mangroves in the area, and the community is aware of the national laws and therefore do not cut mangroves. Primary use of mangrove products are for medicine to cure some diseases, for relaxing (shade), use as a toilet and a navigational aid for those trying to locate the village by boat. In Nfindi where most of the mangroves are, the mangrove ecosystem appears to be naturally shrinking, but the area occupied by the mangroves was increasing in Nsimba. The two mangrove species observed are Avicennia marina and Xylocarpus granatum.