Small Grants Fund project on mangrove resources in Kenya

27/07/2005

2002-cycle SGF project for capacity building in mangrove-based communities

The Ramsar Secretariat has the pleasure to announce that Kenya has just brought to completion a very successful project aimed at empowering local communities to use mangrove resources sustainably for their and the environment's benefit. Entitled "Training and Technical Assistance on Aquasilviculture and Apiculture to Mangrove based communities in Kenya", the project's objective was to provide training and technical assistance focused on skills and knowledge related to beekeeping, beehive construction, crab culture, crab cage and pen construction, mangrove re-forestation, conservation and sustainable exploitation. As stated in the final report submitted to the Secretariat, the project was carried out in a participatory way by involving government institutions and local NGOs which either already had working partnerships with mangrove-based community groups or assisted in choosing grassroots groups for training by this project.

In total, 14 community groups living adjacent to the mangroves have been trained by the project.

As concerns the silviculture component, ten potential reforestation sites were identified in collaboration with the relevant local groups, and mangrove tree nurseries were set up in each. The species planted consisted of the common species Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, Avicennia marina and Sonneratia alba, amounting to a total of 22,395 mangrove trees planted. It seems that the trees are well tended and all of them will most likely survive to be mature trees.

On the aquaculture side, it was deemed necessary to have a training component on crab-tending after a survey revealed that the mud crab Scylla serrata could be collected from the mangrove swamps throughout the year. It was also revealed that there is a group of specialist mud crab collectors who engage in this occupation and who sell them to tourist hotels, but however fetch very low prices due to the crabs generally being of small size. After the training, two crab pens and 18 crab cages were constructed and stocked. A total of 115.2 kg of mud crabs were harvested from the crab cages. The pens were harvested once, producing a total of 168 kg of a mixture of prawns (Penaeus monodon, P. indicus, P. semisulcatus), fish and crabs. At the moment, a committee has been set up to visit the major tourist hotels in Mombasa, Kilifi and Malindi to find out the seasons when their highest demand for the giant mud crabs is and the best prices offered.

Training on apiculture covered aspects such as:

(i) shortcomings of traditional honey harvesting (burning of bees when harvesting, not knowing when honey is ready for harvesting, hanging traditional hives too high or too low on the trees, African culture not allowing women to move near hives)
(ii) importance of bee keeping (source of income to farmers, no formal education needed to start apiculture, little space required for placement of hives, not expensive to start, gender neutrality)
(iii) importance of bee keeping to the environment (encourages agroforestry, environmentally friendly, biodiversity conservation)
(iv) record keeping, book keeping and enterprise budget development
(v) beehive construction and site selection
(vi) processing of honey and wax from honeycomb

By the end of the project period, twelve beehives were constructed and three of them cropped once producing 13.9 kg of honeycomb. Since knowledge on construction was acquired during the training sessions, and as more experience is gained, it is hoped that other groups will make an effort to construct hives on their own and eventually apiaries are started. In the meantime, a committee consisting of one member each from the 14 groups has been set up to visit the various supermarkets and retail outlets to identify buyers for the honey and wax.

In addition, an intensive education and awareness campaign was mounted targeting schools and colleges in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Districts. The purpose was to make the young people aware of the ecological, social and cultural importance of mangroves, and hence the need to exploit them in a sustainable way. A total of 23 schools and colleges were visited and lectures given. 14 of the schools were also transported to the project sites to see the work being done with the community groups and to take part in mangrove planting exercises.

Once more, we congratulate Kenya for having undertaken such a hands-on project, which is especially significant in the context of the discussions taking place this year, on the link between wetlands wise-use and poverty alleviation. The Ramsar Secretariat strongly hopes to see more such initiatives in the future!

Lucia Scodanibbio
Assistant Advisor, Africa


Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetland Conservation and Wise Use (SGF)

FINAL REPORT

Country: Kenya
Title of Project: Training and Technical Assistance on Aquasilviculture and Apiculture to Mangrove based communities in Kenya
Project Code: Year of Approval: 2003
Project Officer: Dr Joseph Rasowo
Date Project was completed: August 2004
Date Final report provided: 20thAugust 2004

1. Abstract

The above project was awarded a research grant of Kenya shillings 2,159,301.00 to carry out the project "Training and technical assistance on aquasilviculture and apiculture to mangrove based communities in Kenya". The overall objective was to train the local communities on sustainable exploitation of the mangrove environment. The training was specifically on skills and knowledge of bee keeping, beehive construction, crab culture, crab cage and pen construction, mangrove re-forestation, conservation and sustainable exploitation.

