Kwale county has embarked on an intensive 3-year program to restore the coral reefs which are a major tourist attraction in the region.

The restoration programme by the Coast Development Authority is aimed at implementing a natural recovery process of degraded coral reefs in the coastal county.

The Kenya Climate Change Adaptation Programme has sponsored initiatives aimed at restoring coral reef ecosystems along the coastline.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (coral reefs harbor the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally despite covering less than 1 percent of the ocean floor and hosts more than one quarter of all marine fish species in addition to many other marine animals.

CDA Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Keinan contends that majority of coral reef habitats have been heavily degraded as a result of global warming and pollution.

Chairman of the Wasini Beach Management Unit Ahmed Abubakar said the initiative has changed the fortunes of the fisher communities who are now able to get big fish catches as opposed to before the project started.

The fishermen said the partnership between the local communities and the CDA is already beginning to bear fruit and wining accolades and will in time come into full bloom.

Maimuna Abudi a fish seller in Wasini Island said before the reef restoration programme started fish stocks had been declining and fishing families were feeling the pressure.