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Kenya

Mkwiro Village

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Conservation benefit: Protection of the 741-acre Mkwiro Marine Co-Management Area for 10 years

Community benefit: Rehabilitation of Beach Management Unit office and construction of alternative livelihood workshop, tools and training

Date Approved: 06.2015

Ocean

This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

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.

Some of the crafts made by project participants

Project Updates

August 2019

Due to a restructuring at the organization that was purchasing foam from the women’s group, they have temporarily stopped selling flip-flops. However, they continue to hold regular beach cleanups as they seek a new buyer. They have also since began a seaweed-farming project and are negotiating with foreign buyers for this sustainable product. The BMU office is being actively used to manage coral nurseries and other environmental rehabilitation activities.

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May 2017

Since the last update, 12 more members of the Mkwiro Eco-Friendly Conservation Group received small loans. The Mkwiro Village community marked the successful closure of this project with a launch event held in the village.

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January 2017

The Mkwiro Eco-Friendly Conservation Group now conducts beach clean-ups twice a week and supplies the Ocean Sole Foundation with flip-flops for workshops; which provides income. A project website is in the final stages of development, as are brochures. Members of the BMU and conservation group attended financial management and governance workshops and initiated a community banking scheme to support expansion of their initiatives and provide small loans to group members. The group participated in the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) International Fair in Mombasa from August 28 to September 4, 2016, where they displayed and sold a number of their products. Most recently, Ocean Sole ordered 20 tons of waste from the group, earning funds for ongoing activities. The group, which numbered 26 individuals at the project’s inception, now numbers over 100. The group recently acquired a piece of land and is developing plans for an ecotourism center.

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May 2016

Equipment and tools, including a sewing machine and punches, have been procured for the alternative livelihood participants. The Watumu Marine Association trained 29 people from the BMU and the women’s eco-friendly group on sorting plastic waste, recycling and how to produce handicrafts from the waste. Many new members have joined the project.

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