CONTRIBUTION OF MOMBASA MARINE NATIONAL PARK AND RESERVE TO THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEIGHBOURING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
NGETI, JULIUS MUTUA
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Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve (MMNP&R) in Kenya was established in 1986 but came into operation in 1991. The Marine protected Area (MPA) was established to enhance biodiversity conservation, to attract tourists and to improve the local community livelihoods. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution of the MMNP&R to the socialeconomic development of the communities living around the MPA. The study was conducted at Bamburi 5 km to the MPA and Jumba which is 10 km away, for comparison. The study adopted a descriptive survey design that generated both qualitative and quantitative data. Simple random sampling and purposive sampling technique was then used to select the respondents from both study areas. Validity and reliability test was done to ensure the data collection tools are valid and reliable in measure. Questionnaires, Focused Group Discussion guide and observation schedule were used to obtain primary data. The enumerators were trained for 3 days on how to collect descriptive data from the field before actual data collection. Descriptive data analysis was used to describe the distribution and frequencies of income levels in the communities. The Regression model of respondents income = f (distance from MMNP&R, level of education, gender, age and occupation of the respondents) was used. The findings show that the average income from marine activities per day is higher in Bamburi (KES 1325) compared to Jumba (KES 449). This is as a result of Bamburi being near to the MPA which experiences higher spill-over of fish and get more tourist visits than Jumba which is far from the MPA. The local community perception on the existence of MMNP&R was varied. For instance, 36% of the respondents in Bamburi strongly agreed with the perception that MMNP&R contributes to the local community livelihoods contrary to 20% at Jumba. However, an average 94% of the respondents in both study areas have agreed that the revenue generated from the MPA does not infiltrate back to the local community. The findings further reveal that MMNP&R has contributed to increase in fish abundance 75% (as indicated by vi respondents) thus contributing to the improved catch 38% for the local community. However, 39% of the respondents said there is no benefit from MMNP&R thus leading to negative impact (61% of the respondents) on the community livelihoods and that MMNP&R is not beneficial (46% of the respondents) for the community. Accordingly, this study recommends that Jumba resident to should adopt more conservative approach to fishing to ensure sustainability of the fish stocks. This should be done through implementation of a no-take locally management marine area (LMMA) as a conservation imitative. Moreover, the Jumba residents should focus on attracting more tourists by investing more on tourists’ facilities to increase their income levels. MPA officers should build a positive rapport with the local communities by addressing their concerns including contribution of MPA to their livelihoods. The study further recommends that the revenue collected from the tourism activities in the MPA be shared with the local communities to boost socio-economic development of the local communities.