Thursday, 29 March 2018

HELP US STAY CLEAN AND GREEN

Grab a bag and help us keep the beach clean.
The Sands at Nomad has recently set up a 'Grab a Bag' initiative at the main beach steps descending onto the world renown Diani Beach.

The bags are recycled dive bags from the Crab Dive center, the sign is a recycled fiberglass panel from a broken Jacuzzi and the 'plastic' beach bin is biodegradable hessian (made from sisal) and Sisal poles. Simple but effective.

It is our hope that initiatives like this will raise awareness to the possibilities of recycling, the plight of the oceans created by the amount of waste ending up in these oceans and rivers running into them worldwide, and also help any visitors who are interested make a small difference while they are with us on holiday.

It is a sobering thought to imagine that there are floating islands of micro-plastic in the oceans of the world were the currents converge. The largest floating micro-plastic waste island is in the Atlantic ocean, it is said to be the size of Texas! (100,000 square kilometers larger than Kenya!!) 'Treasure?"

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

THE NOMAD ORGANIC FARM

In September 2017 The Sands at Nomad began a new project on a 5 acre parcel of land at a location called 'Umoja' three kilometers inland from the beach.

Making the first raised bed
Since the start this land has been fenced, a farm accommodation house is almost ready, water and electricity has been set up completely 'off-the-grid' and a small farm started.

The point of the farm was firstly to begin growing some fresh, organic produce for The Sands at Nomad's restaurant and hotel, secondly it is hoped that the farm will become an educational experience for anyone who would like to see or learn about some alternative tricks and techniques that can be used to farm in some difficult conditions. The farm has been set up and is run following the guiding principles of permaculture farming.

Various options for raised beds on shallow soil
Permaculture farming is 'the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient'. In simple terms it is farming using (not killing) the natural environment and natural systems so that the farm can continue to generate crops over time. 

Once the process got going there ended up being a clearly required link between The Sands at Nomad hotel and restaurant, the farm and the sustainability and recycling center which had already been set up next to The Sands Marine Center.

As one can imagine the hotel and restaurant generates a large volume of 'waste' daily, most of this 'waste' ends up being collected by the Kwale county government, transferred to the dump and 'wasted'. The problem with this other than a system unable to cope with Diani's waste produced is that most of this IS NOT WASTE!

A old Jacuzzi full of worms making highly nutritious fertilizer
Since the farm started thousands and thousands of glass wine bottles and the likes have been collected from the hotel and restaurant to create raised beds which are 'mulched' and 'composted', old tyres, fridges and mini-bars have been used as raised planters, broken Jacuzzis have been used to create a 'wormary' to produce vermi tea, a natural fertilizer for the farm. Organic waste from the hotel restaurant is used to feed the worms, make compost and soon to be feeding chickens and ducks. Plastic bottles from other hotels (Nomad does not use plastic water bottles) have been used making low cost fencing.

Making compost to keep the soil productive

Home made compost- made from 'waste' and organic material

Now, six months later, the farm has produced close to three kilograms of Cherry Tomatoes, some soft lettuces, Guava's, Mangoes, Custard Apples and Tangarines from pre-existing trees.

A morning's collection
As the long rains loom over us in East Africa we have gone into planting over-drive in our beds after having been building soil for months. Mint, Basils, Tyme, Corriander, Carrots, Lettuces, Avocados, Bananas, Moringa, Pigeon Peas, Butternut, Passion fruits, Oranges, Lime, Maize, Tomatoes and an assortment of Chilli varieties.

We hope that in the near future much of the fresh produce in The Sands Restaurant and maybe even at the Nomad Little Farmer's Market once a month will come from the Nomad farm.




SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION- The first nests of 2018

After a very successful 2017 in terms of hatched sea turtles from the Nomad hatchery (over 1000 from ten nests) we are very happy to report that on the 28th of January the first Green Sea turtle nest was relocated to the Nomad hatchery by Juma from Diani Turtle Watch. 130 eggs were moved from an unsafe location up the beach to the hatchery.



