Who We Are…
The back bone of LamCoT is turtle conservation. In 1992 the rate of decline in turtle numbers was so extreme that Carol Korschen at Peponi Hotel decided to set up a project whereby the community were encouraged to protect turtles rather than kill them or take their eggs. The project has seen incredible results and has expanded hugely since then.
Ex poachers now patrol Shella Beach and Takwa Beach, Manda to prevent the illegal poaching of eggs and mark out new nest sites and monitor them until hatching.
Using a grant from Tusk, Donations from Nest and Tag, the local fishermen are paid incentives (depending on the size of the turtle) to bring in turtles caught in their nets accidentally to be measured, treated for any health problems, tagged and released.
LamCoT works under the umbrella organisation Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee, KESCOM, collaborating with all turtle conservation groups up and down the Kenya Coast. Data collected on nesting, releasing, mortality and further activities concerning sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystem is sent to (KESCOM) and Tusk Trust together with the annual reports.
The turtle project has inspired leaders in the community to take it upon themselves to create awareness through the wider community and to establish a greater understanding and more sustainable use of the islands’ resources .
A community meeting with local fishermen on illegal fishing issues.
Atwaa Salim a Graduate from the University of Nairobi, who was coordinating the project via internate once at collage is now back to his community giving them a helping hand and in a full control.
Since then, the project was gaining momentum and by 2001 the project was at the threshold of prosperity. Evidence to that; clubs have been formed at different schools e.g. Shella, Ama, Matondoni and Kipungani.
Local school children on an exciting turtle education excursion.
The project started tree nurseries inconjuction with the school club. It has successfully managed to plant almost 50 seedlings of different species of trees at the airstrip.
The project is disseminating all the conservational information to the school children through videos. LaMCoT’s mobile education unit has been recently established, a projector donated by Tusk Trust. With a screen, projector, generator and video library compiled from many sources such as Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, our educational videos are shown all over Lamu, the mainland and other more inaccessible islands. We give a weekly, interactive class covering relevant local issues: Marine ecosystems, Agroforestry, recycling and AIDS awareness. And have field trips in the area for beach clean ups, nature walks.