For the 2,000+ people living in Akassa, Southern Nigeria, turtle hunting and turtle egg hunting provide their only means of livelihood. Many of whom are poor and unskilled with large families of 6 children on average to feed and look after. The extraction of the local resources has led to the local forest and mangrove areas showing signs of terminal exhaustion. This would leave Akassa prone to costal erosion, flooding, wave damage during storms and loss of farmlands. The hunting of turtles and their eggs, especially during egg laying season endangers the species.
Tzedek’s project with TRCC is a small micro-credit loan which targets 100 women and youths who are considered the most vulnerable with an average income of 60p a day and solely dependent on turtle hunting. The aim of the project is to find livelihood alternatives to sea turtle and egg hunting such as aquaculture, snail farming and bee farming. The project will also raise awareness of the importance of sea turtle conservation within the community and establish community-led regulations. A small micro finance cooperative will allow the beneficiaries to buy the necessary equipment to have their own business or expand their pre-existing business. This will allow the beneficiaries to generate their own income.
The project has a threefold impact. It will double the women and youth’s income from 60p to £1.20 a day. The regular and increased income will allow the women to feed their families and pay for additional expenses. The project provides the beneficiaries with sustainable livelihoods which also has a positive conservation impact on the local area. This ensures that the project is highly sustainable and a worthy investment. In the long term, the beneficiaries will have the capital to build the required infrastructure and will draw continuous interest.
The project costs £1,059 for one year