There are many great organisations in the Lamu Archipelago doing some incredible work to protect our environment. We were so grateful to the stalls that could come and showcase their work at the Bahari Yetu Festival, as well as to those who sponsored stalls. By coming together it provided a chance for organisations to see the work others are doing and hopefully bounce ideas off one another and find ways to work together. Also as education for the next generation was a key part of the Bahari Yetu Festival all the kids that attended the festival had a chance to visit these stalls and learn more about what it takes to protect our environment.
Of course we had our stall, where we presented our work in the archipelago so far, as well as our plans for the new CMA at Kinyika, you can find out more about our work here. We also had the very sort after Bahari Yetu t-Shirts available at our stall, most were gifted and given as thank yous to those who helped make the festival happen, however a lucky few managed to buy their own and in turn donate to the festival. Any proceeds over our costs are going into the environmental kindness clubs.
Flip flopi were presenting their newest recycled plastic creations; cups, benches and even a mkokoteni! Visitors to the festival could have a go crushing the sorted plastic with the bicycle crusher and they even demonstrated some moulding. Some of the plastic that Flip flopi uses comes from Kijitoni, the collection site where the Shella Environmental Residents Group (SERG) & LaMCoT bring all the waste from Shella and the beach to sort.
WWF and LaMCoT have worked closely on a few projects over the years, such
as implementing the Manda Toto Marine Conservancy, so it was great to have them attend. WWF work all along the Kenyan coast however their stall for the festival focused on their work in the Kiunga Marine Park in the northern Lamu Archipelago. They even brought mwalimu Panda along, who learnt how to sail a dhow!
Over 60% of the mangroves found along Kenyas coast can be found in Lamu, and it was so great to see so many organisations involved in mangrove reforestation. Educating on the importance of protecting these vital ecosystems and important nursery for marine life. The Pate Conservancy presented all the work they are doing on Pate; ranging from reef restoration, octopus closures and fishing gear exchange programmes, to name a few. They came with the Mtangawanda Women Association who have been successfully replanted over 60,000 mangroves on Pate, they even had some delicious honey from their mangrove hives. Thank you to the Nature Conservancy and Norther Rangelands Trust (NRT) for sponsoring their stall. The Faza Youth Action Group also displayed the different species of mangrove they are restoring as well as a new addition to their project, crab farming. A new and exciting project to show case in Lamu. Shaba Dhow was their sponsor, Asante for your support!
Save Lamu had a stall. Their aim is to engage communities and stakeholders so as to ensure participatory decision-making, achieve sustainable and responsible development, and preserve the environmental, social and cultural integrity of the Lamu community. The Lamu Women’s Alliance were also present, is was formed under the umbrella of Save Lamu to empower women on their rights to actively participate in advocating, protecting and utilizing natural resources and environment in a sustainable responsible manner to secure their livelihood.
To take us through the history of fishing and the Swahili peoples connection with the ocean the Lamu Museum brought artefacts and models of the methods used and different dhows that have sailed through the archipelago over the centuries, a reminder that our connection with the ocean is what brought about the Swahili people. Thank you to Edd & Annabel Brooks for sponsoring their stall, we also look forward to the marine based projects Edd & Annabel will be bring to Lamu! Continuing with the swahili history and to showcase the tasty Swahili recipes created with spices brought here through the trade routes the Shella Women’s Association brought their new receipt book Ladha ya Lamu (the Taste of Lamu). The stall was sponsored by Experience the Village, who often support this association along with a few others on Lamu.
To add to the education aspect the was a performance done by LATA, the Lamu Arts and Theatre Alliance, they educate and spread awareness on many different subjects through their performances, poetry and song, LATAs performance was sponsored by the Lamu Tourism Association (LTA).
We were also luck that Loko, a great band from Kisumu was passing through the archipelago on their coastal tour and they have a few wonderful songs about the environment and plastic pollution, thanks to Peponi Hotel for sponsoring them. These performances had such an impact they even inspired some of the kids to get up on stage to present song and poetry of their own!
We are so grateful to the organisations who made it and those who sponsored, we hope that great connections were made and more can come from those connections to better our ocean.