Muileshi CFA nature based enterprise project on Eco-camp
Tourism exports account for up to 30% of the world’s exports of commercial services and 6% of overall exports of goods and services. For many developing countries it is one of the main income sources and the number one export category, creating much needed employment and opportunities for development according to United Nations World Tourism Organization. The concept of Eco-tourism and sustainable tourism development has gained global recognition and acceptance. Although the origins of the concept of Eco-tourism are not certain, its principles have been identified as; Minimizing environmental impacts; Respecting the host cultures; Maximizing benefits to local people and Maximizing tourist satisfaction.
ERMIS Africa was contracted to carryout an environmental impact assessment for the establishment of a proposed eco-camping site at Iloro in the southern parts of Kakamega Forest. The proposed project is funded by USAID through ACT!''s Kenya Civil Societies Strengthening Programme and hosted by Muileshi CFA in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and National Museums of Kenya (NMK). The unique biodiversity of Kakamega forest is an important asset with multiple tourist attraction sites including panoramic landscapes, caves and flora and fauna. Potential exists in establishing nature trails/walks ,jeep tour, Climbing & trekking, Safari camps & guesthouses, animal transportation (Horses & Camels), geological sites, local cultures & traditions (Kalenjin and Kikuyu), handicrafts, artifacts, skin wears and birding.
Other activities that will be incorporated include conservation activities through a volunteer programme, cottage industry for guava juice extraction and waste recycling. The goal of the project is to restore the biodiversity and ecological functions of Kakamega Forest Ecosystem through community-led reforestation efforts by providing the local community with incentives for conservation and building the local community’s capacity in conservation .