In the last two decades, up to 70% of corals across the Western Indian Ocean have experienced bleaching.
The Shimoni-Vanga seascape is not an exception, with massive coral mortalities occurring. Corals take long to fully recover, however, trials show that replanting corals hastens their recovery. The Wasini community through their Beach Management Unit (BMU) embraced this idea and became the first community to successfully replant corals. They have been further supported by the GEF-Small Grants Programme to scale up this action, while the neighbouring Mkwiro BMU has also been supported to start a new coral garden in partnership with REEFolution and COMRED as their strategic partner.
The two projects address the problem of reef degradation around Mkwiro and Wasini (the two are neighbouring villages – the only villages located on Wasini Island) due to overharvesting of marine resources and climate-induced impacts.
Restoration of corals is done inside degraded areas of Wasini and Mkwiro Locally Marine Managed Areas (LMMAs). This involves the training of community members on diving, survey and mapping of degraded sites, the establishment of coral nurseries, awareness creation and transplanting of corals. Awareness sessions are conducted through village meetings, distribution of educational material and educational events. Other than the restoration of marine life, the new sites are a good attraction for tourists who see it as a way of rewarding conservation efforts.