Wetlands in general, have a wide array of resources and Dunga, Kusa, Yala and Koguta wetlands are no exception. The resources in these wetlands include fish, papyrus reeds, water hyacinth, birds, wild animals, Ambatch trees, water, sand and some cultural sites. Over the years, the communities living in proximity to the wetland areas have been exploiting these resources and using them for economic reasons.
This has been one of the major contributors to the degradation of the wetland and its resources. From research conducted in the wetlands, and a little bit of citizen science, we have come to the conclusion that exploitation of these resources cannot be ceased. The community members need them to support their livelihoods so there is no chance of preservation, we can only promote wise use of the resources.
In-light of this, Ecofinder Kenya has brought education on Entrepreneurship and sustainability to the would be entrepreneurs living and operating in the wetland areas. They were told how to apply the following in concepts:
- Opportunity identification,
- Customer relations,
- Financial management,
- Resource mobilization,
- Micro franchising
- Sustainability concepts. (Environmental and Economical)
We are also engaging the entrepreneurs in the micro franchise enterprises that Ecofinder Kenya has which include:
- Solar lamps enterprise which promotes clean energy and reduced uses of wood fuel
- Compost toilet enterprise to promote sustainable farming
- Biogas enterprise to promote reduced wetland encroachment
- Tree nurseries for environmental conservation
- Papyrus/hyacinth crafts
- Fish farming as a means of alternative livelihood
- Ecotourism as an alternative livelihood
- Comfort enterprise (soap making and re-usable sanitary towels) to promote women empowerment and ecological entrepreneurship
- Horticultural enterprise
In addition to this the would be entrepreneurs also engaged in a participatory session where they came up with ideas and discussed different scenarios, in some cases conducting role plays. They have also come up with ideal nature based enterprise ideas and are working on materializing them into actual business enterprises keeping in mind that Conservation and wise use are the keys to sustainability.