Economic Botany

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 513–527 | Cite as

Utilization of mangrove wood products around mida creek (Kenya) amongst subsistence and commercial users

  • F. Dahdouh-Guebas
  • C. Mathenge
  • J. G. Kairo
  • N. Koedam


Mida Creek (Kenya) comprises mangrove forests and other marine resources that are of economic, ecological, and environmental importance to the local village communities. In total 116 households (100 of which could be used for numerical analysis), which are estimated to correspond to a coverage of ca. 30% of the total Mida Creek population, were interviewed to assess the human reliance on mangrove resources in Mida Creek. The survey indicates that mangroves are a major resource of wood for house construction, fuel wood, charcoal, and boat building. Minor uses of mangrove products include pharmaceutical and medicinal applications, tanning material, and furniture making. Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza are the major resources for house construction and fuel wood, while Sonneratia alba and Xylocarpus granatum were reported to be useful for boat building and medicinal uses respectively. The survey further describes harvesting activities and house construction, and reveals species preferences within this one particular use. As a result of depletion of the supply and the banning of mangrove harvesting, the local people are turning to other wood materials and to poaching. In our view, local utilization patterns rather than global usefulness data are required to establish a conservation policy of both mangroves and users’ subsistence requirements.

Key Words

mangrove ethnobotany wood survey analysis Kenya 

Utilización de productos de la madera del mangle alrededor de mida cala (Kenya) entre subsistence y usuarios comerciales


La ensenada de Mida (Kenya) posee basques de manglar y otros recursos marinos de importancia económica, ecológica y ambiental para las comunidades de los pueblos. En total 116 hogares (100 de los cuales podrían ser usados para análisis numéricos) corresponden a una cobertura total del 24% de la totalidad de la población de ensenada de Mida. El sondeo indica que los manglares son la mayor fuente de madera para la construcción de casas y botes, combustible y carbón de madera. Usos menores de los productos de manglar incluyen aplicaciones farmacéuticas y medicinales, material de teñido y muebles. Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal y Brugeuiera gymnorrhiza son las principales fuentes para combustible y construcción de casas, mientras que Sonneratia alba y Xylocarpus granatum fueron reportados como aptos para la construcción de botes y usos medicinales respectivamente. El sondeo describe adicionalmente actividades de consecha y construcción de casas revelando preferencias de especies para este caso en particular. Como resultado de la destructión del recurso y la prohibitión de la cosecha de mangle, los pobladores se han inclinado por el uso de otras maderas y a la pesca furtiva. Consideramos que se requieren patrones de utilizatión local más que datos globales para establecer una políica de conservatión de manglares y requerimientos para la subsistencia de los usuarios.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden Press 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Dahdouh-Guebas
    • 1
  • C. Mathenge
    • 1
  • J. G. Kairo
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Koedam
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of General Botany and Nature Management, Mangrove Management GroupVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium
  2. 2.Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research InstituteMombasaKenya

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