The South Coast of Kenya is renowned for its marine biodiversity. There are 64 coral genera, nine species of mangrove, 12 species of seagrass, over 250 species of fish, dolphins, whales, and five species of sea turtles. The area also has a rapidly growing human population of 1.2 million. Nearly 60 percent of rural communities depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. Overfishing, illegal fishing practices, and sedimentation from unsustainable agricultural practices are dramatically depleting fish stocks.
Mkwiro Village is located on the southern end of Wasini Island, where Seacology has funded projects in recent years. Seacology is now funding rehabilitation of the Mkwiro Beach Management Unit (BMU) office. The BMU is responsible for management and enforcement at the new 741-acre Mkwiro Marine Co-Management Area. The group will use the facility to hold meetings and work on regulations for the area, to ensure the sustainable use of marine resources, including closure of certain areas and banning of unsustainable fishing practices. The building will also contain a new workshop. The Mkwiro Eco-Friendly Conservation Group will use it to host women’s alternative livelihood activities, which include developing and promoting crafts.