The mangroves of Tudor Creek are unique because of their peri-urban setting so close to the settlements of Kisauni, Mikindani, and Mombasa’s Old Town. This sets the project apart from other mangrove restoration projects in Kenya which are located in more ‘conventional’ settings and which subsequently attract more media attention and funding. What makes the site special is the manner in which the restoration work is deeply entwined with the local, urban community. School children often help out with planting activities, the restoration community leader is a respected member of the community, and the initiative has key support from community elders. Many restoration projects located so close to urban settlements tend to lead to ongoing conflict, whereas Mombasa Mangrove Forest is successfully bridging the gap with awareness campaigns and proactive outreach. The community members doing the active restoration work are both the hardest workers and the most successful ambassadors. They are all from nearby villages, mostly women and many of whom are single mothers. Local fishermen, who depend on the mangroves for healthy fish stocks, are also actively supporting the work. Despite being so close to the city, the mangroves are teeming with a kaleidoscope of blue, red, and yellow fiddler crabs, darting water salamanders, a broad variety of colourful bird species, and beautiful (but harmless!) golden orb weaver spiders.
Mangrove restoration is the main activity at this ecosystem restoration community, alongside beach cleanups, beekeeping, fish farming, and community awareness and sensitization on environmental conservation. Restoration efforts have had a positive impact on the environment and marine life – as well as local livelihoods. Fish are now available in large quantities compared to previous years due to increased breeding grounds for fish. Community members are involved in the restoration initiatives as much as possible to ensure they benefit from them. Where possible Mombasa Mangrove Forest supports community welfare, helping to ensure children remain in school, and that small business enterprises can be developed within the community.
The existing mangrove treeline consists of approximately 215 hectares of mangroves, of which Mombasa Mangrove Forest has actively restored approximately 12 hectares. The plan is to fully restore the remaining 1400 hectares of mud flats, which, up until a few decades ago, contained a thriving ecosystem of mangrove trees. Restoration work began outwards from the existing treeline adjacent to Junda village, to maximise the survival rate of newly planted seedlings. Mombasa Mangrove Forest works in partnership with a number of key government agencies and NGOs including Brain Youth Group, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Coastal Development Authority, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, the World Bank and UNDP.
Restoration of livelihoods
Educational courses and experiences