Name of the facilityMedina Palms
Certification AchievedGold
Year opened2013
Tourism regionCoast
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Telephone/Mobile+254 (0) 710 571515, +254 (0) 718 152999
Email[email protected]
Facility NotesMedina Palms is located in the coastal town of Watamu. The facility’s architectural design and décor depicts the rich culture of the Swahili people from the coast. The property constitutes of 51 luxury homes with a total bed capacity of 120 pax. Medina Palms is within the Watamu National Marine Reserve, which is a key marine protected conservation area. The Reserve is famous for turtle breeding grounds, unique corals, rich intertidal habitats and beautiful beaches. Significant biota within this area include green turtles, diverse birdlife including terns, plovers, bulbuls and vegetation such mangroves and a variety sea weeds and grasses. Other critical tourism areas in this region include the Arabuko Sokoke Forest and the Gede Ruins.
Energy managementMedina Palms is connected to the Kenya Power grid as the main source of power. However, it has also invested in solar energy specifically in water heating. In addition are two (2) backup generators. The generator servicing hours are closely monitored for efficiency purposes. Energy usage is monitored using meters at source and sub-meters at all main departments and villa units. These records are further analyzed based on bed capacity to inform future conservation goals. The hotel also has a clear energy saving plan and an energy committee.
Environmental managementMedina Palms has a comprehensive environmental policy to guide in its operation. The policy is committed to; a) compliance with relevant environmental legislation and proactive approach to future requirements, b)monitoring performance for continued improvement in environmental performance c) conservation of natural resources through responsible use of water, energy and other resources. The property’s mission statement aims at promoting environmental and community wellbeing in its surrounding. The hotel has undertaken its annual self-Environmental Audit (EA) as required by EMCA 2015 (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act.)
Chemical useMedina Palms provides biodegradable bathing soaps from Africology Limited in the guest rooms. Ecolab laundry detergents and powders are used for washing in the laundry section. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemicals are available. The staff handling chemicals within the facility have been trained on proper chemical handling and storage.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementProper waste separation of organic and non-organic is conducted at source. The waste is further segregated at the waste management centre into plastics, glass and metallic tins. Monitoring of this waste is done through weighing and recording (types and quantity) on daily basis. Disposal of the waste is done at a community waste recycling centre at Dabaso – an initiative under Watamu Marine Association. Electronic waste (E-Waste) is collected by WEEE Waste Centre Mombasa. Organic waste generated at the facility is composted for use in the kitchen garden. The hotel uses water dispensers in the main departments such as kitchen, offices, and laundry which has significantly reduced on plastic waste generation.
Water managementWater at the facility is metered at source and sub metering done at the main consumption points such as, guest villas, laundry and staff quarters. Water meter readings are taken daily and analysed on bed capacity to monitor usage. Medina Palms promotes water efficiency through sensitization of employees and guest through signage, and briefings. Other water saving technologies/ devises at the facility include low filter shower heads, knee taps, faucets and dual flush cisterns.
Visitor communication & educationGuest rooms are equipped with an activities and adventures guide within Watamu area. The guide showcases profiles on the unique areas/spots within the North Coast region. This includes Local Ocean Trust Turtle Sanctuary, Watamu Marine Park Tour, Dolphin watching, and Mountain Biking in Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Gedi Ruins, and Dhow Cruising along Mida Creek amongst others. Visitors are also briefed upon arrival on energy and water conservation within the premises.
PollutionPotential sound pollution from the generator has been curbed using a muffler system. The facility also controls lights pollution using low filament energy saving bulbs which are also covered.
Environmental conservationEnvironmental conservation
Medina Palms offers low impact activities such as water sports including scuba diving, snorkelling, canoeing and forest walks. The hotel partners with Local Ocean Trust and Watamu Turtle Watch into protecting sea turtles and the Marine environment through conservation, research and education. This is achieved through funding, community sensitization, and mangrove planting. In 2012 – 2014, Medina Palms supported the replanting /rehabilitation of approximately 10, 000 mangroves trees in the Mida Creek ecosystem. Medina Palms occasionally supports and conducts beach clean-ups exercises in conjunction with the Local Ocean Trust and other local primary schools. Debris collected such as Flip flops is donated to Flip Flop Recycling centre. The facility has planted over 1,000 indigenous tree species within its premises.
