Establishment of community museums innovation in Serengeti Mara Ecosystem | Institutional Innovations (Innovations, Training Services & Management Practices)

Communities around the Serengeti Mara Ecosystem (SME) are richly endowed with cultural, natural and biodiversity resources that can be used to create community museums for local and international tourism. The local communities in and around SME have a very rich culture. However, they do not know how to manage this heritage to ensure optimum economic gain. The innovation will also benefit widely from the availability of spec Read more..

Description of the technology or innovation

Communities  around  the  Serengeti  Mara  Ecosystem  (SME)  are  richly  endowed  with  cultural, natural  and  biodiversity  resources  that  can  be  used  to  create  community  museums  for  local  and international  tourism.  The  local  communities  in  and  around  SME  have  a  very  rich  culture. However, they do not know how to manage this heritage to ensure optimum economic gain. The innovation will also benefit widely from the availability of specimens and objects around SME. The museums will showcase objects that vary widely in type, including:

  • Ethnographic material. This is material culture of ethnic communities across the region, including  clothing,  jewellery,  utensils,  tools,  musical  instruments,  religious  and ceremonial material, amour, sections of buildings and building materials;
  • Archaeological  material.  Prehistoric  material,  which  includes  both  objects  made  by humans and paleontological finds, more recent artifacts including ceramics and metals;
  • Historical material. This includes furnishings and sections of buildings;
  • Natural  history.  Includes  mainly  taxidermy  specimens,  entomology  and  wet  specimen collections, exhibits of mounted fauna, flora, fungi;
  • Historical material. This includes furnishings and sections of buildings;
  • Archival and audio-visual materials. These are written papers, maps, photographs, slides and films.

These  objects  would  be  prepared  by  using  standard  methods  in  order  to  make  them  useful  for research,  exhibition  and  educational  purposes.  Community  museum  reference  collections  can  be used on a pay-basis by scholars, scientists and collectors from all over the world for studies, and by visiting students, tourists and artists. The local community could get a certain proportion of income from  the  museums’  profits,  thus  providing  an  opportunity  for  them  to  improve  their  livelihoods.
The  museums  innovation will create awareness of the  importance and uses of cultural as well as natural heritage (including biodiversity), besides providing additional income. It is applicable in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystems of Kenya and Tanzania.

Assessment/reflection on utilization, dissemination & scaling out or up approaches used

The local communities living in both the wet and dry regions of the Serengeti Mara Ecosystems and those engaged in the tourism and hospitality industries are the ultimate beneficiaries of the project.

The key partners needed in the scaling up process are:

  • Wildlife conservation Agencies
  • Tourism ministries,  
  • Communities around the SME  
  • Wildlife population

Gender considerations

The  technology  is  gender  sensitive  since  community  conservancies  are  developed,  managed  and implemented  by  locals  who  are  both  male  and  female.  However,  practices  related  to  gender imbalances,  (especially  on  land  and  benefit  sharing  and  utilization  of  natural  resources  such  as biodiversity), exist within the SME. Although Tanzania and Kenya’s statutory laws do not prevent women from owning land, women still face numerous challenges in this area partly because male members of the family tend to hold land in trust as communal property. Both women and youth are able  to  implement  this  ecological  and  biological  friendly  innovation  while  deriving  from  it alternative  means  of  income  and  subsistence.  Thus  the  innovation  has  the  potential  to simultaneously take care of multiple needs such as income, food, conservation, and natural resource management.  However,  there  is  a  need  for  the  government  to  facilitate  gender  analysis; participation  and  affirmative  action  in  biodiversity  management  through  gender-sensitive legislation, promote gender awareness and involvement in all these innovations.

Contact details

Muchai Muchane
Director, National Museums of Kenya (NMK)
P.O Box 40658-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254-722 286133

Bernard Ngoru
Programme Officer, Kenya Wildlife Service
P.O Box 494 – 0161,
Nyeri, Kenya
Tel: 0721 521324

Emanuel Manyasa
Professor, Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
P.O Box 57290,
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0723 845707

Ayub Macharia
Director, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
P.O Box 67839,
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0722 728572

James Wakibara
Director, Tanzania National Parks
P.O Box 3134,
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: 0786-703-399

Agnes Mwakaje
Professor, University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM)
P.O Box 35064,
Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania

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