Making Tourism Work for the Poor.....

Pro-poor tourism development in kenya is still in its initial stages but kenya can boast of a few community projects that have been able to demostarate the potentils of tourism in empower hundreds of poor communities. With the incentives the locals have been able to diversify their economic base,some of these projects have been elaborated below.

Lewa Downs Wildlife Conservancy
Lewa Downs, located north of Mount Kenya, was primarily established as a rhino sanctuary in 1984. With financial aid from donors the whole of Lewa and the surrounding Ngare Ngare forest has been fenced giving a protected area of 213 sq.km with a 30 metre gap on the northern side acting as a migratory route. Now the sanctuary has over 20 black rhino and a similar amount of white rhino, over half of which have been born there.

Lewa Downs, located north of Mount Kenya, was primarily established as a rhino sanctuary in 1984. With financial aid from donors the whole of Lewa and the surrounding Ngare Ngare forest has been fenced giving a protected area of 213 sq.km with a 30 metre gap on the northern side acting as a migratory route. Now the sanctuary has over 20 black rhino and a similar amount of white rhino, over half of which have been born there.

The Kimana Community
The Kimana Community Wildlife Sanctuary is one of such projects. It became for Kenya in 1996, the country's first park beyond parks'. This was followed by the Ngwesi Group Ranch tourism project in Laikipia, situated in Kenya's semi-arid north. The community there is often severely affected by the migration of elephant and smaller plain animals.

In recognition of the success of Kimana, Care for the Wild International is supporting a pioneering new project called Porini. This will fund a project manager to work with Maasai communities to help them establish conservation areas on communally owned land in the hope that small scale sustainable tourism will generate income for the community

Authorities hope that wild animals that spend most of their time outside the protected areas will have a future and that Kenya's unparalleled national wildlife heritage will be secure if such the projects do work.Amboseli, a period when 95% of the Amboseli rhino fell to poachers. Eventually the Kimana Maasai approached the KWS to suggest the sanctuary and ask for assistance in setting it up. Whilst the Maasai were autonomous in their decision making the KWS provided consultancy, a road network and trained Game Scouts.

The sanctuary charges considerably less than the Amboseli and each group ranch member receives an annual dividend whilst some money is retained for joint community projects. The Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, in Kenya's coastal region, set up to protect some 6,000 acres of a traditional elephant migration route is another example of these projects. Several local Duruma small-scale farmers had to move elsewhere to permit development, and money from a luxury-tented camp replaces lost income.In recognition of the success of Kimana, Care for the Wild International is supporting a pioneering new project called Porini. This will fund a project manager to work with Maasai communities to help them establish conservation areas on communally owned land in the hope that small scale sustainable tourism will generate income for the community.

The Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary
The Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, in Kenya's coastal region, set up to protect some 6,000 acres of a traditional elephant migration route is another example of these projects. Several local Duruma small-scale farmers had to move elsewhere to permit development, and money from a luxury-tented camp replaces lost income.Authorities hope that wild animals that spend most of their time outside the protected areas will have a future and that Kenya's unparalleled national wildlife heritage will be secure if such the projects do work.Amboseli, a period when 95% of the Amboseli rhino fell to poachers. Eventually the Kimana Maasai approached the KWS to suggest the sanctuary and ask for assistance in setting it up. Whilst the Maasai were autonomous in their decision making the KWS provided consultancy, a road network and trained Game Scouts. The sanctuary charges considerably less than the Amboseli and each group ranch member receives an annual dividend whilst some money is retained for joint community projects.

This sanctuary has been set up to create a corridor for the movement of elephants fromShimba Hills National Reserveto a nearby forest area. The sanctuary protects 6,000 acres of the traditional migration route and ranges from sea level stands of boabab trees to moist deciduous forests on the hills and vestigial rain forest along the watercourses. A fee is payable to the local community for every visitor to the reserve. A fence has been erected to protect man from elephant and vice versa and after initial scepticism from the community the benefits of the sanctuary are now being appreciated by all.

Kuku Field Studies Centre
The Kuku Field Studies Centre is located 225 km south of Nairobi midway between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and neighbours the Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary. It was established to offer cultural and environmental education opportunities to students of all ages and nationalities. All revenues generated through the centre are used for educational purposes and for community projects which benefit the Maasai members of the Kuku Group Ranch. The centre acts as a model for financially self-sustainable environmental education in Africa and as an example of the potential existing for communities in Africa to derive benefit from their natural and cultural resources.
Programmes are conducted by local Maasai and include guided walks to learn about the flora and fauna of the region, visits to Maasai villages, and visits to Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. The programmes aim to weave together ecological content, community interaction and cross cultural activities.

Ngomongo Villages
Located just outside Mombasa, Ngomongo Villages aims to provide an insight into ten different and diverse Kenyan tribes. Set in a dead quarry which has been reclaimed and turned into a lush forest, the village gives the opportunity to actively participate in a variety of crafts from pounding grain to harpoon fishing and experience a diverse range of cultures.

Kiamaina Farm
Situated in Kikuyu country on the slopes of Mount Kenya the farm shows traditional organic farming in practice. In addition to coffee husbandry there is also bee-keeping, poultry, dairy and horticulture and examples of mixed crop management. Nearby is the second largest open air market in Africa at Karatina.

Shanzu Traditional Workshop
Located just north of Mombasa, Shanzu is a sheltered workshop for disabled young women where they learn skills which enable them to become productive and confident members of the community. Trainees graduate after 2 years having received vocational training, learnt production skills and gained business experience. The workshop is open to vistors to see how the girls live and work and there is a shop selling their products.

Masai Mara Forestry Project
Friends of Conservation have secured land next to the Talek Gate of the Masai Mara National Reserve for a forestry project. The project aims to teach local people how to plant enough trees for firewood, fodder and construction needs. Free formal training in tree nursery and woodlot maintenance is provided and also training for employment in local lodges and camps.

Il Ngwesi Group Ranch
This community, in Laikipia in Kenya's semi-arid north, is often severely affected by the migration of elephant and smaller plains animals. The community has constructed bandas and an airstrip to generate income from local and overseas tourism and hopefully the revenue will offset the seasonal disadvantages caused by the seasonal passages of large numbers of animals.

Elsamere Conservation Centre
Set in acacia forest on the banks of Lake Naivasha, Elsamere is a haven for nature lovers.The former home of Joy Adamson, Elsamere is now a conservation centre offering the chance to visit local conservation projects and runs research programmes to monitor lake ecology.

 

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