Lack of cutting plans escalates problem of mangrove forest in Kenya. The government agencies vetted with management of mangrove and other forests in Kenya lacks adequate resources of implementing management guidelines. In most cases therefore,selective removal of quality poles of suitable species has tended to leave out those of inferior species unsuitable for the market, Quality poles have been wiped out in most mangrove areas of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi districts where population is highest along the coast.
Salt extraction has also led to loss of mangrove forest. Currently, there are more than six salt workers in Ngomeni where most extraction is carried out in Kenya. Landing 71400 tonnes of salt per year, Environmental impacts associated with salt extraction include hyper salinity in areas close to mangrove leading to their death.
Poor land use practices in hinterland has increased sediments into mangrove,forest and water leading to siltation of breathing roots of trees and eventual death of system.
Another problem facing Kenyan forest, mangrove and water resources is oil pollution. For instance,between 1983 and 1993, Mombasa port and surrounding waters experienced 391680 tonnes of oil spill that affected mangrove of port Ritz and Makupa creeks.
A new threat to mangrove in East Africa is projected sea-level rise due to climate change. Climate change impacts are also associated with increased flooding,sedimentation and aridity. Since coastal areas where mangrove occur is low lying land, a small increase in sea level will mean that mangrove will submerge unless they can migrate to new areas mainland.
Looking at the Kenyan coast,most areas where mangrove could migrate to are already occupied by human settlement and/ or infrastructure. Evidence of death of mangrove due to climate change impacts has been observed in several areas along the coast such as Gazi, Mwache creek, Ngomeni, Tana river and Dodori creek.
Major problem facing the management of forest and mangrove forests in Kenya is the lack of base line data and information for the development of comprehensive management plan and limited community participation in mangrove management. Unlike the terrestrial forestry,little attention has been given to mangrove forestry.
Secondly due to lack of resources, their is limited monitoring of harvesting system used by forest and mangrove cutters. There is need to set up sustainable management of this vital ecosystem. This could be achieved by participatory management approach where all stake holders especially the community is involved.
The situation was worsened during the 1997/98 El Nino rains that hit the country causing massive death of mangrove forests. Water resources were also degraded,
Poverty is another problem. Approximately 68% of the people are poor prompting them to exploit the immediate environment for their survival. Mangrove and forest resources are over used leading to their extinction.
Socio-economic changes and population pressure interfere with existing eco-system resulting in extinction of bio-diversity and migration of some species to Eco systems elsewhere.
Changes in ecosystems functions and climatic conditions that eventually impact negatively on local people, for example Kilifi district has experienced changes in climatic conditions that has affected agricultural practices and resulted in food insecurity in the region.