The Mikoko Project team organized a field trip to conduct fieldwork necessary to provide data on mangroves ecosystem in Lamu Archipelago. The participants involved in this successful trip were the Mikoko project coordinators, Juliana Prosperi and David Williamson; the PhD students, Jamila Ahmed and George Tarus; the MSc students, Joan Nelima, George Otieno and Anthony Mbatha, the supervisor Dr Musili (NMK); the KFS Ecosystem Conservator for Lamu Evans Maneno and his ranger Julius Nadwa; the KEFRI researcher Henry Komu; the Mikoko data curator, Angela Mumbi and the technical assistant Kennedy Otoi. This fieldwork was conducted from 18TH August to 22ND August 2020.
The main objective of the field trip was a reconnaissance survey to identify different types of mangrove around Lamu and Manda Island. Based on satellite image analysis proposed by KFS and Espace-Dev research laboratory partners of the project, different potential sites were identified. Seven of these sites were visited for descriptions. They were positioned using GPS coordinates, and physical and biological descriptions were done.
The first day a meeting was held with Mr Maneno to fix the zones that could be visited within the timeline of the field trip. With the help of KFS rangers and the patrol/research boats, the team visited different zones around Lamu and Manda Island i.e. Zone 3, 4, 6, 14, 15, 11 and 616.
The zone 14 proved to be the richest in mangrove species, counting 7 species: Rhizophora mucronata, Sonneratia alba, Xylocarpus granatum, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Avicennia marina, Ceriops tagal and Heritiera littoralis.
The team met with people involved with the exploitation of mangroves to prepare for the next field trip devoted to analyse the mangrove good value chain. Mr. Abdulrahaman Aboud, a mikoko cutter, already implicated in the project actions, agreed to involve cutters for interviews and guidance during the next fieldwork.
The team also met with the regional and deputy directors of Nature Rangelands Trust-Coast (NRT) in their offices. The NRT team was pleased to learn more about the Mikoko project and they agreed to participate at the participative platform initiative. The last day the team worked to write a report and summarize the happenings during the fieldwork.