Reforestation of Kaya Diani forest to protect cultural heritage

Kwale County, Msambweni Sub County, Gombato Bongwe, Gombato Village

Environmental concerns and natural disasters management (floods, landslides, deforestation etc)

Specific Problem / Need –

Kaya forests are sacred forests among the Mijikenda communities in Coastal Kenya. The forests preserve the rich history and cultural heritage of the Mijikenda communities. The forests have also served as source of water and transition of culture among generations. There are several Kayas in Kwale county; among them is Kaya Diani which serves as the genesis of the Digo history and the source of water among the neighboring communities. Kaya Diani is located at the heart of Diani resort center. The growth and expansion of Diani tourism city has continued to pose threats on the glory of Kaya Diani. However, the expanding hospitality industry and real estate around Kaya Diani has seen the forest shrinking as unscrupulous developers make their illegal way into the forest. Communities living around Kaya Diani forest are also depending on firewood and charcoal from the same forest, further threatening the existence of the sacred forest. illegal encroachment, fetching firewood and charcoal burning are the major human activities threatening the existence of Kaya Diani sacred forest.

Early Warning Signs and Indicators –

  • Charcoal burning activities around the forest
  • Infrastructural development and encroachment into the forest
  • Extinction of indigenous trees

Rapid Response Proposals –

  • Initiate sensitization among the host communities to amplify the importance of Kaya Diani sacred forest
  • Involve the host communities in mass tree planting in the forest to reclaims its glory
  • Train the host communities on manufacturing of energy saving jikos and briquette charcoals to discourage charcoal burning and use of firewood
  • Initiate bee-keeping activities within the forest to enable Gombato Youth Focus and the host communities generate income

Likely Case Scenario –

  • Kaya Diani will extinct leading to the loss of cultural heritage of the Digo community
  • The community will lose its indigenous trees that have been commonly used as medicinal
  • The forest is a national monument and a tourist attraction, its extinct wil cost the county’s tourism

Efficient and Effective Interventions –

  • Request involved authorities to enforce environment protection laws

Partnerships and Collaborations –

  • Diani Kaya elders
  • Base Titanium Limited
  • Ummah Initiative Group
  • County government of Kwale
  • Ministry of Trade and Industry
  • Kwale Natural Resources Network
  • Kenya Forestry Services
  • Community Forestry Service
  • The host community

Required resource:

  • Seedlings
  • Sensitization facilitation
  • Beehives
  • Capacity building of the project team

Available resources

  • Human resource (group members)
  • Amount to be raised: Ksh 750,000
  • Period of fundraising 3 months

Implementation Level of the Proposed Solution –

The project is a startup and aims at kicking off in May 2021

The Team

Ismail Mwamazuri – 0799679180 – Chairperson

Ali Abdallah Mwajamanda – 0713144350 – Secretary

Nuswaiba Mzee Baye  – 0742475777 – Treasurer

Farisy Abdallah Mwabuda – 0707670376 – Executive Member

Mwanajuma Juni Mwamazuri – 0713817187 – Executive Member

Siaba Mwinyi Mwakilamba – 0708649512 –  Member

Fatuma Athumani – 0719703563 – Member

Omar Matano Said – 0113185597 – Member

Riziki Said Hemed – 0769697280 – Member

Abdallah Mamla – 0729227304 – Patron


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