Of the seven species of sea turtles of the world five species are found in Kenya. They include Green turtle, Hawksbill, Olive ridley, Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles. The first three nest along the Kenyan beaches including the Tana Delta area. Turtles are threatened because people poach turtle meat and eggs and trade turtle products. Turtles drown in fishing and trawler nets and die because of eating plastics. Coastal development and tourism form another threat.
DEFCO (Delta Friends of Conservation) is an organization that protects the turtles, creates awareness among the communities and collects information about sea turtles. This is done with help of the youth in the community. The programme also creates awareness among the youth about HIV & AIDS and drug abuse. DEFCO is a small organization in a village along the Indian Ocean, a one day bus trip from Mombasa. Life is pretty basic and the area is remote, but it gives you a great chance to work with the community and experience life the Swahili way.
Possibilities for volunteers:
Interested volunteers can participate in:
o Night and day patrols
o Verifications, rescue activities and tagging
o Translocation of the turtles
o Excavation of egg shells
o Improving the method of data collection and database management
o Teaching computer skills
o Proposal writing and fundraising
o Record keeping
o Creating awareness about drugs abuse
Accommodation: homestay (700 shilling p.p.p.d, including meals), in a banda (a mudhut with a palmroof) where you share one of the rooms with another volunteer (500 shilling p.p.p.d., including meals) or bring your own tent and sleeping bag (300 shilling p.p.p.d. for the meals) to sleep on the beach!
Are you interested in volunteering in DEFCO turtles project? Contact us or fill the registration of interest form.