Biodiversity Conservation of Kaya Mtswakara and Kaya Gandini through sustainable land use practice and pressure reduction to forest resources
Biodiversity Conservation of Kaya Mtswakara and Kaya Gandini through sustainable land use practice and pressure reduction to forest resources
The kaya forests are part of the Coastal forests of Eastern Africa that have been described as rich in biodiversity and have great uniqueness in species level. They also have great meaning to the local people’s culture as they are used as cultural enclaves by the Mijikenda communities of the Kenyan Coast. Kaya Mtswakara and Kaya Gandini are among these important sites that have high value for conservation, with high levels of plants species of more that 1000 species of indigenous plants. Apart from having some levels of endemism and rare species, these sites are also important bird areas and other wildlife. The sites are owned and managed by the Duruma Mijikenda community and have since time in memorial been burial sites and a place where they still go back to commune with their ancestors. The sites are both gazette as National monuments and enlisted in the world heritage list by UNESCO. In the conservation of these sites, the areas have continuously faced some challenges as a result of forest degradation from unsustainable extractions of forest resources due to luck of substantial alternatives of livelihoods options around the forest and high poverty levels among local people. The forest site is also facing biodiversity loss due to poor land use practices from encroachments and poor farming methods. The erosion of culture among the local people makes local communities to act in disregard of the traditional best practices that have been used over time to protect the forest. The local area is facing realities of climate change that brings adversities in weather patterns hence loss of forest vegetation, food insecurity and loss of livestock from severe droughts. The two sites are closely interlinked and they are all important sites for the Duruma community, they are found in one locality forming a total forest acreage of 3500 acres of forest cover. This adds up to about 20% of the total kaya forest landscape in Kwale County alone. The sites are located in Kasemeni ward of Kinango Sub County in Kwale County, a region classified as a semi-arid zone with mixed lowland vegetation of woodland forest and scrub vegetation. Soils are sandy loam to clay with Duruma rocks. The region has a permanent river with several other tributaries. In this project concept, the Kaya Mstwakara self-help group will seek to address the challenges of land degradation through sustainable land use in sustainable farming of drought resistant crops that will address food insecurity and sustainable incomes for poverty reduction among 200 local farmers and 70 group members. It also plans to increase forest protection through creating alternative ways of acquiring building materials that are not forest dependent but locally available.
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Project Snapshot

Kaya Mtswakara Self Help Group
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Operational Phase:
Phase 6
Grant Amount:
US$ 20,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,000.00
Project Number:
Start Date:
End Date:
Currently under execution

Grantee Contact

Mr. Gerald Gambo Mudiwa


Box 32 Mazeras Off Kinango – Mazeras road in Mgamani village
Mazeras ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Nancy Chege
(254-20) 7624473
(254-20) 621076
Ms. Salome Nyakundi


UNDP, P.O. Box 30218
Nairobi, 00100