Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New partners – An update from Kakamega Rainforest

After traveling 18 hours from the South Coast, on a variety of minibuses, coaches and motorbikes, I finally arrive to be greeted by the immensely impressive forest just outside Kakamega town. In the trees I can see the black-and-white colobus monkeys with their infants relaxing in the branches and an enormous range of bird species flitters constantly through the canopy.

After an internship, and nine months of working with GVI on the South Coast I am now the first GVI staff-member to support KEEP (Kakamega environment education programme). In 1995 KEEP was started by members of the local community, KEEP was set up predominately as an educational programme, educating the local community and school children on the importance of the forest, now KEEP have developed many practical conservation measures and income generating projects. GVI have partnered with KEEP and have sent me a conservation intern to the west to work with this community group to help to protect this diverse forest.

I’m staying with a host family a mere 5 minutes walk from the forest. Every morning I walk along the shaded forest paths to get to the KEEP bandas (tourist accommodation), here I am working on ecotourism, this is run purely by members of the community who have no previous experience in management. I’m there to give them a hand with the day to day running and to work on making improvements as well as coming up with incoming generating ideas. While working we are usually interrupted by the blue monkeys that play in the tall trees surrounding us.

KEEP has a big variety of activities and different community groups that I get involved in and support, including: tree nurseries, butterfly farming, alternative charcoal workshops and much more. In my free time I wander around the rainforest getting to know the over 300 species of birds and 7 different species of primates.

For more information:
KEEP website, and information on how to become a member.
Kakamegarainforest.com, a local forest guide initiative.



    Lucas said...

    YES LUCY!!