This project, run by Save Lamu, will protect Lamu Archipelago’s vital mangrove forests while enhancing the livelihoods of mangrove dependent communities by introducing an alternative source of income – beekeeping.
To do this, the project will create a sustainable and locally governed collective of beekeeping businesses in the Lamu Archipelago while restoring degraded mangrove forests actively through replanting and passively through the increase of bee pollination.
Beekeeping is considered climate-smart livelihood-improvement for farmers and local communities and acts well as a climate adaptation strategy in areas with declining rains. Due to the increasing challenges faced by Lamu Archipelago due to weather pattern disturbances, beekeeping can offer a very relevant option for local communities.
The project will encourage existing beekeepers to make honey and keep bees as their primary source of income – an alternative to environmentally harmful income-generating activities such as mangrove cutting.
There is a high demand for honey across the Kenyan market – more so than the supply – and the Lamu Archipelago offers the unique environmental features to produce mangrove honey. This type of honey offers greater health benefits than terrestrial forest honey, thus, there is also a greater demand for it.
Over 4-years, a total of 9 community-led organisations across Lamu will be provided with the necessary equipment, training and support to establish a sustainable apiary and income-generating business while also receiving support and guidance for sustainable mangrove restoration.
By the end of the 4-year project, 18 acres of mangroves will have been restored and 9 beekeeping businesses will have been established producing approximately 1,700 kilograms of honey annually.
Each year, the project will be reviewed and there will be an option to continue and recruit more groups into the project.