Women empowerment and environmental education around Watamu Protected Areas.
Environmental action through community-based conservation projects and Environmental Education is one of the commitments of our organisation. That is why we are operating in and around threatened habitats near Watamu. We work with local communities, aiming to achieve long-term conservation of threatened habitats and species in the Malindi-Watamu area. We also aim to improve the livelihoods of local communities in the course of it all. This is done through providing content guidance and support for communities. Which in return helps them become eco-friendly dedicated citizens, willing to collectively work towards achieving environmentally sustainable development.
We are happy to share that this year we signed and received a grant from Slovak aid towards supporting our work on conservation. The funds will be used to specifically support our conservation objectives with the community. The areas focused on will be Environmental education and women empowerment. This will be to the communities around the buffer zone of Watamu Marine Protected Areas. Thanks to Slovak aid for their support.
PROJECT GOAL AND APPROACH.
The overall Goal of the project is to address the biodiversity loss. This will be through a two-pronged approach of environmental education and awareness. In addition to this, we will also have practical solutions of highly productive kitchen gardening methods. We are using a dynamic and interactive environmental education programme focussing on primary schools around Mida Creek. We will also be involving adult community groups, both fisher and women’s groups. We have a target of 50 women and 320 students.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS.
With interactive environmental education we have involved an average of 120 students from 3 marine schools. Watamu Primary, Dongokundu primary and Jacaranda beach primary within the first lesson. Before this, students did not know how the government and local people end up designating Marine protected areas. But through guidance from our environmental educators, the kids have been engaged in the whole process. This has been through interactive sessions, illustrations, and quizzes. To help them understand, the students were tasked to designate their own Marine protected Areas along an imaginary coastline and create their rules and restrictions. We are looking forward to bringing the students to the Watamu Marine National Park for an educational trip as we help them connect with the real thing.
EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH KITCHEN GARDEN.
We recognise the intersectionality between gender inequalities and environmental issues like the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. Therefore, attention to gender is a core component of this proposed project. In Kenya, as is true in much of the developing world, women are tasked with procuring and cooking food for the household. This responsibility places enormous physical and emotional strain on women, particularly when food is difficult to find due to drought or other climatic unpredictability.
Through this project we have engaged community women around Watamu Marine National Park who have shown interest through their commitment. They have been attending the training and collecting materials for the preparation of their kitchen gardens. This shows project ownership which is very key in community projects. Currently we have engaged 48 women who have attended two trainings; one on the introduction to kitchen garden and the other on how to make a kitchen garden.
As we continue with the project, we would like to thank Slovak Aid for supporting our work.