Lamcot Quarterly Newsletters

Lamcot Year 2017: What Has Been Happening....

Turtle & Nest Protection;
LaMCoT started as the Turtle Project and the heart and backbone of LaMCoT is still the Turtle Project.
This year we have experienced a low season; with a total of 13 turtles tagged and released back into the ocean. In terms of number of baby turtles released; the year, has not been the best of nesting season due to the lack of rain.
No of successful hatchlings, 4203 up from 3383 last year.
One case on mortality- juvenile green turtle (43cm*37.5cm); Kaila; tagged Oct 5, was recaptured sick about 10 days later. Then transferred to Watamu Turtle Watch for treatment, where she succumbed to lesions on her upper intestines about a month later in November.

Education & Awareness – The School program covers one secondary school and four primary schools on a weekly basis:
Shella Pry, Shella Bright Girls Sec, Kijani Int. Sch, Ama Pry, Kipungani Pry and Matondoni
Pry. – Educational efforts focus not only on marine turtles, but also on the archipelago’s unique
ecosystem and health issues. Topics include: HIV/AIDS, hygiene & sanitation, drugs &
substance abuse, life skills, caring for our oceans and environment in general. – The Education project also includes excursions for the schools to the turtle nests and a yearly
beach cleanup. – Plans to launch an annual “Ocean/Conservation Day” and engage the young generation more in
conservation advocacy efforts. – Awareness creation and sensitization also focuses on local fishermen and community members;
through capacity building and dialogue forums on emerging environmental issues such as effects
of plastic waste on marine, dry land and human life as well.

Livelihoods & Income Generating Activities
Alternative local environmental friendly and sustainable sources of livelihood…
1. Manda Toto Conservancy
Continued concerted efforts to protect one of Lamu Archipelago’s coral reefs richly endowed area– Manda Toto Island. – Buoys have been put in the snorkeling area to prevent breaking of corals; – Being a prime breeding area, a fishing ban has been put in place using Paté and Shanga villages as the protectors; community conservation has resulted in direct benefit to local surrounding community (income generation, through snorkeling trips and activities)

2. Bee brooding Project – The bee project currently consists of six hives; unfortunate cases of vandalism
in the past. – Plans to scale it up to about 20 beehives. At the moment a location has been
identified in Manda Yawi, Lamu for the bee brooding project.

3. The Camel Project – Camels used to be a common means of transport on the island years ago.
But not anymore. – We have reintroduced them for a couple of reasons; first garbage collection
during beach clean ups; – Secondly an income generating idea for the local community (tourist rides
packages- sunset rides by the dunes and such like);and – As a means of transport for the more remote villages on Lamu Island.
Plans to strengthen this project in 2018

Environmental Clean ups; Waste collection & disposal
Includes regular daily clean ups across Shela village through the Shela Environmental Resident Group/SERG;
Participation in cleanup activities in Lamu town organized by state and non state stakeholders e.g. Fisheries clean up day, Lamu town, 11.12.2017;
Annual beach cleanup activities to mark International Coastal Cleanup Day on 16/09/2017.

LaMCoT also joined Angelika Schuetz’s efforts through SERG in the noble effort of cleaning Shela beach up to Kipungani. 12 kilometers covered from Shela to Kizingo over a period of 2 months, and around 33 tons of waste (including plastic and other waste). I.e. an estimated 1850 bags translating into about 200 donkey loads, 10 tractor trips and 3 freight dhow trips.
The cleanup efforts culminated in the “Taka Taka Exhibition” held at Lamu fort 21st-25th Sept. 2017; in close collaboration with the Lamu Museums, education department.
The exhibition was officially opened by the current Lamu County governor Fahim Twaha; who acknowledged the existing challenges and gaps in waste management across the County. He
promised to work with stakeholder groups to remedy the current situation.
Lamu County was however applauded for the good record noted so far; nationwide for compliance to the recent plastic ban laws.
Samples of collected debris were put on exhibit to get people’s attention on the effects of plastic waste. Recycled items and art was on display to showcase and promote local enterprises.
Presentations were also carried out in about 10 local primary and secondary schools to engage the young generation in conversations around the topic of plastic waste disposal and management.

PR, Networking & Community engagement:- – LaMCoT has utilized several local stakeholder platforms and opportunities for publicity this year including:-
 Information desk @ Lamu Cultural Festival 2017
 Fishermen day 2017
 Taka taka exhibition program 2017
 Fisheries stakeholder forums
 Interviews with an environmental journalist and a travel journalist

- Also kept contact and worked with other marine life organizations based in the coastal region in particular, Watamu Turtle Watch; who offered treatment to Kaila, one of our tagged turtles this year. Unfortunately she succumbed to lesions on her upper intestines.

- We are grateful for such kind support and gestures and look forward to strengthening our existing networks and forging new ones in our conservation endeavors.