Two members of the Secure Fisheries team, Mohamed Abdullahi and Ahmed-Yasin Moge, travelled to Diani Beach in Ukunda, Kenya for a cross-learning exchange that took place from November 28 - December 2, 2021. The event was hosted and technically assisted by Blue Ventures, an international organization with ongoing work in 13 countries across five continents that aims to support locally managed marine conservation initiatives and improve the livelihoods of fishers. Attendees represented Kenyan and Somali coastal organizations, such as COMRED, Maliasili, Adeso, and Somali Greenpeace Association. The excursion facilitated networking among the participants, who also used the opportunity to give presentations on their respective programs and conservation interventions.
Participants visited the fishing communities in Vanga, Kibyuni, and Mkwiro in the Wasini Island. Participants interacted with the communities and learned about their innovative accomplishments. The interventions included initiatives for conservation, protection and rehabilitation of mangroves and coral reefs, and seaweed planting and drying for export to other countries with some addition of value by producing shampoos, soaps, and lotions.
Equally, participants in the event interacted with the community members and learned a lot about the beach management units (BMUs) in particular. Leaders of the BMUs explained extensively how their organizations are operating and maintaining the sustainability of the institution with the support of the government of Kenya both at local and national level. The trip was a valuable learning experience for all involved and highlighted the need to enhance the exchange of knowledge among communities and institutions doing similar work.
To read more about the exchange and view photos from the trip, visit this blog by Blue Ventures.