ECO WORLD CENTER by WATAMU MARINE ASSOCIATION

“Waste is Gold”

The EcoWorld Center is a community based solid waste management enterprise that was started by in 2009 by Watamu Marine Association with the support of IUCN Netherlands and African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya Ltd. Its objective is to clean the beaches of Watamu, recover waste and give the Dabaso local communities an income.

Video of EcoWorld

How to get there 

EcoWorld Center is located in the heart of Dabaso Village and next to Mida Creek in Watamu Kenya. The place can be reached through an access road from Timboni Center off Gede Watamu Road or from an access road opposite Turtle Bay Beach Club along  Turtle Bay Road. Best transport to use if you don’t have a car is a TUK TUK. Or get there with  Uniglobe Lets’ Go Travel

Where to stay and eat

I would advice you eat at Crab Shack Dabaso, a community owned restaurant found in Mida Creek a walking distance from EcoWorld (review coming soon). Hotels with accommodation include Turtle Bay Beach Club and Hemingways Watamu. The area also has several cottages for the backpacker.

What to do and see

The days catch

Watamu Marine Association has a Blue Team, local community members who they pay to collect litter from the beaches of Watamu. Each member of the Blue Team is paid between KES 400-500 per day to clean the beaches and bring the litter back to EcoWorld’s recycling center.  So what kind of litter does the Blue Team bring in per day from the beaches of Watamu?

Flip Flops. Some of the collected flip flops came as far as Asia. If someone is missing a left flip flop in India tell them to collect at the lost and found section at EcoWorld.

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Can you spot your old toothbrush? 

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Plastic water bottles. Did you know that between 5 million and 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by marine animals and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish? Ask Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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Medical waste. Unfortunately the Coastal community of Kenya has a huge drug abuse problem especially among the youth, so syringes also make up part of the days catch. Initiatives such as EcoWorld is indirectly helping to reduce the drug abuse problem by providing the local youth with jobs and engaging them in meaningful activities.

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Where does all the collected waste go to?

The waste is first sorted and re-purposed, crushed, handed over to the municipal government for proper disposal or sold to other recyclers in Nairobi  like Ocean Sole.

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Crashed plastic

Walls made of glass and plastic

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Art made from flip flops

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Art made from lighters, toothbrushes and other marine litter

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My Tourism Product Experience rating

Attractions

EcoWorld is a unique learning experience in waste management and marine pollution. As a visitor you get to see how much waste we generate as human beings which eventually find its way into our oceans and threatening marine life. You also get to interact with interventions that try to reduce this kind of pollution on our oceans by turning the litter into useful products that generate income for local communities.The trash artwork is amazing.

Attraction Rating: 7.5/10

Guiding and interpretations

Our guide was excellent. A trash artist herself, Myra had deep knowledge on EcoWorld, its purpose and interventions for protecting the beaches of Watamu and the Ocean. She was a very good story teller. Guiding and Interpretation Rating: 9/10

Management & Responsibility

EcoWorld Watamu aims at empowering the local communities by working with them to protect and conserve marine ecosystems. The management is committed to partnering with both local and international organization for this purpose and ensuring the initiative is sustainable. Management & Responsibility rating: 9/10

Overall rating; 8.5/10

EcoWorld Center in Watamu is a must visit for travelers and enthusiasts who may want to learn how to protect our oceans from pollution, especially by plastic waste in a sustainable way. You can’t stop people from throwing away trash, but you mine gold from trash to protect the environment.

Visit EcoWorld Center with Uniglobe Lets’ Go Travel

Reviewed on 30th September 2017 by Job Odhiambo

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