The project was carried out in a participatory way by involving Government organizations, local Non Governmental Organizations and the mangrove based community organizations. The government organizations involved were Moi University (Zoology Department), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute(KMFRI), Coast Development Authority (CDA) and Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS). The local NGOs involved in the project were Local Ocean Trust (Kenya), KWETU, and PACT (Kenya). Each of the above NGOs already had a working partnership with at least one of the mangrove based community groups chosen for training by this project.

By the end of the project period, a total of 14 community groups living adjacent to the mangroves had been trained by the project. Twelve beehives, two crab pens, and 18 crab cages were constructed and stocked while 10 mangrove tree nurseries were set up and 22,395 mangrove trees planted. A total of 115.2 kg of mud crabs (Scylla serrata) were harvested from the crab cages. The pens were harvested once producing a total of 168 kg of a mixture of prawns ( Penaeus monodon, P.indicus, P.semisulcatus), fish and crabs. Three of the beehives were cropped once producing 13.9 kg of honeycomb.

An intensive education and awareness campaign was mounted targeting schools and colleges in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Districts. The purpose was to make these young people aware of the importance of mangroves (ecological, social and cultural) hence the need to exploit them in a sustainable way. A total of 23 schools and colleges were visited and lectures given. Out of this number, 14 of the schools were transported to the project sites to see the work being done with the community groups and also to take part in mangrove planting exercises.

2. Achievements against each project objective

Objective 1: To conduct demonstration projects with mangrove based communities to train them on techniques of aquasilviculture and apiculture

There were three outputs expected from the above objective ie setting up of mangrove tree nurseries, crab pen culture units and apiculture units. This involved the identification of mangrove based communities and local NGOs to be trained on the above activities.

By the end of the project period, a total of 14 community groups living adjacent to the mangroves and three 3 local NGOs had been identified and trained by the project. The criteria used for selection of these groups was the mission and objective of the groups, possession of a current registration certificate, possession of clear records of membership and activities including finances and physical proximity to the mangroves.

(i)Output 1: Tree Nurseries and planting of mangrove seedlings

Eight mangrove species were found to be growing in the project areas. These were Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, Avicennia marina, Sonneratia alba, Xylocarpus granatum, Xylocarpus molluccensis, Bruguiera gymnorhiza and Exoecaria agallocha. The most common species were R.mucronata,C.tagal, A.marina and S.alba. The fruiting patterns of each mangrove species was documented and seasonality hence availability of seedlings determined

Tasks completed

Ten sites were identified and mangrove tree nurseries set up in each. Tsunza creek site had 3 nurseries, Mtepeni creek site 3, and Dabaso creek site 4 respectively . The sites chosen for locating the nurseries were flat with muddy soil, shaded (to reduce stress from direct sunlight), were flooded by tides daily and were near freshwater source. Propagules were planted in a vertical position in 7" by10" plastic bags.

Mangrove trees cannot be planted in every empty space in the mangrove swamp. There is always a need to evaluate potential sites where there is a chance of the seedlings to regenerate. Potential reforestation sites were therefore identified in collaboration with the relevant local community group. In majority of cases the areas chosen were areas where clear felling of the trees had taken place. Once a site was identified, it was re-planted at a plant spacing of 1.5m by 1.5m using nursery grown seedlings, freshly fallen propagules or wildlings (transplants). Before propagules were planted, they were sorted and checked for evidence of diseases, deformities, or damages. Small, non-uniformly colored, broken or bruised propagules as well as those showing signs of attack by borer insects were discarded. Wildlings and young mangrove trees were also checked to ensure that the root-ball was intact.

Mtepeni Abent Conservation Group has now planted 5,873 young trees, Dabaso Creek Conservation Group 9,822 and Tsunza Village Conservation Group 6700 trees respectively. All the trees are well tended and all of them will most likely survive to be mature trees. The mangrove tree species planted consisted of the common species namely Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, Avicennia marina and Sonneratia alba

Mangrove tree nurseries

(ii)Out-put 2: Crab culture

A survey revealed that the mud crab Scylla serrata could be collected from the mangrove swamps throughout the year. It was also revealed that there is a group of specialist mud crab collectors who engage in this occupation and who sell them to Tourist hotels. They however fetched very low prices for their catches as the crabs were generally of small size.

Tasks completed

After training on crab culture, Dabaso Creek Conservation Group has constructed and stocked eight (8) cages while Mtepeni Abent ten (10) cages for crab fattening. Each cage has a stocking capacity of 8 mud crabs. The crabs are fed twice per day at 10% body weight for one month until they reach the desired weight of 500 grams or more at which time they are sold to the Tourist Hotels. Harvesting has been done two times in these cages with a total of 115.2 Kg being realized. This was sold at the good price of KSh 145/- per kilogram.

