The Wasini Coral Restoration project will rehabilitate 3 ha of sea area by planting corals and establish a marine eco-facility. A healthy coral population supports over 400 fisherfolk (both men and women) within the Wasini Island entirely dependent on fishing and marine tourism for their livelihoods. The fisherfolk lost their livelihoods following fishery resource depletion and subsequent loss of tourists attracted by the diversity of fishery and marine resources within the island.
The fishery resource around Wasini Island has greatly declined due to overfishing occasioned by an influx of fishermen from neighboring villages using unsustainable fishing methods. Corals, as fish breeding sites and habitats, have been the most affected. Rising sea level has also affected mangroves as alternative fish breeding sites. The livelihoods of 300 registered fishermen, according to Kwale County Department of Fisheries and 100 others in related businesses have been adversely affected.
Building on the successful completion of the first ever community managed coral transplant project in Africa, the project will expand the restored coral areas from 1ha to 4ha. The rehabilitated areas will be closed off and developed as fishery recovery grounds and community-managed marine tourism sites in line with the co-management plan approved by the Kwale County Department of Fisheries. The project will also build the community's capacity to manage the resource and eco-tourism enterprise.
The project will strengthen the capacity of fisher folks to manage the coral exclusive zone as a fishery recovery area and eco-tourism facility. A percentage of the incomes will be set aside to support further expansion of coral sites, eco-tourism and the management capacity of the fisher folk. This will secure both the conservation of the marine resource and livelihoods of the Wasini community.