The beach is expected to offer employment to the indigenous people and increase household incomes of those who can provide food
In a bid, to sustain his charity work, Justin Ojambo, founder and executive director of Phoebe Education Fund (PEFO) thought of establishing a Coconut beach in Maduwa village, Busia district that could be able to fund his charity work even without depending on the donors.
"I know that time will come when I do not have the energy to write proposals or get on different aeroplanes to go overseas and demand help," Ojambo relates. So, with the establishment of the beach it can help to take care of the old people and orphans and at the same time offer him good livelihood during retirement.
However, having bought land in Maduwa village, Busia district near Lake Victoria at sh 80m, Ojambo's found it hard to establish a beach. "I had basically run out of funds," he said. "I needed help." Between 2017 and 2018, Ojambo had got the land through selling his prime land area in Njeru Municipal Council, Buikwe district and also selling his trees in Busia and chicken in Jinja.
Since he did not have any more finances left, Ojambo sought to enter into a partnership with Robert Ven Espelo a Dutch Information Technologist specialist in Oracle Company, Netherland. They had met in the Netherlands after Ojambo had presented the charity work he did on Dutch Television for the old people and the orphans.
"When Ojambo interested me with the idea of the beach," he says, "I happily welcomed it because I saw it had great potential to attract tourists."
Early last year, the duo agreed that Ven Espelo funded the entire infrastructure for the next five years since Ojambo had accrued the land. They, therefore, registered Victoria Coconut beach limited Company with the registrar of companies. Each partner was to take 50% share while 10% was to fund the charities Ojambo operated.
Besides that, the recreational centre would also be used by old people and orphans to relax. Not only that, but the beach is also expected to offer employment to the indigenous people and increase household incomes of those who can provide food. Currently, the hotel and the swimming pool are already in place since construction commenced last year: the swimming pool being the first in Busia and Tororo district. Ojambo says Coconut beach employs 25 employees.
Ven Espelo is confident once the beach is in full operation and tourists on the ground; it is capable of generating one billion shillings per year. The beach also has a fish farming where tourists can learn different species of fish and also be able to fish at leisure.
Though the beach has been in operation, Ojambo intimates that the lockdown has adversely affected them since they could not have any customers. "Due to that, we mostly concentrated on construction of more infrastructures," he says.
Despite the pandemic, the business is resuming to normal though at a slow rate. "We encourage people to come as they observe the social distance and with their face masks on so that we can avoid infections of Coronal virus," Ojambo says. "We also take people's temperatures to make sure that they are free from coronavirus."
Both Ojambo and Ven Espalo are optimistic that business will become better once the pandemic of coronavirus is over.