KWETU: Early Beginnings

2 week training course in solar cooker construction in Kawangware

Photo taken on 7 Oct 2000

1996: Blessing of the well first toilet in the background on right

Exhibition of Neem Products (2000)

...and the final result

Building made of soil reinforced blocks

Classroom donated by the British High Commission

Classroom is ready

Constructing our first classroom

My beautiful picture

Construction of big solar drier

Construction of sluice gate

Everyone contributes to food processing

Everyone has to work

Exploring the Mangroves collect different seeds

Karibuni Kwetu opening invite '96 p2

Karibuni Kwetu dare to dream '96

Karibuni kwetu_opening invite_96_p1 001

Karibuni Kwetu opening invite 96


Karibuni Kwetu visions of a better world '96.jpg


Kwetu as Beekeeping hub distribution of hives


Kwetu the trailblazing college Nation '97


Start of prawns pond excavation which took 6 months and was done by up to 60 people


The first group of students from Mtomondoni with Kwetu Board Members Lucy Lau and Jane Mbendo


The wall is being constructed

The organization was founded by Ulrike Neubert, a German, who has been living in Kenya for many years. In the mid 1990’s, she chose to implement and transfer her visions and ideas into KWETU, as she saw the vast underutilized natural resources along the coast, where people were nonetheless living in adverse poverty due to high unemployment.

She established KWETU along with five other individuals, professionals in fields of Marine aquaculture, by engaging ten youth members from the local community on building of the centre.

The KWETU Training Centre for Sustainable Development was founded in 1996. It has been duly registered under the NGO Act of 1991 Laws of Kenya since 1997. The name KWETU is a Swahili word, meaning “Our place, our Home.”

A newspaper clipping highlights opening of the Kwetu Training Centre in 1997

A newspaper clipping highlights opening of the Kwetu Training Centre in 1997

The vision of KWETU has stayed true to this initial catalyst for action, primarily working with youth through outreach and awareness-raising activities. Kilifi District has a population of approximately half a million people, of whom more than 60% are below the age of 25.

Within the last decade, the town of Mtwapa has grown into a thriving destination for tourists on the Swahili coast. However, this has not been a rich source of direct employment.

KWETU has therefore identified great potential for accessing this industry through small Eco-enterprises, producing goods such as honey, fish and shellfish, processed fruit chutneys, and medicinal products, or establishing ecotourism attractions centered on the mangrove forests.

With these challenges in mind, KWETU‘s specific objectives are: to promote and establish mariculture and silviculture technologies in Kilifi and Kwale Districts; to diversify the livelihood options of local communities dependent on mangrove wetlands for their subsistence; and to advocate for the conservation and sustainable use of mangroves in coastal communities.