Two pens each measuring 18m by 9m were also built, one at Tsunza village and the other at Mtepeni. The pens were located in areas that had previously been planted with Rhizophora mucronata and Sonneratia alba mangrove species. Inside each pen, perimeter drains 0.3m wide and 0.3m deep which are linked to outlet and inlet drains outside the pens were constructed. The pen walls are made of straight mangrove poles which are piled about 1.0 m into the soil with care taken to leave no gaps between the poles. The fence is 2.5 m high and is reinforced with mosquito netting to ensure there is no escape of the crabs.
Mangrove crabs of average weight of 50g were bought from the specialist collectors in June 2004 and stocked in the two pens at a density of 3 crabs/m2 and were fed on trash fish at 10% total biomass reduced by 1% monthly down to 5% towards the end of the culture. The feed was chopped up in small pieces and fed once a day only during high tide.

Mud crab Scyalla serrata

Crab cage construction

Constructed crab pen

Task partially completed

(i) A committee has been set up to visit the major Tourist Hotels in Mombasa , Kilifi and Malindi to find out the seasons when their is highest demand for the giant mud crabs and the best prices offered.

(iii)Out-put 3: Apiculture

Tasks completed

Hands-on demonstration and training on the farming of the African bee included

(i) shortcomings of traditional honey harvesting ( burning of bees when harvesting, not knowing when honey is ready for harvesting, hanging traditional hives too high or too low on the trees, African culture not allowing women to move near hives)
(ii) importance of bee keeping ( source of income to farmer, no formal education needed to start apiculture, little space required for placement of hives, not expensive to start, gender neutrality
(iii) importance of bee keeping to the environment (encourages agroforesty, environmentally friendly, biodiversity conservation)
(iv) record keeping, book keeping and enterprise budget development
(v) beehive construction and site selection
(vi) processing of honey and wax from honeycomb

Although the traditional hives (bark hive, log hive, box hives) are cheaper and requires no major capital investment, we preferred to train the community groups on the construction of the Langstroth hive. This is because unlike the traditional hives and even the Top-Bar hive, Langstroth hives give cleaner honey and wax and there is little disturbance of the queen bee and the brood. The Langstroth hives are also comparatively less destructive to the mangrove trees than the traditional hives. People cut down an average of 1 tree for each traditional hive they construct unlike for Langstroth where one uses already sawn timber.

Two Langstroth beehives were constructed during the training sessions while 10 were purchased from a local supplier. These were distributed to 3 community groups with each getting 4 hives. The groups given the hives were Mtepeni Abent Group, Mwavitendo Self Help Group and Mtepeni Youth Association. These were the groups which had mangrove sites judged ideal for demonstration bee keeping. Since knowledge on construction was acquired during the training sessions it was hoped that the other groups would make an effort to construct more hives on their own. As they gain more experience the groups are expected to construct more hives and eventually start apiaries.

So far Mwavitendo Self HelpGroup and Mtepeni Youth Association have done cropping once in one and two hives respectively. Mwavitendo harvested 5.5 kg of honeycomb while Mtepeni Youth Association harvested 8.4 kg. Processing was done using a water pan to separate the honey from the wax. In each case this initial harvest of honey was divided among the group members for home consumption. The wax was sold in Mtwapa market at KShs13/- per kg which was a rather low price.

Assembling of a langstroth bee hive

Task partially completed

The identification of a regular buyer and hence market for the wax and the honey has not been done. Once this is done then the groups can receive realistic prices for their produce. A committee consisting of 1 member each from the 14 groups has been set up to visit the various supermarkets and retail outlets to identify buyers for the honey and wax.

Task not attempted
(i) Forming a beekeepers association which will eventually give the community groups a stronger bargaining power for marketing and financial procurement
(ii) Setting up a central processing centre/factory furnished with equipment for honey and wax processing
(iii) Purchasing of honey harvesting equipment (clothes, bee veil, swarm catcher, hive tool, smoker, gloves etc)

Objective 2: To conduct mangrove wetland education and awareness through hands-on training, seminars and lectures

(i)Out-put : Education and awareness

Tasks completed

(i)Trainings

With the assistance of three consultants, two day trainings were conducted each month to community based groups. The average size of groups for each training session was 20 people. A five day seminar was carried out for all the groups including a few invited stakeholders in the month of June 2004. The mangrove community groups trained by the project are; Dabaso Creek Conservation Group, Jipe Moyo Conservation Group, Tsunza Community Conservation Group, Vimoyoni Viriko Mangrove Conservation Group, Magangani Fishermen Conservation Group, Mida Fishermen Conservation Group, Uyombo Fishermen Conservation Group, Umoja Fishermen Conservation Group, Mwavitendo Self Help Group, Mtepeni Abent Group, Mtepeni Youth Association, Mtepeni Women Group, Urafiki Project Network, and Wasini Women Self Help Group

(ii) Lectures in schools and colleges

Several Secondary and Primary Schools were visited whereby the project personnel gave lectures on mangrove uses, sustainable exploitation and conservation. The secondary schools visited were the following; Alidina Visram High school, Shimo la Tewa High School, Shariff Nassir Girls, Shanzu Teachers Training College, Tudor Secondary school, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Nahyan, Coral High School, Mombasa Polytechnic, Tononoka Secondary School, Memon High School, Baptist High School and Mombasa Technical Training Institute.

