Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Progress with partners

The Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee (KESCOM) has set up a number of community based conservation groups up and down the coast in recent years, including Msambweni Turtle and Marine Conservation Group (MTMCG), to address the threats and lack of awareness about turtle conservation in the area – for the past 7 months GVI has placed one of our staff team with this group permanently to help develop and achieve their aims and the results have been amazing.

-- The simple and stylish room with an incredible view --

Thanks to all the hard work put in from Carolyn, Zittoh and the rest of the group members over the past few weeks, the MTMCG can now boast fantastic bed and breakfast accommodation, a craft boutique, a display centre and a beautifully landscaped outdoor area! The centre is set in a fantastic location, overlooking a long stretch of turtle nesting beach and currently is unspoilt by tourism, and relatively unknown to the people holidaying on the coast of Kenya.

-- Volunteers help with painting and landscaping --

The progress during this time has been incredible and the dedication of the people working here is the reason why – they are up at 5am for beach patrols and turtle nest monitoring, they spend the whole day digging, lifting, building and learning, and then get to bed after the late night beach patrol!

The development of the boutique and accommodation are going to be essential for income generation and continued success of the group, making it possible for them to continue the important conservation work they currently do unpaid. All the crafts sold are made locally and using recycled or natural products where possible. The hope is that any number of tourists coming through and staying at the centre will also help raise awareness for turtle conservation and promote sustainable ecotourism throughout Kenya.