Watamu Marine Association, Kenya: Managing Kenya's premier beach resort.

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Watamu is a beach holiday resort in Kenya.


Watamu is a small village on the Kenyan coast. The area has an international reputation for its pristine white-sand beaches and reef-protected lagoons.

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Watamu was voted one of the top ten beaches in the world; steeped in natural beauty and with three stunning bays, Watamu is a great beach holiday spot.

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Watamu Marine Association (WMA) is a unique initiative at the Kenyan coast. Members come from the community, tourism and environment sectors.

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Find who you need in Watamu: Hotels, Scuba Diving, Deep Sea Fishing, Supermarkets, Restaurants and more!

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Why Do We Need Watamu Marine Association?

Watamu is a tropical paradise on the Kenyan Coast, receiving thousands of visitors a year. However, not everyone is fully aware of the diverse peoples, cultures and interests that make up Watamu community life. Just beneath the surface there lie conflicts between marine stakeholders, environmental threats and increasing challenges facing the Marine Park and Reserves managing authorities.

Watamu Marine Association (WMA) was formed in 2007 through a mutual acknowledgement of the problems and a desire to resolve conflicts and show that by working together we can secure the future of Watamu as a natural asset for all and for shared economic prosperity.

Why would you want to support WMA Projects and Members?

WMA is a non profit, voluntary organisation bringing together a diverse membership of groups and organisations primarily to benefit the community, protect the environment and promote quality tourism.

The Association is steered by an elected Committee and invites the local public authorities and government agencies to actively participate in meetings and decision-making processes.

WMA administration and running costs are covered by internal fundraising and membership support. Consequently donations are spent directly on WMA projects and community programmes.

WMA is unusual in that its main impetus is derived from a community desire and self-motivation for betterment. Here are some of the projects that help us deal with our problems:

  • Lack of education within the community; we run computer IT training courses for community group members
  • Addressing problems related to poverty and unemployment through developing income generating initiatives: WMA operates a Community Waste Management Project aiming to recycle plastic waste and flip flops for arts and crafts production and provide an income for community groups.
  • Bridging the gap between the tourism sector and local community groups to resolve conflicts and identify common areas of collaboration and partnership. WMA hold regular meetings with hotels and community groups to promote good management and business practices on our beaches and provide customer care courses for beach operators and Codes of Conduct for hotels, beach operators and visitors.
  • Empowerment of community groups to participate in management and decision making processes related to the marine resources, through regular meetings with the managing authorities, namely, Kenya Wildlife Service.
  • The prevention of degradation and destruction of protected coastal habitat. WMA won a court case at the National Environment Tribunal against a commercial development threatening one of our beautiful lagoons in the Marine Reserve.
  • Coastal pollution is dealt with through beach clean ups by the Community Waste Management Project.
  • Campaigning against illegal and destructive fishing methods and over fishing that threaten coral reefs and sea grass habitats. Destructive fishing methods include inshore prawn trawling and ring netting.

Would you like to support any of these WMA projects?
Please see contact page or email stevetrottatwatamu.biz or +254 (0) 721 275818


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