By David Wandabi – ESD Programs Officer & Eco-schools Coordinator and Lynn Modester
M’bweka Primary is a public mixed day school started in 1967 and located in Kwale County, Matuga Sub County, Waa location, Matuga sub location, M’bweka village in coastal Kenya. The school has 350 learners from ECD to class eight and with 12 teachers.
The school is one of the pioneer Eco-schools in coastal region of Kenya having joined the program in 2008. With the school located in a poverty stricken area characterized by food insecurity and water scarcity among others; it largely focuses on projects that provide food and generate income.
The school Eco-cub started by practicing organic agriculture and agroforestry to localize the Kenyan curriculum. Then it scaled up to Eco-school by starting collaborating with parents, villagers and other stakeholders to plant and harvest trees sustainably, recycle waste by making learning materials using waste papers as papier-mâché, make compost manure and organic briquettes as wood fuel reduce deforestation.
The school grows Moringa trees, banana trees, and green vegetables for counter food insecurity. They focus more on Moringa tree as it is food supplement with the leaves having high nutritional value in proteins, carbohydrates and mineral salts. The leaves are dried and grinded, packed and sold locally. The seeds are used as medicine for blood pressure and diabetes and ulcers among others as well as used for water purification. The Moringa seed pods and leaves are also used to make briquettes. The school also sells Moringa tree seedlings. The Eco-School members have taken this as an opportunity to create awareness on how to use the Moringa through value addition.
M’bweka Primary School has taken their environmental excellence a notch higher by being an environmental conservation model in their community. The school takes part in marine conservation drives including beach clean-ups and campaigns to protect marine wildlife. The school took part in annual Sea Turtle festival on the 16thof June, 2019. The festival highlights the importance of turtles as a great tourist attraction in Kwale County, which are slowly dying out due to various human activities including sand harvesting, hunting and fishing. M’bweka students took part in a beach cleanup and were awarded certificate for outstanding contribution to marine conservation. They further adopted a sea turtle nest at Diani beach as well as a green sea turtle. All these helped in promoting marine conservation education.