The World Bank has pledged US $35 million to coastal areas and marine resources for the nation. The Kenyan Coastal Development Project (KCDP) will venture to reform and strengthen existing government agencies by altering current systems of management amongst fisheries and coastal communities, while also developing sustainable practices within Kenyan Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
In addition, selected vicinities will benefit from a grant that amounts to US $5 million as part of the country’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) programme.
The Country Director for Kenya, Johannes Zutt has commended the schemes saying that, ‘Kenyans living in Coast province are among the poorest in the country, despite the province’s considerable potential for economic growth from tourism, fisheries and other investments. This project will help to increase economic opportunities for coastal communities by promoting environmentally-sustainable tourism and fisheries, equitable sharing of tourism and fisheries revenues and investment in rural micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.’
The KCDP will subsequently operate in accordance with the government’s Vision 2030 programme – a mission that highlights the importance of natural resources in strengthening and promoting new forms of development and eco- tourism.
The coastal programme will promote environmentally sustainable schemes that will stimulate markets in endorsing the creation of new jobs, developing research and by reducing levels of poverty amongst coastal communities.
The importance of investment in programmes like the KCDP is imperative to creating new engines of growth, not simply in the tourism industry but also in inter related sectors; it is hoped that such schemes will enhance economic opportunities for an estimated 2.5 million people in Kenya.