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Eco-tourism site to boost Ugandan tourism sector

The eco-tousim site

The eco-tousim site

When Hajati Aisha Nakasujja, a renowned professional in nutritional and herbal medicine, started Aloesha Organic Natural Health Products 10 years ago, her vision was to transform the mindset of people towards herbal medicine.

Her death last year caused many to fear for the future of the company due to the close attachment it had with the founder. However, the company continues to make big strides with their latest venture being a 49-acre eco-tourism site that will go a long way to not only create employment, but also sensitive the public about preserving the environment, writes DAVID MWANJE.

It is not often that a company taps into the preservation of nature as its core business. But as part of the company's recent a 49 acre eco-tourism centre unveiled a 49 acre eco-tourism centre located at Bombo Kalule in Luweero district.

The setting up of the eco-tourism site is aimed at boosting domestic tourism among other initiatives purposed at the socio–economic development of the community where the site is located, and the country as a whole and also be a source of knowledge and awareness about herbal medicine and increase the pace of embracing herbal medicine among Ugandans.

Don Patrick Bugingo, the managing director at Aloesha Organic Natural Health Products, says eco-tourism is being endorsed as a way of addressing climate change, conservation of biodiversity, provision of employment and boosting the local tourism industry, among other advantages.

“As we mark 10 years since the establishment of Aloesha Organic, eco-tourism is a phenomenon that has become prevalent across the world and Uganda is no exception and this site is well-timed that we enhance the efforts to add something onto the product catalogue of our country,” he said.

Bugingo revealed that this is part of their efforts to promote the use of herbal medicine but also promote domestic tourism as he explained that the new eco-tourism center sits on about 49 acres of land and comprises a nursery establishment, ornamental compound, a medicinal tree forest and the eco-tourism site also has more than 500 tree and plant species.

Bugingo added that the eco-tourism site also has a herbal institute in it called Aloesha Organic Training Institute and was established in 2018 as a specialized herbal health institute of higher learning that focuses on intensive preparation and equipment of present-day youths, practitioners, and people with disabilities with practical skills in the field of herbal medicine and related disciplines.

“The institute is recognized, licensed and supervised by the ministry of Education and Sports and the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) as an integrated skilling institute for formal and non-formal students,” Bugingo said.

“At the moment, training at the institute is received at a cost so as to ensure sustainability and profitability. Touring the center was available at no cost on the day of the launch, though this will not be the case in the near future as it will require constant maintenance and hence a small fee will be charged so as to support the center’s sustainability, as well as promote local tourism industry. The entire public is warmly welcome.” Bugingo revealed.

Don Patrick Bugingo

Sophie Balijuka, the product development officer at Uganda Tourism Board, said the recent opening of the economy and the different initiatives conducted by Uganda Tourism Board to promote local tourism makes the launch of the Aloesha Eco-Tourism Centre timely as this will not only increase the number of tourism sites that Ugandans and travelers from across the region and the globe can visit, but it will greatly contribute to income generating avenues for the country.

Fagil Mandy, an education and training consultant at Aloesha Organic Training Institute, said once the Aloesha Organic Ecotourism Centre thrives, it will impact skill sets and knowledge on conserving and maintaining the plants, and environment as a whole are passed on to the rest of Ugandans.

“With the proficient training conducted at the Aloesha Organic Training Institute, I believe the investment is worthwhile and it will create a lot of opportunity for the learners as they will gain skills that see them have a competitive advantage on the job market,” he said.

John Kaddu, an evaluator at Private Sector Foundation Uganda, credited Aloesha Organic for not only establishing an ecotourism centre, but also going a notch higher to provide a training Institute where learners are able to attain employable skills that will boost the output of the quality of the service and products delivered on the market.

“Private Sector Foundation Uganda acknowledges such initiatives designed by partners like Aloesha aimed at enhancing economic activities, and we pledge our continued support as well as creating an enabling operating environment for them,” he added.

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