This group was established in 2009 in an effort to reduce the dependence and pressure on the resources of Mida Creek and the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. The 25 members began conservation activities such as mangrove planting, promoting the use of sustainable fishing methods and engaging in participatory forest management, as well as practising crop and animal farming.
The group grows cassava, sorghum and tomatoes both to sell as a source of alternative income and for use in their own homes. They have also invested in free range chicken farming and more recently rabbit farming. Their successes and struggles have attracted organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Ministry of Agriculture Kilifi County to come to their assistance. They have been offered training, equipment and seedlings. Their hard work has resulted in the group being chosen as an example for other groups in Kilifi County and their farming and conservation activities used as demonstration sites for other groups to learn from and duplicate. They even recently hosted a Farmers’ Day with the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Living so close to Mida Creek, the members of the group who engage in fishing activities participate in our Bycatch Release Programme and engage in “Turtle Watching”, keeping an eye on the turtles feeding in the creek. Our Community Liaison Officer in Mida provides education and awareness on conservation issues and has also been able to advise them on their farming activities, as well as pointing them in the right direction whenever any more specialist assistance is required.
This group also has an amazing talent for entertaining. They have produced plays on turtle conservation, elephant poaching and drugs prevention. The plays are very educational and an excellent medium to pass on what they have learned to the larger community.
Mida Creek Conservation Fishing and Awareness Group is a fantastic example of how a relatively small number of people can have an incredibly large impact for the benefit of their natural surroundings. We will continue to work closely with them to support them in their activities.