THE ROYAL VISIT
The Kuruwitu Conservation and Welfare Community Based Organisation (Kuruwitu-CBO), and partners the Oceans Alive Foundation were honoured to welcome His Majesty King Charles III to their offices at Vipingo Ridge Beach on 2nd November 2023.
His Majesty was met by Area Chief Salome Tangai, co-founders of Kuruwitu CBO Des Bowden and Dickson Juma, alongside Kuruwitu CBO Chairwoman Maryam Jabali to learn more about community-led marine conservation pioneered at Kuruwitu.
His Majesty toured the climate-smart kitchen model gardens and saw the positive impact of Oceans Alive’s projects for families in the surrounding community. His Majesty also met with the Kuruwitu Beach Management Unit and heard about the implementation of the first 120 sq km Kuruwitu Collaborative Managed Area. Next in line was the BMU Women’s Group who talked about their Cash for Trash project and some of the challenges they were facing and then got involved in the ground-breaking coral restoration project at Kuruwitu.
His Majesty King Charles sealed his support of the Kuruwitu conservation efforts with the commemoration of a coral restoration structure. King Charles III cemented a plug into the structure before it was taken to the sea and launched “at his command” to its permanent position with the Community Conservation Area Community Conservation Area to initiate the Commonwealth coral village.The reef structure has 40 coral plugs which will grow over time to become an important part of the newly restored reef.
Finally, he sat with the village Elders and heard their stories of age-old traditional conservation measures and how these influenced the belief that if one community can join together with a common approach, they can achieve the impossible.
‘‘We are delighted and proud that His Majesty King Charles III has seen for himself the community efforts for marine conservation in Kenya. He has seen what can be achieved when a small coastal community gets together and acts on the challenges they face. This has developed into a model, a living classroom to positively impact and inspire people, locally, nationally and across the world,’ said Des Bowden, CEO, Oceans Alive Foundation and Patron of the Kuruwitu Conservation and Welfare CBO.