The Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) has won a Silver Award at the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards in Cape Town, South Africa
By Samuel Sanya
The Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) has won a Silver Award at the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards in Cape Town, South Africa.
KAFRED is a community-based tourism and conservation organization that manages and promotes sustainable tourism around the Bigodi wetland sanctuary in Kamwenge district.
“This wetland is not a national park but it is protected by locals. We receive over 4,000 visitors every year to view close to 200 unique birds, butterfly and primate species as well as to take guided walks,” George Owoyesigire of KAFRED told reporters at the Uganda Tourism Board offices.
“Proceeds from KAFRED are used to build bridges, and schools. We also subsidize school fees to enable rural poor children attain good education,” he added.
It generates revenues of sh150m ($50,000) annually and is globally celebrated for reducing poverty through conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Hitherto, KAFRED had won the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) equator initiative a record two times, in 2004 and 2010.
KAFRED has created 35 direct tourism jobs; it provides clean water for 80 homes and manages a school of over 300 students from 250 families.
It supports 2 local women’s groups with a total of 70 members producing artisan handicrafts and has been around since 1992.
The group earns sh9m ($3000) annually. KAFRED was the winner of the 2011 Pearls of Uganda’s sustainable Tourism Community Awards.
It is home to primate species such as the Black and White Colubus, Red Colubus, Baboon, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Red Tailed Monkey, Blue and Vervet Monkeys and the L’Hoest Monkey. It has birds such as the elusive Great Blue Turaco and the Crested Crane.
“Our winners have a vision that extends beyond commercial – linking business success with the wellbeing of local communities and the longevity of their enviroments,” Heidi Van der Watt, the Better Tourism Africa managing director says of KAFRED.
The award makes KAFRED eligible for another sustainable tourism award at the 2015 World Travel Market Expo in London in November.
Also related to this story
Uganda best exhibitor at tourism fair in South Africa
Uganda wins silver for responsible tourism