THE SOUTH COAST COMMUNITY ECOTOURISM ASSOCIATION
Linking tourism to local communities
It all started when we realised that cultural traditions in our community are dying rapidly and that the only Kenyan culture known to tourists is the Masai culture which does not come from Kenya’s south coast.
We decided to organise an umbrella body to discuss and plan matters of environmental and cultural conservation and community based tourism.
From this, in 2012, the first regatta was born and from very small beginnings, thanks to the generosity and trust of Base Titanium (link) and the sponsors listed, we held the first regatta
Since then the Regatta has grown in popularity and we have tourists who even plan the dates of their stay in Diani around the date of the Regatta.
The following groups are SCCEA’s members:
How does the Diani Regatta help the communities?
The Diani Ngalawa Regatta provides support for our local fishermen and, through sponsorship, the fishermen have acquired cooler boxes, solar powered freezers donated by Chloride Exide and sails for their boats. They also get prize money for racing.
The festival has supported dozens of local women who come to earn directly by selling local food prepared in the traditional Swahili way. They also earn by selling lesso/kanga fabric and handicrafts to festival goers. Local producers are also encouraged with honey, coconuts and eco-briquette charcoal amongst the products for sale. We hope to connect even more people in the community to new markets via the Diani Regatta in 2020.
From the Diani Regatta proceeds, SCCEA helps local people, especially women and youth, to create tangible micro enterprises, sourcing markets within and outside the region, creating employment, generating sustainable incomes and local empowerment.
By capacity building in design, enhancing production and marketing of finished products, sustainable incomes for over 200 women from Wasini Island, Funzi Island and Kaya Kinondo have been created.
Gazi Women Group
Was established 2007, has 20 registered members, located in Gazi village, Promotes the conservation Gazi Mangrove forest and maintenance of Gazi Jumba la Mabruk historical site. Offers mangrove board walks, village and historical site tours and cafeteria services.
Msambweni Turtle Conservation Group
Was established in 2004 and has more than 40 registered members, located in Mambeni Mwaembe village, Promotes conservation of the marine resources of that area. They create awareness on marine environmental conservation, offers dhow safaris for snorkelling, sport fishing, and deep sea diving and offers conferencing facility within their premises.
Kaya Kinondo Conservation and Develepment Group
Was established in 2002 with 60 members, located in Kinondo village. Promotes the conservation of Kaya Kinondo sacred forest. Offers forest walks, village excursion, traditional dances and cafeteria services. Also undertakes environmental awareness activities.
Shimoni Slave Caves
Was established in 1998 drawing the entire shimoni village local people as members, located in Shimoni town. Offers historical excursions in the Shimoni slave caves and the shimoni historical sites.
Mwachema River Excursions
Offering boat rides from the historical site of Congo Mosque to Diani Mwakamba village along the Mwachema river. Village tour are conducted on reaching Mwakamba village.
Was established in 2002 with over 50 members. Located 5 Km west along the Kanana- Shimoni road. They offer excursions in the 3 sister caves that has diversity in indigenous plants and animals. The caves are spectacular with limestone rock formation. They offer village tours and traditional dances.