Mida creek conservation groups in Kilifi want to be provided with incentives to set up blue economy projects.
The locals who largely engage in mangrove conservation have ideas of setting up projects of ecotourism, eco-agriculture among others to help them uplift their standards of living and promote conservation of the marine ecosystem.
Currently, community members engage in conserving the mangroves by setting up nurseries and planting seedlings in degraded areas but the majority are living in poverty.
Arafa Salim Baya a conservationist and a member of women conservation groups within the Mida Creek said the incoming Blue economy conference should come up with proper ideas of funding groups that are keen in conserving the marine ecosystem.
Speaking after mangrove planting exercise done in partnership with Seacology Foundation, a non-governmental organization that funds conservation projects in East Africa, Baya said there is need to set up projects that can transform life for the locals.
“Conservation is a community input, poverty levels are high, we cannot push the community to do conservation yet they are poor, ‘’ she said.
Baya, a former nominated MCA said Seacology helped them with a water project at Kirepwe Island which had no fresh water.
“Ecotourism needs to be advanced, we can set up nice eco camp, ecofriendly lodges, canoe, boats where locals can benefit,’’ she said.