Annual Report on Lamu Marine 2008-2009


Lamcot would like to send its gratitude to TUSK TRUST for their financial support especially in the running cost of the whole project since 2002.

Many thanks also go to Peponi hotel for their logistical support and Manda bay for their big support towards Manda Toto conservancy.

Special thanks go to Seacology for their financial support towards Manda Toto conservancy for some of the infrastructure installation, WWF for their help in mooring installation, and Lamu Community at large for their positive response towards Lamcot vision and mission for their own benefit.

We would also like to thank Project Aware Foundation for their help in getting the sound system for education and awareness programme conducted by Lamcot.
Moreover, we would like to thank all nest and tag sponsors for their donations, and the turtle team for their excellent performance administratively and on ground.

It is not always possible to mention everyone by name, especially all those who gave both in cash and in kind for their effort and time.

Project Description
About Us

Two of the most endangered sea turtles on earth nest in the Lamu archipelago: the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle.  In 1992, Carol Korschen of the Peponi Hotel started a project to protect them.  Today the Lamu Marine Conservation Trust (LAMCOT) employs four guards who protect sea turtle nests, offers incentives to reduce fishermen’s incidental catch, tags and monitors turtles as part of an ongoing research project, and works with the local community to educate students about these remarkable animals. 

Through our partnership with the U.K.-based Tusk Trust, LAMCOT sponsors four environmental clubs involving 100 children who study marine conservation issues every week. 
In addition Lamcot is a non-political community based organization, formed and registered under the Ministry of Gender and Social Service in Lamu.  Its development philosophy aims to support local community actions in sustainable management of coastal ecosystems. Apart from providing direct environmental and livelihood benefits locally, Lamcot projects offers tangible ‘Models’ to inspire policy-making and give voice to the local disadvantaged players.

Project Vision
To be known as good ambassadors to our stakeholders for excellence in local capacity strengthening, economic recovery and sustainable resource management.

Project Mission
To promote innovative solutions and global responsibility by facilitating lasting change in sustainable development and management of environmental aquatic resources.

Project Objectives
1) Undertaking protection of nesting and foraging sea turtles on Lamu and Manda Island.
2) Protection of the Coral reefs. Specifically the hot sport biodiversity of Manda Toto.
3) Education and awareness to school children.
4) Establish a greater understanding and wise use of marine biodiversity amongst the local communities to improve their livelihood.
5) Awareness creation on marine conservation amongst hoteliers and tourists visiting the area.
6) Campaigning on destructive and illegal marine exploitation
LaMCoT employs 9 staff under project funds from Tusk Trust

Atwaa   – Project manager – B.A. Resource management from Nairobi University
Hasanaat  – Project assistant – helps to write up the blog daily, keep records
Famau – Education officer
Muhaji – Captain of the projects dhow and small canoe
Mohamed Twahir-A form four leaver who joined Lamcot as a volunteer.
Odo & Abdi – Ex poachers from Takwa beach now turned Protectors
Mahmud & Jilo – Ex poachers from Shela beach now turned Protectors, take care of our camels.
Ali Bulo- Care taker of the green belt movement at the Airstrip (Trees donated by Tust Trust, planted by Environmental Kindness Clubs) 

Projects undertaken by Lamcot
The most important projects carried out by LaMCoT at present are:
1) Turtle protection and monitoring
2) Education programme
3) Capacity building for Lamu fishermen
4) Conservation of Manda Toto snorkeling sites
5) Bee keeping project
6) Dhow regional medical and conservation services.
7) Stopping aquarium fishing (e.g. by promoting public awareness)
8) Information and PR (information panels, web site, brochures etc.).
9) Mangrove rehabilitation project
10) The green belt movement
11) Idd Baraza, Shela community welfare project.
12) Camel project

Nest Results
There has been a continuity of the initial work set up by Carol Korschen on both Manda and Lamu Islands, this includes:-
1. Patrols of the potential nesting beaches to prevent nesting females from being poached. If females are found nesting tagging is attempted after the laying of eggs, as recommended.
2. Nests are then verified. Translocation is carried out if the nesting site is unsuitable, i.e. below the high tide water mark, vulnerable to erosion, amongst too much vegetation etc.
3. The nests are then continually observed and protected as much as possible against predators during the incubation period.
4. Once the eggs have hatched the nests are opened up to rescue any late hatchlings and the number of eggs hatched and unhatched from each nest is recorded. Bellow is a graphical summery from 1997.

Yes!! Our turtles are coming back at Shella Beach
18 years back Shella cumulative turtle hatchlings were at average of 500 hatchlings last year was a bit high at an average of 757 hatchlings. This year Lamcot has recorded an average of 2000 hatchlings.  
This indicate that those turtles released safely 18 years back are now coming to have their generation in progression.

