This project will identify natural habitats within Yala Swamp where Sitatunga Antelopes live and sensitize the community on need to protect these habitats from bush fires and hunting for bush meat. It will organize indigenous communities residing within and adjacent to the swamp into 10 conservation groups called site support groups (SSG). These groups will be supported to protect and rehabilitate at least 10 identified sites where the remaining Sitatunga antelopes are commonly seen.
Sitatunga and other antelopes are some of wild mammals almost being threatened if they are not protected and preserved. Yala Swamp, the largest fresh water wetland in Kenya. It was endowed with rich biodiversity- flora and fauna, both aquatic and terrestrial including Sitatunga antelopes, which are almost being wiped out of the swamp, and a variety of including the globally threatened Papyrus Yellow warbler. The wetland is currently under unprotected is status.
Thus, ICEECO, through this project, intends to sensitize the indigenous communities within and adjacent to the wetland on the importance of protecting Sitatunga Antelopes, and potential benefits that they can bring to the communities through ecotourism. ICEECO will strengthen and support community structures to enable them protect and restore identified sites where the antelopes are found.
ICEECO will ensure the intervention initiated by this project do no end with the project phase out. It will continue building the capacity of Site Support groups to ensure they become independent in terms of sourcing for support to continue with this activities. The nature based enterprises initiative is expected to expand and motivate the beneficiaries to continue conserving the resources that supports the enterprises mainly papyrus and palms.