Data Sources
Information for this community profile predominantly came from Key Informant Interviews.
Furthermore, to get an appreciation of which villages may be most suited for SPACES work within Tsunza, informal discussions with village elders were conducted to try to prioritise certain villages which are harbour sufficient individuals involved in the fishery and the tourism industry.
The spaces team was received at Tsunza by officials of a local Community based organization (CBO) named Community Touch Kenya ( Comtouch).The officials included the project Chairman cum founder of Comtouch, Mr. Juma Mashanga (also a Key Informant above), the project manager , Mr. Makiri Makiri, Project Accountant, Mr. Munga Zuma, and a community volunteer, Mr. Dosho Athman.
At times information is corroborated with data obtained from the Ecosystem Service Focus Groups.
Tsunza peninsula is located in Kwale County, Kinango Su-county, Gandini sublocation, in Gandini location.

Whilst we call this area Tsunza, we should note that Tsunza is one village within Gandini sub-location. This is important to remember, as unlike Kongowea, Shimoni or Vanga which are both villages and sublocations, Tsunza is only a village within a sublocation.
We discuss our proposed villages to sample below, but it is important to highlight that the mangroves are slightly further north, by the river. Across the river is Mwatche, our previous proposed sampling area which is more difficult to get to.

Tsunza village (red/orange dots) and Gandini sublocation (blue shading).

Tsunza village (red/orange dots) and Gandini sublocation (blue shading).

Despite being a peri-urban area, Gandini sublocation is one of the least densely populated areas, it also however is one of the largest sublocations in terms of area and harbours a large number of households.

Sublocation Male Female Total Households Area in Sq. Km. Population Density Division
GANDINI 6259 7056 13315 2162 105.03 126.77 KASEMENI
Demographic information for Gandini location (Kenya Census 2009)

One village elder mentioned that Gandini has an approximate population of over 19,000 residents. There seems to be a consensus that the population has likely increased considerable since the 2009 census.
The community is thought to be mostly Muslims with fewer Christians.
In terms of ethnic groups, the area is inhabited predominantly by the Duruma with the exception of those employed and working in the area.

Specific villages
There are therefore thought to be 24 villages in Gandini sublocation. It is clear that not all can be sampled, and that we need to narrow our focus. Whilst we could sample from all the villages across the whole area, this may prove time consuming (especially given the large area to cover). Discussions with Key Informants may provide us with information on specific villages that have sufficient number of households for our analysis and have a larger proportion of fishers or mangrove users or those involved in tourism than other villages.
We list below the villages within Gandini sublocation and those that are singled out as being of particular interest to SPACES research. The information on specific villages was obtained via informal interviews and has not been confirmed through secondary sources or via triangulation of methods. The aim was to provide an overview or an indication to help us prioritise certain villages over others rather than provide specific and accurate information (e.g. number of fishermen).

The community profile team has collected informal data on 5 key villages within Gandini sublocation but has gathered little information on the remaining 19 villages or other villages in Kinango sub-location. This can be carried out if we feel that the key villages described are not adequate for the survey.

Tsunza Central Village
The village is right adjacent to the peninsula with fishing as the main livelihood activity. The village uses mangrove for local building requirement. There are very few mangroves which allow for commercial activities. One source describes Tsunza as having approximately 10000 inhabitants (Children of Africa website – link). It is interesting to note how it describes Tsunza village:

“Recently, due to the global warming and its weather impact, rainy seasons are no longer predictable, resulting in poor harvesting. Tsunza has become even poorer than it used to be, as most of the farmers had to change and rely on fishing activities to survive, and the economical benefit of it has been over-exploited.”

“It is believed that Tsunza as a village originated and evolved from a married couple who came to settle as farmers in the area long time ago. Since then, families, clans and sub-villages developed. Tsunza is therefore considered to be a huge African family, whose members live deeply rooted in old traditions, and supersticious beliefs based on witchcraft. Traditions make such an influence in their society that they have hardly evolved from their old methods and old life-style.”

Mkunguni Village
This community is mainly a fisher community and has very few mangroves, enough however for domestic use.
Mkanjuni A Village

The local community is dependent on fishing and uses the mangroves commercially for their livelihood. Ths village borders Tsunza central. Many of the actual commercial mangrove activities are undertaken in Mombasa.
Most of the fishers from Gandini sublocation come from Mkanjuni A and Mkanjuni B and these villages are highly dependent on fishing. If the fishers in these two villages decide to stop fishing, then the entire livelihood of the local community in the location is affected (as well as those traders in Mombasa).

Mkanjuni B Village

Mkanjuni B has similar characteristics to Mkanjuni village A. Mkanjuni A and Mkajuni B villages are adjacent to each other and separated by a local earth road. Mkanjuni B also borders the water and it is to the north of Mkanjuni A.

Chidunguni Village
This village is adjacent to Mkanjuni B and community is also dependent on fishing. Commercial mangrove trading is done at low scale. Mangrove is mostly for domestic use.

