Covid-19 Jobs for Conservation

The Covid 19 Jobs for Conservation was started to create jobs for fishing communities during the Covid 19 pandemic while protecting sea turtles and our natural resources in Watamu. 

Covid 19 disrupted most of the reliable income practices the local communities were depending on. Our fishing community’s welfare crippled, and the fishermen became desperate to do any jobs they could find to earn a living. 

The Watamu community came together and donated to create jobs, rehabilitate the environment, clean the beach and to support conservation heroes. 

LOC Covid 19 Relief Jobs for Conservation is engaging fishing communities to participate in marine conservation activities in Watamu and giving a small stipend of Ksh 500.00 to help them put food on their table for their families. 

With your support, as of 26 Aug 2020 we have been able to raise Ksh130,000 through the campaign, with our Jobs for Conservation work over that period costing Ksh 129,700

See detailed expenditure: LOC COVID 19 JOBS FOR CONSERVATION_Aug Report.

For those who supported, we thank you very much for enabling this project!

Activities 

The activities are beach clean-ups and mangrove re-stocking in the Mida creek.   These are activities that LOC has over the past encouraged the community to adapt.  Beach clean-ups are second to nature for fishermen and beach operators because of the education and awareness from LOC community liasion officers.  With the pandemic, all business activities on the beach were closed and curfews limited fishermen’s time.  Parts of the beach and creek areas were left deserted and isolated. 

Benefits 

Five beach and two creek clean-ups were conducted and two mangrove seedlings restocking done. From seven clean ups we have collected 6,175kg of rubbish and we have restocked 1,035 seedlings. The rubbish collected was transported to Eco World.  184 participants have participated and benefited from these activities.  They include 5 fishermen groups, 2 women groups and 1 beach operator group. 

Conservation jobs cushioning fishermen from economic hardships brought about by the covid-19 pandemic

Challenges 

  • Community members worked during heavy rains.  It has been very difficult to get any income for them and LOC offered them a chance that they were not willing to miss out on because of the weather 
  • Rain made the soil loose, the truck transporting litter got stuck in the ground.  It took a tractor and many helpful hands to pull it out of the loose sand. 
  • Beach clean-ups are organised for 20 people at a time to ensure we follow the guidelines not to crowd and to keep social distancing.   However, we had many people appear and they were willing to participate.  Where numbers had increased (unplanned), we reduced the payment per person by half to cover all participants. 
  • Some sacks used for the beach clean-ups were stolen and exchanged for cash to buy food or other use.
  • Community members are requesting that the clean-up projects continue as waste keeps washing up, but financial constraints inhibit this.

LOC has always encouraged the community to love their local ocean, and it is something we know they have done in the past from the bottom of their hearts.  We are very grateful that this time we can help people to sustain themselves and we are able to do this with your support. 

Help is still needed

Conservation support has been severely impacted by COVID 19 and we are now shifting our fundraising efforts to cover our core programme costs – see programmes here.

Click here to donate