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

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Dug-Out Canoe Trip, Mida Creek

Community Eco Tourism, Watamu

Bee-Keeping, Kirepwe Island Kirepwe Island, Mida Creek Management Training Local Marine Debris Products

Watamu Marine Association aims to support and develop sustainable tourist activity in the Watamu area, which will benefit the local community with an income through eco tourism

The program, which began in 2009, is working towards eliminating poverty in the local population by targeting several different areas.

Firstly, one of the main areas to investigate was providing employment for the poor within tourism enterprises. Secondly, was to provide a platform through which goods and services provided by the poor could be involved in local tourism. Another focus was ensure that tourism enterprises which could be run by the poor could be established, and that a tax on proceeds or profits could be enforced which directly benefited the poor (as well as voluntary giving). Finally, investing in an infrastructure in the projects which meant they were sustainable and would have longevity in benefiting the poor community.

The current projects for which the STEP project has provided developmental support include:

The Dabaso Board-Walk
The Crab Shack, Dabaso
Mud Crab Farming at Dabaso
Bee Keeping on Kirepwe Island
Canoe Trips around Mida Creek
Development of the Sita Snake Farm

How Were These Projects Chosen?

To try and ensure that the funding reached the most sustainable tourist activities, which would be most beneficial to the community as a whole, community members were asked to formulate proposals to bid for funding for their individual projects. Before this, they were also given proposal writing training, to ensure they were well equipped to write a successful proposal. Management training, book-keeping training, and bee keeping training have all been an important part of the STEP program, to ensure that the projects are sustainable and that the community can reap the benefits of the funding for many years to come.

On-Going and Future Projects

Currently, STEP is working towards establishing a Traditional Giriama Village Experience on Kirepwe Island. This will consist of a guided tour of a traditional homestead, a Kirepwe museum (with traditional Giriama tools & dress), a bee keeping enclosure, a witch doctors banda, traditional Giriama dancers, and opportunity to see the flora and fauna of Kirepwe Island.

In late august 2013, approval was attained to build a recycling centre in Dabaso village. This will be a site on which recyclable waste such as plastic bottles can be crushed, but will also provide space for recycling workshops for members of the local community to turn waste into Marine Debris Art. Community Recycling Centre

CONTACTS
Steve Trott, Watamu Marine Association
email Stevetrot@watamu.biz
web http://www.facebook.com/watamumarineassociation
tel +254 720 781782

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