Site Characteristics
It was not possible to get detailed characteristics of each village. However we can get a general picture by key informant discussions with the key informants mentioned above.
Roads throughout the area are mostly earth roads, however these and the bridges are not easily passable during the rains and can lead to the area being cut-off from other parts e.g. Mombasa. Transport to and from the area is mostly by boat.
There has been plans to build a bypass road through the area that will connect the south coast to the mainland which is in turn thought to increase migration to the area.
In terms of health and sanitation; heath facilities are very scarce as there is only one dispensary serving the whole location with little staff, and medicine is always in short supply. Sanitation on the other hand is very poor as most people use bush toilets, there have been awareness campaigns to improve sanitation but this has not been picked up. Gandini area uses mostly shallow wells (which are old and depleted) as there are no boreholes in the area. Whilst piped water is available there are occasional shortages as pipes are old (circa 1969) and burst frequently.
In terms of education; there are 5 primary schools, 1 secondary school and 25 nursery schools in the area. The illiteracy level is particularly high among adults (approx. 70%) and a high school drop-out rate with few children going up to college level, especially the case for girls.
The only strong government institution is the provincial administration and there are no other offices for government departments as most services are provided from Kinango which is 26 Km away and about one hour ride by motor bike. All other institutions operate from outside the area: Kinango. Active NGOs are PLAN(child education), PSI(malaria, capacity building), Aga Khan Foundation(Madrasa Resource Centre). Local organizations include COMTOUCH, Kenya, Lusangani Health Development, Tsunza Youth Development Association, Tsunza Women Finance Trust, Jambo Puppeteers, Environmental Groups.

Community leaders include village elders, school management committees, kaya committee, development committees, community policing, women group leaders, Youth Group Leaders, Male representatives. .

Similarly to Kongowea there is quite a variety of different livelihoods. Whilst more work is required to elucidate the relative importance of these different livelihoods within the area, it is clear that on the one hand there are relatively local activities (fishing, farming, mangrove or forest use) there is also commuting occurring to Mombasa or other more touristy areas where fish can be sold or they can be employed (tourism/business).

  • Fishing
  • Livestock
  • Employment (teachers/hotels/Mombasa))
  • Subsistence Farming
  • Crab Fishing
  • Fish Farming
  • Prawn Fishing
  • Forestry (poles/firewood)
  • Coconut Palm Brewers/Sellers
  • Traditional Medicine Men
  • Mama Karangas (female fish trader)
  • Baba Karangas
  • Fish Traders to Hotels

This highlights the fact that Tsunza is a “peri-urban” site with potentially higher livelihood diversity than other sites.

Despite being further away from the coast, fishing is still argued to be an important livelihood in the Tsunza area. Although we don’t have estimates of fisher numbers for each village, fishing was mentioned as being the second most important livelihood linked to ecosystems in the focus groups carried out at Tsunza (see ES FG report). It seems that although some may go to the coast to fish, many will remain within the creek area and the estuary surrounding the mangroves. In a sense, this is more of a mangrove fishery where there may be an increased dependence on mangrove related fish species, crabs and prawns (as listed in livelihoods above).
The known and registered landing site by the fisheries department is Tsunza central landing site. However there are major landing sites that have recently been established and used by local fishers e.g. Mwadumbo, Guya, Gutu and Maguzoni (which is rarely used-Village elders).
Despite the high potential fish market in Mombasa, these villages use traditional fishing methods involving local traps (kisoso), gill nets (small and big eye nets-with the majority use small eye nets to catch all fish sizes), seine purse nets (kimia), hook and line and spear guns. The main boats are in the form of 2 and 4 people Dhows (BMU member).
There is no ice or processing facilities, it is the dealers that come to buy fish who come with ice and refrigeration facilities. Fishermen sale to any buyers, it is only the prawn fishermen that have specific buyers. However there are so few fish, sometimes there are not even enough for the locals. Furthermore, the price of fish has also increased (BMU member).
High season is October-February
Low season is June-August
The mangroves were more frequently mentioned as having a diversity of uses throughout the focus groups and key informant interviews in Tsunza than in Vanga.
It seems at first glance, that there is more of an issue of over harvesting and degradation of mangroves in this area. The only groups involved in mangrove management is the “mangrove harvesting group” which is composed of 12 members and their activities include harvesting mangroves and rehabilitation of degraded mangrove sites. However there are still no clear guidelines and procedures for harvesting mangroves in the area. There has been increased awareness and controlled cutting is in place (locals are now required to request to KFS when they need poles for construction) however these are not respected and illegal harvesting/overexploitation of mangroves is occurring. Indeed the local communities have realized that fisheries and crabs have declined due to overharvesting of mangroves.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there used to be controlled harvesting of mangroves and cutters had to get licenses and were given specific dates and areas. However since the 1980s this changed and overexploitation took place. Most people cut mangroves for firewood, fences and poles for house construction. Now however, technology for construction is changing and there is a shift from use of mangroves but the low incomes of many mean they cannot use stones and have to revert back to mangroves. (Member of the Mangrove Harvesting Group).
Very few tourist facilities on site. Whilst there are a few homestays (10) this may be more for those visiting family or working nearby.
Tourism attractions could include historical sites such as kaya forests and sacred forests, Mwache Creek, Caves, Culture, Tsunza Island, Handicrafts and Artifacts.
Marketing is hoped to be done to improve tourism in the area.
Currently low season is from February-June and high season from August-December (although it is unsure as to whether this is for those working in tourism sector or if this is related to tourists visiting Tsunza, the former is more likely).