                      The baby turtle
Tag Results
Lamu Maine Conservation has managed to collect the below data concerning tagging and release on the accidentals turtles and laying mothers.
                    A big mama turtle
   Rehabilitation and release
  The first ever seen Olive Ridley by Lamcot Staff

It is for the first time that Lamcot staff had an opportunity to see an Olive Ridley.  This turtle was brought by the fishermen not in good condition; skinny and emaciated. We had her admitted to our local hospital whilst getting some assistance from a lady in Australia in the Chelonia Rehabilitation Center by the name Lesley Baird. We did all our level best to rescue her.   Carol Korschen had her flown to Malindi to Watamu Turtle Watch for further medication. In the first two days her condition was improving.  In her third day of admission her condition deteriorated and she died eventually.  For more information please visit our new web:

Manda toto M.P.A
Manda toto conservancy is the first pilot project for sustainable management of corals in Lamu Archipelago. It is a multilateral sponsored programme conceived by Lamu Marine conservation Trust (TUSK TRUST) and geared forward by infrastructure support from Seacology, National coordinator (WWF Kenya), Peponi Hotel, Manda Bay Resort and other keen individuals and hotel operators.
This is a big achievement to both Lamcot and Tust Trust for their diligence in making the Kiweni community specifically the poorest people of Pate Island ( Eastern Archipelago of Lamu) to embrace the deep meaning of M.P.A for their own benefit.  Seacology have provided some infrastructure for the taking off stage of the project eg  moorings for boundary demarcation and anchorage, snorkeling gear, solar inverter system and communication equipment in exchange for demarcation and gazettment of a community managed marine conservation area in Kiweni, Lamu archipelago.

      Meeting at Pate                                       

International Consultancy
PUM- Adviser Fer von der Assen with the school children to the clean up

In September 2008 Carol Korschen, sent a request to PUM for assistance in the development of LaMCoT’s work in environmental protection, conservation of flora and fauna.  Fortunately, the request was accepted and we had an adviser; Mr.Fer Von der assen to our project whilst stayed at Peponi Hotel.
The PUM expert’s s Mission was to be able to assess the activities of LaMCoT and to help it with the possible recommendation. All existing project within Lamcot were discussed based on SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).  We are currently dwelling and thriving under Fer’s recommendation.  We are planning to have him back for Evaluation.
Students from abroad
Teresa Lackey joined us for her dissertation from the University of bssjt, she really enjoyed her stay with us, and she adopted a Green turtle as shown in the picture. For more information on her stay please visit our new web

The Bi-annual Idd Celebration
Lamcot coordinated and facilitated a jubilant and exhilarating events respect to the recent Idd Mubarak(The one after Ramadhan).  Among its activities were: Swimming competition, Dhow race competition, Tug of war, night gather together etc
Winners and runners up received their present at night.  T-Shirt with Lamcot logo and Tust-Trust logo were distributed on that day.
  Tour Guides in their Symbolic T-shirts                      


  Children in the tug of war

The Sea turtle national draft
On 6th -9th April 2009, Atwaa Salim and Famau Shukry were able to attend the workshop for the Draft Proceedings of the National Sea Turtle Stakeholders which was held at Sun ‘n’ Sand Hotel of Kikambala. The convergence was of different Marine turtle expertisee, kescom representatives, and representatives from different turtle conservation groups in the Western Indian Ocean.
The workshop had only one thematic area regarding turtles in Kenya:

‘‘Formulation of a conservation and management strategy to guide the conservation of turtles in Kenya’

  The Sailing Doctors of Lamu-Free Medical Camp
Pate Island and Kiwayu Island is home to a number of historical sites dating back to the 7th century; but the rich history of the place has not had any positive impact on the living conditions of the local inhabitants today. People are in a cultural isolation, living a simple traditional life style characterized by overwhelming necessity and poverty.
Most locals are poor. Local human development indicators estimate shows that 95 percent of the population earn an average of $10 per month; less than fifty cents a day. The livelihood system in Pate is very simple and basically designed to sustain the day to day life. It does not generate any substantial income to cater for long term or significant expenditures on education needs for schooling children or medication needs for their sick.

Project Justification
The people in the said areas are very far from the established Health facilities hence exposed to many health problems and complications. Health outreach services run by AMREF (with support from MOH) which were conducted every 1-2 months throughout the mainland communities of Kiunga Division as reported by Farm Africa in “Participatory Livelihood Analysis of Forest Dependent Communities in Lamu District, Coast Province” in 2004 has since been stopped.

Futhermore, the report for the exploratory Mission (2006) by the two Doctors i, e Brigitte Maitre urand Sarah Pickworth on behalf of Medicins du Monde UK, have really solicited for these kinds of projects
We have done two dhow trips to Pate and Kiwayu so far.

The medical camp at Pate
Future Plans for the Sailing Doctors
The project will be operating in seven villages namely;
Mkokoni, Kiwayuu, Ndau, Kizingitini, Faza, Shanga, and Pate.
There will be carried a mobile camp in the seven villages, two days in each; one day for medication and the other for education. The programme is intended to be carried out after every other month. (Six times a year).
In every village their will be formed a committee to oversee the project implementation process and for a sustainability purpose, especially in education.
The operations will be conducted with respect to lunar Calendar i.e. from 10th through 23rd of each other month so that the communities will know their days automatically

Lamcot and Lamu Cultural Festival
It was with deep pride that Lamu cultural festival welcomes all visitors on 20th of November to Lamu. The archipelago’s unique heritage bears universal values that carry the knowledge and wisdom for cultural pluralism and understanding the world today. The festival continues to promote and preserve for its survival and integrity.

