UNDP AND GEF SET TO PARTNER WITH KENYA TO PROMOTE WESTERN TOURIST CIRCUIT
Information has been ascertained that the United Nation Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility, in short GEF, have set aside a joint 220 million Kenya Shillings to support partnered initiatives with amongst others the Kenya Forest Service, the Kenya Wildlife Service and NEMA to help in highlighting the attractions available in the Western Kenya region but hitherto little exploited by mainstream tourism.
The initiative is including a community sensitization component, advising residents around biodiversity hotspots and living near tourism attractions how to harvest tourism proceeds by offering local guiding and other services.
Said a source close to the new programme but not officially authorized to speak on the record: What the programmes try to accomplish is to vest ownership in localized tourist attractions in the local community. Once they see that there is an earning potential in it, they will embrace it. In the process we manage to protect wetlands, forests and other environmentally sensitive sites.
Amongst the target areas will be the Kakamega Forest, the Cherengani Hills and the Nandi Forest amongst others, already identified by the Kenya Tourist Board as part of their own efforts to open up Western Kenya and showcase its many attractions to more foreign but also local visitors.
KTB has over the past year accelerated efforts to boost domestic tourism, not just to the coast and the national parks but also to the lesser known spots upcountry and dubbed the initative #TembeaKenya, easily followed on Twitter when clicking on the hashtag lines. Way to go, KYC or Know Your Country as I always say.