Engaging communities to get their views is important as it provides the KEMFSED project with feedback to ensure it delivers maximum benefits. This also ensures accountability and transparency.
KEMFSED teams continuously reach out to project beneficiaries at all levels up to the grassroots to give them an opportunity to share their concerns and ideas on how the project can best meet their needs and aspirations.
Recently, members of a high-level project committee to three of the community groups that received KEMFSED grants. Representatives of the Project Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) interacted with members of Sita Umoja Creek in Dabaso, which is involved in mangrove restoration. They also visited the Pweza group in the Sokoni area has bought a boat and gear for deep sea fishing as well as Mavoyo, which has installed a borehole to enable them to grow high-value crops under irrigation.
The PTAC team included the co-chairs, Fisheries Director General Daniel Mungai and Lamu CEC for fisheries Faiz Fankupi as well the host, Kilifi CEC for fisheries Paterson Chula Mwagona. Also present was Coast regional Commissioner’s representative Mbogo Mathioya.
The team was accompanied by a KEMFSED team led by Deputy Project Director Susan Otieno, head of the coast regional office Mwaka Barabara, and component leads Elizabeth Mueni and Kennedy Shikami.
During the visit, the PTAC members held meetings with the groups and witnessed first-hand the progress of the various community projects. Community group members shared their experiences and aspirations for their projects.
Pweza is a group of women fish traders affiliated with the Kilifi Central Beach Management Unit. With a KEMFSED grant, they have bought a new boat to enable them to venture into deep-sea fishing. They have employed fishermen and a coxswain who has been trained by the project. This means they will get more and bigger fish directly from the sea instead of buying from other fishers or middlemen. They hope to increase their profits and household incomes.
Sita group has built a nursery for mangrove seedlings. They will now be able to grow better seedlings for sale and to restore degraded areas of the mangrove forest. They previously grew the seedling under a tree where many plants did not survive.
With a reliable water supply from their borehole, the Mavoyo group has the potential to expand their vegetable gardens and supply clean water to local families. The borehole can irrigate up to 100 acres.
The PTAC provides technical guidance in the implementation of the KEMFSED project. The field visit followed their quarterly meeting held in Mombasa to review the overall project progress and provide recommendations to fast-track the implementation.