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Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini

by Africa Nature Organization
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Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Restore Corals for 400 Fisherfolks in Wasini
Mr. Omar Abdalla Juma (left), with Prof. Ntiba.
Mr. Omar Abdalla Juma (left), with Prof. Ntiba.

Period of Coverage

This report covers the period February to August 2019.

Background

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.

Achievements

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.

Keep Donating!

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
Mr. Abubakar with the Innovative Award for Kenya

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Impressive coral growth with minimum disturbance
Impressive coral growth with minimum disturbance

There has been notable events and activities, between September 2018 to January 2019, that this report covers.

The coral reef rehabilitation and community managed tourism initiative reviewed its tourism strategy to accommodate request by individual community members and groups with tourism activities within the island. It was agreed that the initiative will concentrate on marketing and coral rehabilitation activities while the community will individually or in groups improve their own tourism attraction activities.

There were no coral transplant activities in the reporting period although the earlier planted corals have been doing well (as pictured). This has been attributed to the regular patrols that has discouraged illegal fishing and use of illegal fishing gear. There has been regular weekly patrols of the beach and the core marine conservation area. No incidences of illegal fishing or use of illegal fishing gear was reported in the period. 

Three of the project members – Ahmed Abubakar (Chairman), Omar Juma (Secretary) and Nazo Mohamed (Treasurer) together with the project co-ordinator participated in the first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held in Nairobi between 26th and 28th November 2018. They had an opportunity to share their success and achievement at a side event organized by the Global Environmental Facility, Small Grants Programme of the UNDP. The highlight of their presentation was case they made of coral gardening as an alternative process to restore degraded marine ecosystems.

There are new reef sites that have been identified for rehabilitation. These sites are Maji ya Nyuma and Mkwiro that are outside the initial Wasini Village site. We, therefore, appeal for your support for the coral transplant component to cover at least I hectare this year and sustain the weekly patrols. At least USD 10,000 in the next three months will greatly boost our rehabilitation effort.

Mr. Ahmed Abubakar at the Blue Economy Conference.
Mr. Ahmed Abubakar at the Blue Economy Conference.

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Coral Nursery Bed
Coral Nursery Bed

This report covers the period May to August 2018.

The Year in Review

There have been great strides made in the past year in addressing key issues that were alive at the beginning of the project. The major threats that the project was to address were the illegal fishing and fishing gear that had contributed to the degradation of the corals and other fishery resources around Wasini Island. This was a reversal of the gains made by prior projects that had piloted the rehabilitation of the coral reef around the Wasini Island. 

Through the publicity created by the project over the plight of the community and their marine resources, other stakeholders intervened. The Kenya Coastal Development Project through the State Department of Fisheries and Kenya Wildlife Services donated a patrol boat and training of community members on marine surveillance. This paved way for regular twice-weekly beach patrols and the elimination of illegal fishing particularly within the community-managed marine conservation areas.

The patrols were combined with maintenance activities at the coral nursery as well as replacing corals that had died. At least 500 corals were replanted.

Adopt-A-Coral Campaign

The corals have regenerated as a result of no disturbances from illegal fishing activities. However, the pace at which the corals are regenerating is not sufficient to cover the projected 4ha of coral reef. More effort has to be directed to increase the area under coral reef. With the experience, skills and knowledge on traditional and scientific coral transplanting among community members, this is possible.

There was less coral transplant activity in the period under review due to unclear waters occasioned by the rainy and windy season. However, the waters will clear in September and allow the resumption of the coral transplant activity. To adequately prepare for this period, the project will have to raise funds for coral nursery beds, coral fragment collection and other materials for coral transplanting. We urge our supporters to Adopt-a-Coral to boost our efforts to increase coral acreage between September and October 2018.

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community Marine Assessment
community Marine Assessment

This report covers the period February to April 2018.

Community Marine conservation Area (Tengefu) Patrols

Patrols at the tengefu are now a twice-weekly routine activity of the Wasini Beach Management Unit. There are now twice a week patrols of the Wasini Island Community Marine Conservation An assessment of the coral reef in February 2018 confirmed that it was generally in good state of health. However, more assessments are planned in future with the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.

Community-managed Tourism

A draft community-managed tourism strategy was developed through consultation with local community group leaders undertaking tourism related activities. Apart from the Wasini Beach Management Unit, others included the Mkwiro Beach Management Unit, the Wasini Women Group (managing the Wasini fossilized coral garden and board walk) among others. The strategy includes promotion of homestays, traditional storytelling around bonfires and coral transplanting days.

 Give Your Mother a Gift She will be Proud Of

When you donate to the Wasini Coral Restoration Project in honor of your mother, you make an investment in Mother Nature. Your donation supports the restoration of fish breeding grounds and a marine environment that is a source of livelihood for thousands of community members in south coast of Kenya.

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Janet Mueni, Abdalla Juma and Mohammed Kassim
Janet Mueni, Abdalla Juma and Mohammed Kassim

The report coveres activities implemented between September 2017 to 25th January 2018. The following activities were implemented and targets achieved in this period.

Coral Transplant

The tranplant of corals began in September 2017 to replace dead corals in areas already rehabilitated. 50 corals have so far been transplanted to replace corals that had died due to disturbances by illegal fishermen. No new areas were replanted.

Patrols

The Wasini Beach Management Unit (BMU) has been able to undertake beach patrols, thanks to the boat donated by the Kenya Coastal Development Project in 2017. The scouts are able to do day patrols and at least 3 night patrols per week. By December 2017, four notorious illegal fishermen had been arrested and presented to the State Department of Fisheries for further action. No new illegal fishing incidences have been reported in 2018.

Tourism

Tourist visits to the island and the coral transplant site has started to pick up. At least 5 visitors are received each week since November 2017. The Wasini BMU has been using their boat to ferry visitors from the mainland to the island. The business has not picked but at least they are able to colect revenue enough to cover cost for patrols.

Award

The Wasini BMU was the recipient of the best BMU along the Kenyan coast in 2017 by the Pwani Mazingira Awards spearheaded by the National Environmental Management Authority. The recognition was partly due to the improved coral transplant and protection efforts by the Wasini BMU.

Donations

The project stakeholders held a project review meeting on 15th January 2018. The meeting was attended by the project leader, Abubakar Ahmed, Chairman Wasini BMU, Omar Abdalla, Secretary, Mohammed Kassim (Assistant Secretary), Nazo Mohammed (Treasurer), Biasha Mohammed (Chairlady, Wasini Women Group), Sanura Ali Kassim (Committee) and Janet Mueni, Programme Assistant, Africa Nature Organization. After reviewing the project progress, the meeting resolved to concentrate their efforts on the coral transplant component of the project and strengthen night patrols as well as promote visitor traffic to the site.

It was, however, evident that more support is required to sustain the coral transplant activity with the level of donations received. We, therefore, call upon all friends and well wishers to continue supporting us in this endevour.

Thank YOU!

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Organization Information

Africa Nature Organization

Location: Mombasa - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AfricaNatureOrg
Project Leader:
Moses Ziro
Mombasa, Mombasa Kenya

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