Tourism Boosts Economic Growth on Wasini Island

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Wasini Island, 75 km from Mombasa, Ksitem Pungti Marine Park and Reserve It was created to protect picturesque islands and special habitats for a variety of endemic marine animals and migratory breeding birds.

Marine parks managed and protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are the engine of commerce and the economic empowerment of community members.

According to KWS Park Warden Paul Wambi, KWS rangers and communities are working together to protect marine life and protected areas.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Kisite Mpunguti Park Warden Paul Wambi. Photo courtesy of David Macharia / Versatile Photography

Additionally, Wanbi says it will boost the community‘s economy. KWS only charges Ksh 200 for entry to the park for Kenyans and East African citizens who leave the community to do business on the reserve.

Businesses in the community include renting a boat to tour the vast waters of Kisitompungti, renting snorkeling equipment, hotel owners, Simoni Slavic cave tours, and walking along the boardwalk. of the coral garden. , Offer accommodation, etc. For tourists.

Photo by David Macharia / Multi-purpose photography, KWS ticket to access Kisite Mpunguti park and reserve

Fatma Kasim Gamber, the keeper of the Simoni Slave Caves, who talks about the benefits of tourism, says the community has recently benefited from national and international tourism.

“For the small price we charge tourists (200 Ksh), we modify it and bring it back to the community. Make sure the local school PTA teachers are paid and the medicine at the local hospital. We are going to stock up and provide monthly food to schools for the hearing impaired so that children from disadvantaged backgrounds can go to school, ”Gambere explains.

Tourism Boosts Economic Growth on Wasini Island
Fatma Kasim Gamber, the keeper of the Simoni Slave Cave, visits KBC’s Cynthia Nyamai. Photo courtesy of David Macharia / Versatile Photography

Gambert also says that the Slave Cave was a very sad reminder of what happened in the past, but the community is making the most of the situation by avoiding the stories and using the cave to uplift the community. ..

Another large community project that has spurred the growth of Wasini Island is the Wasini Women’s Group, which is made up of approximately 70 women from the community.

A wooden boardwalk co-built by KWS and the villagers. Photo courtesy of David Macharia / Versatile Photography

The 70-member group is directly responsible for operation and management, collects visitation fees (Ksh 200), technical support from experienced construction engineers and governments of the Netherlands and Germany.

According to Zubeida Muyongo, president of Wasini Women Group, the revenues include replenishment of regional hospitals, payment of doctors’ fees in clinics, support for madrassa courses, job creation and payment of tuition fees to people. disadvantaged. Assigned to the village well-being project.

“We have educated up to four children over the age of 35, eight of whom have already graduated from university and the rest are enrolled in colleges and higher education institutions. We educate now. We value and use this initiative to move the agenda forward, ”she said.

Tourism Boosts Economic Growth on Wasini Island
Wasini Women’s Group President Zubaidamu Yongo on the Wasini Community Walk. Photo courtesy of David Macharia / Versatile Photography

In addition, Muyongo says that this initiative will allow many members of the community to gain exposure through training in chefs, hoteliers and the service industry, which will create better life opportunities.

“Through this initiative, I also received valuable education, such as being able to recycle garbage and earn money. I learned how to build an office from recycled materials and how to make jewelry and keychain bracelets. “She adds.

In conclusion, the President concludes that the World Wildlife Fund-Kenya (WWF-Kenya) and KWS are supporting community initiatives and providing educational material on how to continue to protect the environment, especially mangroves, and how to grow the herbaria they want. It indicates that it is. Export immediately, save the promenade, and continue to earn community income.

Lily Mwasi-Marine Coordinator, WWF-Kenya walks with the mangrove blanket on Wasini Island. Photo courtesy of David Macharia / Versatile Photography

“We are increasingly dependent on the ocean for our livelihoods. This can have a negative impact on the sustainability of ecosystems, so what we are doing now does not compromise resources. To teach the community, “Lily Mwashi-Marine Coordinator, WWF-Kenya.

In addition, Mwashi said that the work done by WWF-Kenya has had a positive impact on the coastal areas, which are ranked among the poorest areas.

“With education on the blue economy, the community now makes a living while maintaining sustainability for future generations and educating young people and children who will be future champions of the environment,” she said. declared. Said.

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