Lamu Marine Conservation Trust didn’t miss its STAKE. All projects under Lamcot were exhibited during three consecutive days.
Lamcot team at the Exhibition
Our New Web Site
Lamu Marine has launched its new web; all diversified friends in conservation would be required to visit  
Our New Sound System from the Project Aware Foundation
Through a proposal writing once again Lamu marine was awarded Kshs 60,000.   This fund was used to buy a new sound system for the education programme

               Famau and the sound system

The International Coastal Beach cleanup

              Shella Pry at clean up                                        
Every year we do participate in the international beach clean up.  Last year the school children did collect debris amount to 700 kgs from Takwa beach.

The Bee project
There are so many fishermen & Mangrove pole collectors in the Mangroves these days, when they find a bee hive, it is often destroyed to see if there is any honey, leaving the bees to swam and find a new home, we are hoping to train the local communities to look after the hives and showing them how to produce honey and make themselves a living & maintain the hives and bees for pollinating our trees.
• Our main project is based at Kibuyuni. LaMCoT has distributed 10 hives to the community of this area where by the harvest will be shared between them and the sponsors (LaMCoT). 
• Ama Environmental Kindness Club has its project on Mangoove Rehabilitation while the bee project for all schools (During time of excursions) after they finish the bee topic (Lecture)
Bee hives at Kibuyuni                       

The Environmental Kindness Clubs
Lamu marine conservation Trust conducts Environmental Kindness Clubs in four Primary Schools on weekly basis; Shella, Ama, Kipungani and Matondoni.
As elsewhere in the Archipelago, school education in Lamu is based on route learning of highly academic syllabi that have little relationship with the surrounding world.  Formal education does not yet provide environmental information on marine issues.

Also extra-curricular activities, such as field excursions, are rarely organized. Very few children have a chance ever to visit coral reefs or even been to the out skirt of the Archipelago. This is also partly due to the fact that school children, and particularly girls, normally do not learn how to swim or snorkel.
The workshop with the school teachers on the curriculum
It is our focus now to take out both boys and girls to our coral conservation area (M.P.A) in the vicinity of Pate Island, in order to make them appreciate on what they are been bestowed with. 
• We show videos, have lectures pertaining conservation and health issues,  quizzes, debates, once a year we have an environment day including all the school with inter club competitons.
• Shela School our first club helped plant the trees at the Manda airstrip 8 years ago.
One of our students after a lesson on the turtles went back to his father who had caught and supplied Lamu with turtle meat for generations telling him it was not a good job to do any more as turtles were endangered and if he brought us the turtles we would tag release and pay him for them

Kijani International school ready to release                                     


Shella school at the hatchling

Planned targets and Proposal 2009-2010
Continuation of all projects undertaken by Lamcot
We are intending to carry on with all projects under the umbrella of Lamcot.

Extension of the Mobile education
Lamcot is intending to expand its educational programme to Amani School by next year.

Extension of the Bee project to Pate Island
The extension of the bee project intends to diversify the extraction of mangrove to conservation.   By linking sustainable livelihood with conservation, increasing the value of biodiversity to local communities and by empowering them to participate in the development or management of the natural resources, local communities is willing to take this as an opportunity to conserve( M.P.As specifically Manda Toto Conservancy in the vicinity of Pate Island). 

 Gazzettement of Manda toto as Community Conservation Area
 Lamcot in collaboration with the Kiweni BMUs (Beach Management Unit) will be busy following up the gazzettment of the kiweni area as M.P.A Fisheries department will be the responsible ministry in steering forward the process.

 Fund raising for Manda toto in terms of infrastructure and the running cost
 Lamcot will be soliciting from well wishers to support the Kiweni community with Manda toto     conservancy whilst focusing on livelihood.

 Launching of Lamcot own CDs for the project information
For the purpose of information dissemination on the conducted activities
 Lamcot own Brochures

 Further training of Lamcot staff
There is a need to have a further training to Lamcot staff both on ground and administratively.

 Turtle Day
 Lamcot is intending to have an official launching for the turtle day in Lamu Archipelago.

 Information boards to hoteliers
It has been thought prudent to have the information boards to other hotels interested in the turtle

Fund raising in order to buy the critical turtle nesting sites of Takwa. 
Lamcot is looking forward in getting some 10 acres of the beach frontage of Takwa for the nesting mothers. It seems our annual efforts may be in vain with all the development interest in the area; all nesting beaches are being parceled up to sell of as tourist development sites.

The new port destined to Lamu is putting high pressure in the surrounding area. It seem the only way to leave a few beaches for the turtles would be to buy them now before the prices get out of hand.  Please for more information on this contact [email protected]
We expect the project to deliver efficiently in meeting its objectives.  Well-wishes are most welcome to join Lamu Marine Conservation Trust for a better tomorrow.

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