Having a comprehensive environmental legislative framework which assists laws and policy guidelines to be formulated and implemented are crucial for the management and conservation of coastal areas. Watamu Mida creek coastal area needs protection and special consideration because it is a very fragile environment which can be negatively affected if a proper management plan has not been put in place. The objective of this research is to assess challenges and gaps in the existing government laws, policies and regulations on land use, mangrove forest and shoreline management. In addition, the study also incorporates the opinion and knowledge of all local stakeholders who work and live in the area in order to triangulate what the problems are, and what needs to be done in future in order to come up with a more sustainable and practical management plan. A review of the available Acts and polices specifically regarding shoreline protection and mangrove conservation was undertaken highlighting the challenges of each mandated institution. For the household questionnaires, a stratified random sampling method was used. The household survey included 60 respondents from different resource users groups and villages. Five Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with representatives of the community and eleven key informant interviews were conducted with the key leading government office representative’s, non-governmental organizations, hoteliers, and long term residents along the beach. The research found that the policy instrument review of the existing policy and legal framework indicated a number of gaps and opportunities for the protection of the coastal environment in the study area. Institutional mandates between the Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service need to be fully clarified with urgency, in order for the management plans for the area to be both approved and supported by these government agencies. In addition, policies and regulations which are not currently implemented need to be updated based on the current pressure-state situation, and there should be strong law enforcement and strict regulation and guidelines to protect this coastal environment.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Journal Articles