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Kenya Resort Wins Responsible Travel Award

pool.jpgOl Malo Eco-Lodge, located in Kenya’s rugged Northern Frontier, has been named winner of the First Choice Responsible Tourism Awards, held at the World Travel Market earlier this month. The lodge was honored for its commitment to working with the local community to reduce poverty and provide health care.

The lodge sits on 3,000 acres that were formerly an overgrazed cattle ranch and now are held in conservation for wildlife. The lodge is built of local materials and has its own water source. The local Samburu community is a partner in the project.

tribesman2.jpgBut the key achievement by the lodge owners, the Francombe family, has been to help eradicate trachoma in the area. This eye disease affects more than 82 per cent of adults over the age of 30 in Kenya. It’s infectious and preventable. In the last three years, Ol Malo has undertaken 200 surgical procedures to return sight and remove pain; established nurse-led community education; begun the provision of clean water and helped to trainl local ophthalmologists.

The lodge has also established an arts workshop, where 50 women gather every day to produce traditional beadwork. The women are paid for their work, the products are sold to Ol Malo visitors, and profits go to the health project.