At the time of writing this post (two months later) I am happy to report that the surface of the nest has begun to fall inwards suggesting that some of the little ones have begun to dig their way out. We will keep a close eye on the nest and keep fingers crossed that the success rate is as good as last year.



The second nest of the year has been relocated to the Nomad hatchery in the past month, this one had 146 eggs. AND- in the time of writing this post I have been called by Diani Turtle Watch to report the third nest of the year is en-route to the hatchery at The Sands.

Watch this space and The Sands at Nomad's Facebook page for the photos and updates from the hatching. 

FOR YOUR AWARENESS

Recently we heard of a hatching nest being found nearby to us, sadly the hotel at the nest location and the guests did not know about some basic rules in the case of finding a nest. It was badly interfered with meaning the hatchling's chances of survival were far from good. As a result we would like to publish some basic rules in case you or someone you know is lucky enough to find a nest hatching.

FOUR USEFUL INFORMATION FOR ANYONE FINDING A HATCHING TURTLE NEST

1. LET THEM STRUGGLE- When turtles hatch it is very important for them to go through the struggle to survive. They MUST dig their way out of the nest, they MUST run down the beach to the ocean WITHOUT assistance. The process of doing these tasks is very important in getting blood circulation working, in getting muscles working and in orientating the hatchling to the sun, the wind, possible predators and the ocean. 

2. It is very important that the hatchings are NOT TOUCHED or picked up as this will disorientate the hatchling making navigation to and from the beach of birth difficult if not impossible. It is also believed that chemicals on our skin (sun cream etc) can have bad effects on hatchlings still fresh out of their eggs.

3. GIVE THEM SPACE- Stay out of the way, to the side, not between the hatchlings and the ocean. It is believed that sea turtles imprint the location of their birth so that if they manage to survive to adulthood they can remember where to return. Do not swim near them.

4. NO FLASH CAMERAS OR FLASHLIGHTS- Please note that if the hatching happens at night no one is allowed near with flash cameras and/or flash lights as these disorientate the hatchlings at a very important time in their lives. 





BEACH CLEAN UPS- RUBBER COLLECTION FOR RECYCLING - CNN news report- Inside Africa Feature

In September 2017 The Sands at Nomad and The Crab dive center appeared in a CNN 'Inside Africa' news feature. The feature was set around the traditional African East Coast trade Dhows which have sailed the waters of the East African coast for centuries trading with the various sea ports.

Copy/Paste the below Link for the Feature:

http://www.theflipflopi.com/blog/2017/9/9/the-flipflopi-dhow-featured-on-cnn

Photo courtesy 'The Flipflopi Expedition' Facebook

As part of an awareness campaign a Dhow made out of recycled plastic (structure and ribs) and rubber (panels) began being built in Coconut Bay on Lamu Island in early 2017. In the effort to make this dream a reality operations like The Sands at Nomad were approached by the 'Flipflopi Expedition' creators who asked if we could begin to separate out the rubber flip-flops from the weekly beach cleanups already happening.



After months of doing this and many kilograms of flip-flops collected these were dropped at Benson's workshop on the Diani Beach road where he turned these 'waste' rubber shoes into square panels for the planking along the sides of the Flipflopi Dhow. Once done these panels were transported to Lamu where they were added to the other panels from other locations up and down the coast of Kenya.




Now, in early 2018 the Flipflopi Dhow is nearing a reality. One side is paneled, the ribs and keel are all ready and in place (made from recycled plastic waste). 

It will not be long now before the recycled Dhow 'Flipflopi' is on the waves and making people aware to the waste we humans are producing the the impact this waste is having on the Oceans.. not to forget the value this 'waste' can have if one were to 'THINK OUT OF THE BOX'.

#PLASTICREVOLUTION #FLIPFLOPIEXPEDITION #OCEANCONSERVANCY

The Sands at Nomad and The Crab Dive Center beach clean team.

HOW TO RE-USE SINGLE USE SOFT PLASTICS (PACKAGING, WRAPPERS, BUBBLE WRAP ETC)

The final product- Kanga cushion covers reused and Dive bags made into outdoor cushions.  Did you know that The Sands at Nomad’s r...