The primary schools included Mtepeni Primary School, Mida Primary School, Dabaso Primary School, Gede Primary School, Shimo la Tewa Primary School, Bondeni Primary School, Mbheni Primary Shool, Kikowani Primary School, Kaloleni Primary School, Mtwapa Elite Academy, and St.Timothy Academy
Tononoka Secondary School, Memon High School, Baptist High School, Shimo la Tewa High School, Shariff Nassir Girls, Mtepeni Primary School, Mida Primary School, Dabaso Primary School, Gede Primary School, Shimo la Tewa Primary School, Bondeni Primary School, Mbheni Primary Shool, Kikowani Primary School, and Kaloleni Primary School were transported to the project sites on different occasions to view the work being done in collaboration with the community groups. The days the schools visited the project sites it was considered a field day with the students participating in mangrove seedling planting.


Dr. Rasowo during a training session


Group discussion by trainees

Field training for trainees

Tasks not attempted
(i) Information sheets; The cost of producing the information sheets by local printers was extremely high and above the budgeted figure.
(ii) Agricultural shows: The Mombasa Agricultural Show was scheduled to take place at the time the project had ended.

3. Overall project outcomes

Overall, the project has achieved what it set out to do

4. Budgetary details

A detailed expenditure and income account referring to the original project budget has been submitted below. Expenditure and income has been indicated in the currency in which they have actually occurred (Kenya shilling). The exchange rate in Swiss Francs has been provided. All funds allocated to the project from the SGF were spent in accordance with the project specifications and budget

Not all the funds were spent. Indicated below are the amount of unspent funds and recommendation of possible uses for these funds for the Ramsar Bureau to consider. [Recommendation: The funds can be used to purchase honey harvesting equipment (clothes, bee veil, swarm catcher, hive tool, smoker, protective gloves) to be used in rotation by all the community groups.]

Unspent funds: Swiss francs
Swiss francs=169.63 ( 9,211 Kenya Shillings)

Table 1. Expenditure and Income Account in Kenya Shillings
(1 Swiss franc= 54.3 Kenya Shilling)

Output

Fiscal Year

Approved Budget

Expenditure

Overspent (+) / Underspent(-)

Tree nurseries

FY03-FY04

30,000

36,750

(+) 6,750

Crab culture

FY03-FY04

115,000

120,260

(+) 5,260

Apiculture

FY03-FY04

70,000

77,000

(+) 7,000

Education & Awareness

FY03-FY04

265,000

270,950

(+) 5950

Personnel

FY03-FY04

220,000

202,800

(-) 17,200

Subcontracts/Consultancies

FY03-FY04

340,000

355,000

(+) 15,000

Travel/Transport

FY03-FY04

200,000

175,775

(-) 24,225

Equipment

FY03-FY04

330,000

263,764

(-)66,236

Total Expenditure

 

1,502,299

 

RECEIVED

 

1,511,510

BALANCE(unspent funds)

 

9,211

 

Output

Fiscal Year

Approved Budget

Expenditure

Overspent (+) / Underspent(-)

Tree nurseries

FY03-FY04

30,000

36,750

(+) 6,750

Crab culture

FY03-FY04

115,000

120,260

(+) 5,260

Apiculture

FY03-FY04

70,000

77,000

(+) 7,000

Education & Awareness

FY03-FY04

265,000

270,950

(+) 5950

Personnel

FY03-FY04

220,000

202,800

(-) 17,200

Subcontracts/Consultancies

FY03-FY04

340,000

355,000

(+) 15,000

Travel/Transport

FY03-FY04

200,000

175,775

(-) 24,225

Equipment

FY03-FY04

330,000

263,764

(-)66,236

Total Expenditure

 

1,502,299

 

RECEIVED

 

1,511,510

BALANCE(unspent funds)

 

9,211

5. Project officer

Name: Dr. Joseph Rasowo
Institution: Moi University
Address: Zoology Department, Box 1125 ELDORET, Kenya

6. Approved by the Ramsar Administrative Authority

Name and title: Anderson Koyo
Administrative Authority: Kenya Wildlife Services

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