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Kilifi conservationists group reaps big from mangroove seedling business

As we celebrate  World Environment Day 2023 today, a conservation group in Kilifi County is reaping big from the sale of mangrove seedlings.

The Kidundu Mtongani conservation self-help Group is making at least Sh10.5 million annually from the venture. The seedlings are at the same time used to restore mangrove forest cover in the area

Kidundu-Mtongani Conservation group chair Stephen Chivatsi said the efforts have been made possible with the support of Gro With Us a Non-governmental organisation.

The group, which has 30 members, has so far managed to restore 500 acres of mangrove plantation in Kidundu village.

Chivatsi said besides helping to mitigate the effects of climate change, the restoration and enrichment of the mangrove ecosystem helps to fight poverty in the community by generating new income avenues.

Speaking in Kidundu Village After planting more than   10,000 Mangrove seedlings, Chivatsi said the mangrove restoration efforts have also enhanced fishing activities in the area

Chivatsi said the revenue from the sale of mangrove seedlings has not only enhanced conservation works but also helps in the initiation of development programmes like access to medical health care, access to clean water and education.

He noted that since they got the support of the NGO in 2019, the proceeds from the mangrove seedlings selling has doubled.

Jesca Katana, a 30 years old member, said their conservation efforts have greatly changed their lives.

She said despite the group taking part in fishponds and prawns rearing, their sales inputs are too small compared to the sales of mangrove seedlings.

Gro with Us Africa managing director Kelly Banda said that the project has been successful due to the support of the community and the high level of commitment.

He said his organization is working with the Mtongani -Kidundu group to restore mangrove forest cover and empower the community economically.

He said it is a 7 years project that is targeting to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change along the coastal region.

He further said that they are planning to establish other conservation areas along the Coastline as part of expanding  their conservation efforts.

“As part of conservation, plans are underway to make sure communities along the Coastline get informed on the importance of conserving mangrove forests. From here we will pitch tent in Maya Island and Watamu and then will go to Mombasa and Diani in Kwale County,” he said.

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