POVERTY REDUCTION

  KAFRED is entirely managed by the community. The Annual General Meeting elects a committee to represent the community. Revenues from tourism are plowed into community projects such as education, health, and sanitation. Most employees are from the community except in cases where there is a need for special skills. KAFRED’s net income is spent on community development projects, and therefore there has been a direct investment. Also, because of employing the local community and buying local materials, there has been general development in the area. However, the general development is complemented by other income-generating activates in the area, such as agriculture and employment opportunities in neighboring Kibale National Park.

  KAFRED’s main aim reads in part: “… and the conservation of natural resources, wetlands in particular”. Community development projects have been funded with income from tourism. The best examples are the secondary school, the wetlands boardwalk, and the wetlands visitor center. This has helped to increase awareness and appreciation within the community of the importance of conservation.

 Music, dance, and drama by local groups such as Enyange Drama actors and Study Tours are used to increase the understanding and interpretation of natural and cultural values in the community, particularly in schools. Enyange Drama actors received training from Kibale and Semliki Conservation and Development Program in the 1990s.

   On the other hand, interpretation signs, write-ups, guided walks, and presentations are used for conservation awareness building for both domestic and foreign visitors. Walks around and across the swamp are guided, visitors are encouraged to keep on the trail and all the garbage is carried back to the visitor’s center and properly binned. KAFRED does not provide catering services and this limits the levels of pollution.

   In the mid-1990s, Ugandan environmental organizations carried out a capacity-building program for KAFRED. This included among other pieces of training, and environmental impact assessment of KAFRED’s projects. A participatory planning exercise was conducted for about 40 participants, including members and representatives of homesteads neighboring the swamp, to draw up bylaws for the management of the swamp, which included a list of dos and don’ts.

   The Bigodi Women’s Group, also a member of UCOTA, is involved in the making and selling of handicrafts. Most of the materials and dyes used are natural and this was an environmental issue. KAFRED has through UCOTA organized training workshops in sustainable harvesting methods.

    Porter Policy;

For our porters who work on the Inca Trail, we fully and willingly comply with the Porter Law 27607 and its Regulation (D.S. 011-2005-TR) by providing them with an agreed-upon professional wage, by paying wages weekly, by providing them with tents for sleeping on the trek, by providing them with proper protection from the elements, by providing plentiful meals that coincide with their normal diets, by providing them life and accident insurance, by not exceeding the weight limit of 20K per porter, and by showing them the respect they deserve as an essential part of our business.



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Below is
an Outline of How Tourism has Changed the Bigodi Community:

Employment of 14 teachers, 6 guides, 2 cooks, 2 security guards, and 3 cleaners.

Teachers and guides receive training and capacity building through KAFRED.

The Bigodi Women’s Group and Peanut Butter Group are provided with space to sell handicrafts and peanut butter at the Wetlands visitor center.

There is a market for local foodstuffs that can be consumed by visitors and tourists, for example, bananas, tomatoes, onions, eggs, and chicken.

Prices in Bigodi are 30% higher in Bigodi than in neighboring villages that have no tourist trade.

Local people have adapted to eating the above-mentioned foodstuffs, leading to improved nutrition.

The number of permanent houses has grown from 2 in 1992 to 7 in 1995 to more than 20 today.

In the late 1990s, KAFRED hosted an average of 1000 visitors annually for an income of about UGs 6m. By 2008 the visitor count had risen to 3,500 with annual revenues of nearly UGs 100m.

About 75% of net profits are spent on community projects. KAFRED began construction and management of Bigodi Secondary School starting in 1993. The school now has some 150 children. Because of tourism revenue, parents pay about 50% less for fees compared to other private schools.

About 95% of wetlands visitors are non-Ugandans. This has led to other business opportunities such as hotels and lodges, which are in turn run by local people and which employ local staff.

Biodiversity and Conservation

OTHER PROJECTS

CLEAN WATER

Help provide clean drinkable water to orphanages, schools and communities. Help orphanage and schools to secure food for the orphans.


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MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

Help in providing medical equipment to community clinics and health centres in rural areas,  with equipment like gloves, hospital beds, water, thermometers e.t.c


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HEALTHY FOOD

Help provide clean drinkable water to orphanages, schools and communities. Help orphanage and schools to secure food for the orphans.


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EDUCATION

Help provide reading and writing materials to orphanages and schools in rural areas, materials like writing books, sketching books, novels and text books, pens and pencils and many others.


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