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 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.
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 2022.
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.
THE SOUTH COAST COMMUNITY ECOTOURISM ASSOCIATION MEMBER GROUPS
The South Coast Community Ecotourism Association (SCCEA) is an umbrella organization that draws its membership from common interest community groups. These groups promote community-based tourism for sustainable nature and culture preservation. Founded in 2010, SCCEA are registered as a Community Based Organisation (CBO) with a total membership of 5 community groups within Kwale County, Kenya’s South Coast. These groups being;
Gazi Women’s Group
The group was established in 2007 and has 80 registered members from within the Gazi village in Msambweni sub-County. The group promotes conservation of mangroves and other local marine and cultural heritage. It runs the Gazi women board walk, a mangrove restaurant and provides cultural tours to the Gazi heritage sites.
Kaya Kinondo Conservation Organisation
The organisation was established in 2002 and has a membership of 120 members. It can be found in Kinondo village, Msambweni sub-County. The group promotes the conservation of the local Kaya Kinondo Sacred forest and Digo cultural heritage. It runs the Kaya Kinondo Ecotourism project which involves forest tours, village tours, cultural dances, a forest restaurant and forest accommodation bandas.
Shimoni Slave Caves
The group was established in 1998, and members include the entire Shimoni village community. The caves are located in the Shimoni township in Lungalunga sub-County. The groups runs Shimoni cave excursions, a village restaurant and boat safaris to the nearby Islands of Wasini, Kisite and Mpunguti.
Wasini Women’s group
The group was founded in 1995 and has a membership of 200 women. The group is located on Wasini Island in Lungalunga sub-County. The group runs the Wasini women’s board walk around Wasini’s mangrove forest and coral gardens. There is also a gift shop and seafood restaurant.
Mkwiro Metameta group
The group was founded in 1999 and has over 60 members. The group is located in Mkwiro village on Wasini Island, Lungalunga sub-County. The group promotes and sells handicrafts made from natural fibers, wood and other recycled materials. The group also promotes seaweed farming for commercial purposes.