Kenya Reforestation Project
Kwasasi Magumba
Reforestation Conservation 1.725,93 ha

The Kwasasi Magumba site is in Wange Creek, a tidal estuary in Lamu County on the coast of Kenya, around 25 kilometers north of Lamu Old Town. In 2001, the Old Town of Lamu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for conserving the best Swahili culture in East Africa. The Kwasasi and Magumba neighborhoods and Lamu Old Town are renowned for preserving traditional Swahili culture. The structures in these areas are built in typical Swahili style using coral, lime, and mangrove poles. The region is also famous for its specific social, cultural, and religious functions, which are still followed and performed today. The planting site comprises mangrove habitats that are partially degraded and require restoration, and healthy mangroves need to be maintained.

Coastal mangroves provide vital ecosystem services to coastal communities. The extensive roots retain sediments, dissipate storm surges and waves, and serve as the first defense against flooding and erosion. Mangroves also act as efficient water filters by retaining sediments and allowing plants to uptake nutrients or heavy metals. The mangrove channels form essential feeding and breeding grounds for various fish species. Mangroves also host thousands of migratory birds, such as the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), and resident birds, such as the colorful Mangrove Kingfishers (Halcyon senegaloides).

Despite the cultural wealth of this area, inhabitants suffer from inadequate social facilities. There is a lack of adequate schools, health facilities, infrastructure, and access to clean water. Jobs are scarce, so the unemployment rate is also high. The population surrounding the planting area is about 11,000 people. People rely on mangrove poles for firewood, boats, and home construction and repair. Over time, the high demand for mangroves has led to deforestation. The destruction of the ecosystem leads to the loss of livelihood for the inhabitants of the region.

Eden Reforestation Projects (Eden) is facilitating the restoration of mangrove ecosystems in the area by actively planting mangrove species. Eden is working directly with local communities to support them to restore their natural environment.