Waste water managementMedina Palms has invested in a wastewater treatment system that manages both its grey and black effluent. The system operates in two (2) stages; primary separation or digestion of organic solids, and aerobic filtration. The treated water is used for irrigating the lawns; in addition, a reverse system has been fitted within the facility which allows the treated water to be used for flushing all the toilets. Swimming pool water is cleaned through sieving, vacuum cleaning and a backwash system. PH levels (i.e. acidity and alkalinity levels) are checked on a daily basis and the records are duly kept. The facility also conducts regular water effluent sampling in compliance with Environmental Management and Coordination (Water Quality) Regulations of 2006.
Purchasing and suppliesThe facility purchases vegetables and fruits packed in reusable crates while meat and dairy products are stored in freezers. Where possible, dry goods are bought in bulk to reduce on the packaging.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareThe staff members working for Medina Palms are paid in line with the minimum wage. The employees are given letters of appointment, code of conduct and job descriptions upon employment. In addition, the staff are provided with, food, uniform, medical care, and transport.
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingThe hotel has notice boards fitted in strategic sections within the premises. The notice boards are used for facilitating communication. Sensitization and briefing for staff is also done on daily meetings via the heads of department. In addition, the facility has intensive induction training for all new staff. The staff have also been trained on firefighting and First Aid.
In addition, environmental staff reward scheme has been formulated for recognizing outstanding conservation efforts and achievement by the staff.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesMedina Palms is designed to represent the Swahili style of culture. Most of the furniture was designed within the premises by the local carpenters. Décor within the premises has been acquired from the locality.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentThe facility has a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to enhance the community wellbeing. The program majors on education, health and community peaceful co-existence. To fund the projects, the hotel has designated 1% of profits made specifically for CSR. Medina Palms supports the Gede Sports Association, a platform founded by the hotel for creating awareness to local youth / community on Drugs Abuse and HIV aids. The facility recently supported a student’s debate by offering transport, food and accommodation. Through sports, Medina is sensitizing local community Boda Boda riders by offering Reflector jackets and first aid training. The tournament and events are held on annual basis.
The facility also has an initiative to support the health sector; this has been attained through facilitation of a volunteer Doctor to the Watamu Clinic. Medina Palms supports Watamu Primary school and Sawa Sawa academy through donation of learning materials such as text books, Laptop, and 14 internet enabled computers for the school, writing materials including pens, exercise books etc. Other initiatives include building a block of toilets, rehabilitation of Watamu primary school playground etc.
Periodically, the hotel supports local policing unit by offering fuel (20 litres) on weekly basis for patrol services. In addition Medina supports Special Needs School – Gede, Children Home – GOD Our Father, Happy House and Local Madarasa through donations. Other donations include, provision of a Turtle Tank to Turtle Watch Watamu.
In addition, more than 75% of the permanent employees are from the local community and casual labour is sourced from locals. Medina Palms also purchases from the locals where possible. Fruits, vegetables and sea food are bought from local suppliers in Watamu.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetyMedina Palms has a detailed and clearly communicated Health and Safety Policy and manual in place which acts as a comprehensive guide on safety procedures at the facility. In addition, the facility has an environment, health and safety Committee that spearheads environmental, health and safety issues. The policy also addresses staff welfare and work instructions.
Medina Palms also has a fire evacuation plan and a map of the distribution of the fire equipment and fire assembly points clearly indicated in the guest rooms. Additionally, there is a Fire Marshalls team of 20 (safety team) trained in firefighting and first aiders in all departments. Firefighting equipment has also been duly serviced and strategically placed within the facility.
Precautionary and safety signage such as ‘highly flammable’ ‘no smoking’ ‘danger’ is well displayed at strategic areas such as Gas section for safety purposes. The hotel is also linked to Flying Doctors for medical evacuations.
In addition, Watamu Ambulance – Kenya Red Cross is stationed outside the hotel gate. The guest villas are equipped with telephone lines, smoke detectors, for emergency and fire safety response.
Child labor, abuse and human rightsMedina Palms has a well-defined Human Resource policy that guides against employment of minors. Minimum employment age is 18years.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date10th November 2017

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