Professor Halimu Shauri – Project leader of the Kenyan team. He is Associate Professor in Sociology at Pwani University in Kenya. Here, Professor Shauri talks about his home, Msambweni, the project’s focus area in Kenya.
1- What is your relationship with the studied area?
I was born, attended my basic education and secondary education in the area. Am thus very conversant with the area, the people and how it was and how the area is due to the changes that have been taking place, some social and others environmental.
2- Is there any particularity about the place and/or its communities that you could share?
The community is very social and hardworking. The peculiarity would be low levels of literacy that have contributed to the poor well-being and livelihood strategies that have had an impact on the environment.
3- What could communities gain with a project like the FoRel?
Knowledge, especially on environmental conservation that has contributed to the challenges of poor livelihoods to some extent in the area. Conservation of fish breeding sites, especially Octopus, which does very well in the area, will certainly help improve the livelihood conditions of the community.
4- What are your hopes for the future of the area, and how do you believe the project could contribute to this?
Am positive about the future of the area with conservation. If we are able to convince the community on the need to conserve fish breeding grounds, like for example, have a community fish breeding conservation area, owned and protected by themselves through this project, we will have had a breakthrough for the community’s future.
5- How could the relational perspective help to understand the region?
All what humanity does has some elements of relational-ity. What we do needs a lot of synergy from others. We are not self sustaining and hence we in a way depends on others for our needs and survival. Relational perspective therefore helps us understand more our common humanity for symbiotic relationship, which is the whole mark of human survival. We are humans and relational perspective enhances our humanity in the way we interact, engage and transact business with each other for individual and common needs and development.