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Community Development

Focusing on alternative livelihoods that benefit the environment and communities

The need for conservation is because of the impact of humanity on our planet and more often than not the ones facing it have the least impact, however we still all need to change the way we interact with the environment. The alternative livelihoods we look at are those that will relieve pressure and have a positive impact on our ecosystem while still providing much needed income to individuals and communities. We also support self help groups, such as women and youth groups, and Beach Management Units (BMUs) that are already established.

Turtle project

At LaMCoT we have been supporting livelihoods since our inception in 1992. Through our turtle project we employed ex-turtle poachers to patrol the nesting beaches and inform us of nests. For more than 25 years the hatchling trips have been a source of income for the local boat owners who take guests.

Through our tagging program we incentivise local fisherman that bring us turtles that have been accidentally caught in their nets, we tag and release those turtles back to the ocean.

Through our education program children have learned about the importance of protecting their environment, some have even influenced their parents to stop catching turtles or not throw their rubbish anywhere. 

Waste Management

Through our partners SERG (Shella Environmental Residents Groups) we provide jobs to youth and donkeys to help with the door to door collection of rubbish and at Kijitoni, the dumpsite, women are employed to help sort the waste. Natural waste for composting or donkey food recyclable plastic is taken to Flip Flopi, coconut husks and clothing go to Earth Love for recycling and the remains waste is incinerated. Find out more in our film. 

For larger collections like our beach bins and clean up collections we employ camel herders with a cart

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Mangrove Conservation &
Tree Planting 

Mangroves provide a vital eco-system for many species and the people of Lamu have commercially harvested mangroves for centuries. Mangroves are replanted to ensure that we maintain this important habitat for marine species, to help combat the impact of climate change and to counter the increased demand for mangrove wood. We started our work in mangrove restoration in 2014, in partnership with the Kikozi group, and we were funded through the CDTF (Community Development Trust Fund). Through this program we educated and trained different groups, some which used to work in logging. With the need to restore the mangrove forests to maintain balance in this eco-system many communities have set up self help groups that work in mangrove restoration and we support different groups across the archipelago. Along with restoration we have also been working in protection of important mangroves habits on Manda, along the creek to the Takwa beach turtle nesting site.

We also undertake tree planting with comminuted and our environmental kindness clubs, so far we have planted trees at the Manda Airport, the Shella Medical Dispensary and our educational program schools.

Bee Hives

The bees that pollinate the mangroves often make their hives from mud, if this is harvested their entire hive is destroyed. In order to provide a stable home for the bees we have set up hives on Manda Island. LaMCoT has been working with local communities to look after the hives and educate on the importance of bees, as well as showing how honey can be a sustainable, alternative source of income. Together with the mangrove conservation program hives are being donated to the self help groups involved.

Kinyika JCMA

Through the set up of the Kinyika JCMA we have taken on data collectors from each BMU from the 10 communities. They get training, equipment and compensation.

Through our meeting with the BMUs we have seen there is a desire to look deeper into other livelihood opportunities, each BMU is writing proposals of the areas they would like to learn more about. These possibilities range from mangrove restoration, livestock keeping and farming to eco-tourism, plastic recycling and setting up cold storage for fish caught. 

We have also identified certain BMUs that stand out in particular areas, such as that of loan management for the BMU and other self help groups. Through this we want to arrange knowledge sharing between BMUs as well as planning to acknowledge and appreciate each BMU for its successes.  

Other Initiatives

Along side the above projects we also focus on community welfare and have donated solar panels and water tanks to schools and communities that do not yet have access to power. 

We have also previously donated livestock and cooking equipment to individuals who now have thriving businesses providing eggs and milk, or providing catering services. 

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