“Don’t go where the path may lead, instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
So this year mangrove planting was in my bucket list, and I managed to go on a road trip from Mombasa to Watamu to make it happen.
The Rotaract Club of Malindi in partnership with Rotaract Club of Kilifi, Rotaract Club of Watamu, Rotaract Club of Karura and across the borders, Rotaract Club of Kampala South organised an annual mangrove planting.
This annual event is aimed at creating awareness on the benefits of conservation and preservation of mangroves along the Kenyan coastline. Mangrove planting has been encouraged along the Kenyan coast because of deforestation that threatens the creek ecosystem. Mangroves at Dabaso are home to a species of fish like Jacks, Snappers, Groupers, Rabbit fish, Parrot fish, Emperors and Barracuda.
Other Rotaract clubs members that came to support the mangrove planting activity are Rotaract Club of Youthzone, Rotaract Club of Bahari-Mombasa, Rotaract Club of Diani, Rotaract of Nairobi Central, Rotaract Club of Westlands and Rotaract Club of Kisumu.
Our journey started at Buxton-Mombasa which was our meeting point. The team from Mombasa had hired a private shuttle for the trip. We departed at 7 a.m in the morning as we picked some members along the Mombasa-Malindi road. The last person to be picked was at Mtwapa where we made a quick stop over.
We drove express to Kilifi for fuel refill and proceeded with our journey. Along the way we witnessed great views of sisal plantations, captivating scenery of green foliage and busy small markets in the towns along the Mombasa- Malindi route.
ARRIVAL AND MANGROVE PLANTING
The experience that comes with mangrove planting is soothing feet massages in the nutrient-rich mud. On arrival we exchanged pleasantries with members who were already at the venue.
Unfortunately, we did not have a smooth start according to our schedule because of an incident that had occurred. We were informed that there was a search going on of a person who drowned late in the night and a search team had been deployed to retrieve the body. Since, the boats meant to ferry us to the place of activity were unavailable, we decided to manoeuvre through the mud.
Some of us got stuck in the mud as those who decided to move in groups made it to the other side. The teams managed to plant 3500 propagules . Other community conservationist involved in the mangrove planting are Crab shack restaurant members, Medina and Miti Alliance.
The planting session was successful and thereafter we were lucky to enjoy a boat ride back to the shore.
After the mangrove planting session we headed
to Crab Shack Restaurant-a floating restaurant that serves mouth watering seafood delicacies.
We had a breather break, talks from the stakeholders and headed to Kilifi for lunch.
DO’S and DONT’S
-The weather at the Kenyan coast is hot, you are advised to wear cotton or linen shorts and tops. A T-shirt will also come in handy.
-Sun burns are effects of the scotching sun, therefore to be on the safe side rub on sunscreen. Wear a hat or cap and drink lots of water
-The mud is likely to make you go barefoot and you might get stuck too. Put on heavy soled dive boots that protect you from the sharp gastropods inside the mud.
-Walk and work in groups in order to assist each other especially those who may get stuck in the mud.
-A safety jacket is necessary on the boat ride.
FOR THE MANGROVES…
-Hold the base of the plant. Don’t carry the plant by the stem.
-Remove any polythene wrapping that may have been used and discard it at the designated drop point
-The hole for planting the the propagules is made using the hands, so be prepared to get wet and muddy.
In this life we all strive to accomplish something worthwhile, mine is to bring hope.