Mr. Omar Abdalla Juma (left), with Prof. Ntiba.
Period of Coverage
This report covers the period February to August 2019.
The Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks Initiative in aims at rehabilitating 3 ha of degraded coral reef by planting corals and establishing a marine eco-facility to support the livelihoods of 400 fisherfolk (both men and women), residents of Wasini Village, Wasini Island, in South Coast, Kenya. The community members were on the verge of losing their source of livelihood due to unsustainable fishing practices and illegal fishing that was affecting the fishery resource around Wasini Island.
The initiative was able to rally support from well wishers to raise resources, both in cash and in kind, to reverse the situation. A donation of a patrol boat and regular weekly patrols has ensured that illegal and unsustainable fishing practices within the island have been put under control. As a result, the fishery resource base has recovered and the fishing business is booming again within the last two years.
But that was not all that has been achieved to date. The tourism industry has picked up again, with more and more tourists visiting the core management site, the area set aside for coral rehabilitation and fish recovery.
It is estimated that the spiral effect of this wonderful development has had an impact on more than 400 community members, whose livelihoods have significantly improved. Three homestays, over 5 new hotels and other businesses serving tourists have either been established or been revived as a result.
Awards and Recognition
The success of the coral transplant and tourism initiative, has seen Wasini Beach Management Unit (BMU), our partners jointly implementing the project, being recognized in various fora, locally and internationally.
In May 2019, Wasini BMU was awarded a Sustainable Tourism in Africa Award, an annual evidence-based tourism award program, during the 6th Sustainable Tourism Africa Summit, held at Severin Sea Lodge, Mombasa, on 15th and 17th May 2019. The Summit is an annual sustainable tourism knowledge sharing and action-oriented networking event organized by Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda Ltd.
The Summit theme for 2019 was "Sustainable Tourism for Sustainable Oceans" and Wasini BMU won the Runners-Up Sustainable Tourism in Africa Award in the Innovative Protection of Marine Life (Species and Habitat Conservation) category.
Between 30th and 31st May 2019, Mr. Omar Juma, Secretary, Wasini BMU, was invited by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) to the Mtafiti Open Day as an Exhibitor. Mtafiti (Research in Swahili) Open Day is an annual event organized by KMFRI to showcase the activities it undertakes to improve marine conservation and contribute to the livelihoods of communities and the economy as a whole.
Mr. Omar had the opportunity to interact with various stakeholders and describe the coral transplant process to restore coral reefs at Wasini Island. The event was held at the institution’s headquarters in Mkomani, Mombasa, and was graced by Prof. Micheni Ntiba, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Republic of Kenya. KMFRI was key in providing technical backstopping for the coral restoration initiative.
There were more awards. The African Public Service Day (APSD), a day celebrated to recognize the value and virtue of service to the community, was hosted by Kenya from the 21st to 23rd June 2019, at the Kenya International Conference Centre, Nairobi. The 7th Edition of the APSD celebrations, spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs, also served as a platform to reflect on the role of public service in ensuring economic development and growth on the continent.
The event showcased innovation and growth momentum within the African Continent, under the theme "The Intersection of Youth Empowerment and Migration: Entrenching a culture of Good Governance, ICT and Innovation for inclusive Service Delivery".
It is at this event that Wasini BMU bagged two more awards for the innovative coral transplant initiative. They received the First Prize for Most Promising Innovation in Kenya, and a Runners-Up award in Most Promising Innovation in Africa.
The Wasini BMU co-management area covers 352-hectare that includes a 30-hectare
closed area (a no-fishing/take zone). The no-take zone ensures the protection of corals and fish spawning grounds as well as providing for eco-tourism opportunities. The total area that has been rehabilitated so far is 15-hectare of degraded coral site. There is 15-hectares that are yet to be rehabilitated!
We have prioritized the rehabilitation of the remaining 15-heactares and we need your support! Kindly mobilize your family, friends, co-workers and community to donate using the ling below.
Mr. Abubakar with the Innovative Award for Kenya