Publication Details

This article was orginally published as Abuodha, PAW & Kairo, JG, Human-induced stresses on mangrove swamps along the Kenyan Coast, Hydrobiologia, 458, 2001, 255-256. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001. Original journal article available here


Mangroves form important ecosystems in Kenya's coastal areas. They produce goods and services that are of environmental, ecological and economic importance to human society. However, mangroves are under continuing pressure from anthropogenic disturbances. A particular concern has been the clearing of mangrove areas to reclaim land for other uses such as aquaculture, salt manufacture, agriculture and housing. About 10 000 ha of mangrove areas have been cleared for salt manufacture between Ngomeni and Karawa, while in Lamu, close to 100 ha of mangrove forest was killed by dredged-up sediment that was deposited during the construction of the Mokowe sea jet. 100 ha of mangrove area have been converted for aquaculture at Ngomeni. At Gazi Bay, about l00 ha of mangrove forests was cleared for fuelwood and in Makupa Creek, Mombasa, 10 ha of mangroves died due to oil pollution. The total area lost is therefore 10 310 ha which represents about 20% of the total mangrove forest. In this paper, deforestation, conversion of mangrove areas for other land uses and pollution of mangrove swamps on the Kenyan coast are discussed and call for sustainable use, and the government policies that will enable this, is made.