After years of planning, design, and construction, the Mombasa Butterfly House has taken flight. Over the past three months Exhibit Curator Maria Fungomeli and staff have welcomed more than 1,700 visitors, including 1,400 school kids.
The butterfly house, located next to the historic Fort Jesus Monument in Mombasa, showcases the biodiversity of coastal forests and presents visitors with an aerial extravaganza of color. It also educates visitors about the importance of coastal forest biodiversity conservation and generates income for coastal forest farmers through the purchase of butterfly pupae. The exhibit complements the Kipepeo (Kiswahili for ‘butterfly”) export enterprise, which generates an average of Ksh 6.8 million ($80,000) annually for butterfly farmers living around the Arabuko Sokoke forest. The butterfly exhibit is a collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kenya and the National Museums of Kenya.