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Why It's Important 

Despite half of the top 10 countries contributing to marine plastic pollution being situated around the rim of the Indian Ocean, the underlying causes and ultimate impacts of this plastic debris are poorly understood, under-studied and under-sampled. It has been estimated that 73 % of plastic waste along the Indian Ocean rim is mismanaged and released into the environment.

Bahari Moja aims to contribute to the understanding of plastic pollution in the Indian Ocean and its direct impact on the Northern coast of Kenya through extensive data collection. We are working to find solutions to managing plastic waste in small communities, encouraging them to understand the value of plastic waste recycling centers for environmental and human health.

Protecting biodiversity for people

Marine litter has a profound influence on the marine environment and ecosystems, damaging benthic environments, causing a loss of biodiversity and leading to a reduction in overall ecosystem function. Communities in the area have historically relied on productive and functioning ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses to provide valuable marine resources that support their livelihood and overall health. Poor waste management and disposal practices in these communities are directly impacting their surrounding ecosystems, necessitating the implementation of waste management systems in the area.


"I think there has been a great deal of change. In the past everything was clean. One would go to the reef and you would find fish in every colour, the fish were healthy, the water was clean, people grew up living well. People were healthy and strong, they didn’t have much money but they were strong. Now the beaches are dirty, the fish have changed and even 1000 shillings is not enough for the day”

- Mzee Haji Mote – hereditary chief of Mkokoni Village

Protecting marine life and turtle nesting 

The Kiunga Marine National Reserve is visited by 5 species of turtle with 3 species relying on the remote, untouched beaches for nesting. Most nesting beaches have become inundated with plastic, making it difficult for a female to dig her nest to lay. This additional stress to an already laborious process leads to many females becoming exhausted and abandoning their natural reproductive cycle.

Bahari Moja's Coastal clean ups have helped to clear turtle's vital nesting areas. 37 turtle nests were recorded in 2022 up from 24 in 2021. The same ocean currents that deliver such vast quantities of marine litter are the very same currents used by turtles to find nesting beaches, making Bahari Moja's work all the more vital. 

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