Kenya: WWF wants parts of Lamu reserved

by Apr 11, 2012Habitat News

The World Wildlife Fund has suggested that Ras Tenewi area near Lamu be gazzeted as a protected area to compensate for the area that will be taken up by the Lamu port. WWF said the Lamu port will cause environmental degradation. Country director Mohammed Awel said the gazzeted area should be upgraded to be a national park. “WWF is keen for the Ras Tenewi to be gazetted as a protected area due to the damage that will be done on marine life while constructing the port.”

While welcoming the upcoming port, Awel noted that it could have adverse effects on the locals who mainly depended on fishing. Awer said that fishing and tourism sectors would be adversely affected and called on the government to make sure that affected families were compensated. He said that though the new port would open up regional trade it would end up killing some natural and marine resources. “The port will kill the fishing industry which is the livelihood of many and beaches around the Coast thus killing tourism,”

He noted that since the ground breaking ceremony last month, scramble for land in the region had escalated putting at risk the small communities in the area. “There is an influx of people from upcountry all heading to Lamu and small communities like Boni and Bajuni face extinction,” The director at the same expressed his concern over the wanton destruction of Boni-Dodori forest.

He noted that if the on-going levels of deforestation and degradation were not arrested, serious and potentially irreversible damage would be done to the ecosystem “The forest also faces future threats like the new Lamu port, oil refinery and transport infrastructure which are going on in the region,” Awel added that detrimental social and economic implications will play out at local, national and regional scales at later stages of the projects.