An Eco-Commerce initiative by WildlifeDirect has received a major boost from several donors and supporters geared at advancing the group’s effort to interlink commercial activities and wildlife conservation.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Wild Lives Foundation donated US$ 30,000 and US$ 10,000 respectively while CMC Motors provided a an attractive discount to WildlifeDirect towards the purchase of the Mazda pick-up truck valued at more than Kshs 4.1million.
The community project known as Imbirikani Women’s project is an initiative of Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya and is being implemented by WildlifeDirect with funding support from the UNDP. To support the women, please visit their online shop at: www.oltomenadupo.com
Based in the greater Amboseli ecosystem, the project is spearheading a transformative commercial enterprise geared at shifting income-generating patterns. The fledgling enterprise is seeking to shift local communities from activities that escalate human wildlife conflict to alternative options such as beadwork production for the local and international market.
CMC Motors Group Managing Director Wanjohi Kangangi speaking at the vehicle handover ceremony expressed the firm’s commitment to continue supporting community based development organizations.
“At CMC Motors, we are committed to overall national development agenda and will continue to support initiatives that can facilitate sustainable development through our vehicular mobility solutions,” Kangangi explained.
According to WildlifeDirect CEO Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the organization has adopted a unique eco-commerce model geared at facilitating sustainable environmental conservation.
“This we are doing by securing alternative income streams for women groups around the Amboseli as part of an elaborate behavioral change campaign,” Dr. Kahumbu said, and added “the purchase of this Mazda BT50 provides a crucial market linkage for the Women’s project. The women have registered a company called Oltome Nadupo Women Group and are currently producing quality jewelry, denim jackets, buying and selling of cattle and supplying meat to an abattoir in Imbirikani.”
The project has helped women in the greater Amboseli to venture into income generating businesses that were previously dominated by men.
“The social-economic change we are now witnessing in the Amboseli is immense as more women begin to act as conservation agents,” Dr. Kahumbu confirmed while extending her gratitude to CMC Motors, UNDP and Wild Lives Foundation for the support.
WildlifeDirect holds a unique and special role in Kenya’s wildlife conservation efforts. Over the past few years it has been widely recognized for its singular successes in advocacy and the engagement of the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants through the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign. At a popular level this never has been experienced before in Kenya or any other elephant range state.