After months of consultations and brain storming sessions, The Laikipia Wildlife Forum has finally signed a memorandum of understanding with Strathmore University whose purpose is to establish a framework of collaboration between LWF and SU for the development of a tourist guide application and related products and software and in other areas that both parties may see fit.
As per the ‘MOU’ both parties will at some point source for funding for installation of cameras to facilitate streaming of videos in the conservancies that work with LWF and some of the videos will be integrated into the applications so as to give would be tourists real time updates on the destinations that they would like to visit in Laikipia and what they will find. The application developed will contain a digitised map of Laikipia will all the conservancies, lodges, hotels, campsites, etc and with detailed information of a particular place and how to access it. On behalf of LWF, Strathmore University will also develop a performance monitoring and management solution that will be used by LWF to monitor and evaluate some of its activities and projects that it carries out in the field hence the reports and feedback given by the Community Liaison Officers is real time and up to date giving the organization (LWF) the ability to forecast, readjust or rethink where the need arises.
Between 29 October and 2 November 2013 some 100 participants from countries that included Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Mongolia and Nicaragua were in the Concordia Theatre in The Hague attending EXPRO Tourism, the first part of a four-year CBI programme. In the context of this programme companies and Business Support Organisations (BSOs) active in the tourism sector were able to broaden their knowledge on the EU market, as well as brush up on export marketing and management and promotion techniques that are relevant to tourism.
In our effort to increase understanding of the need for and the value of wildlife and a healthy natural environment, the Wildlife Conservation & Management Programme is conducting awareness raising campaigns among the people of Laikipia. The main aim of this activity is to raise awareness of the local communities about the need to conserve wildlife and the environment. So far we have been able to do an awareness raising meeting to reach out to the people of Debatas in central Laikipia, a small shopping centre bordering the Olpejeta Conservancy. This was conducted on 7th of October. Living next to Olpejeta, one of the leading conservancies in the region, these community groups need to understand their role in conservation. It is their responsibilities not to do poaching as this vice will lead to the extinction of the endangered wildlife species. It is also their responsibity to report poaching cases. The meeting was attended by over 300 people. Other stakeholders who attended the event include the KWS officers, the area chief, and the community elders.
Stephen Nyaga, LWF Wildlife Conservation Programme Officer was called by community members on the night Mzee Saironga Saidimu was killed by an elephant, He visited the scene of the crime where reports from family members and community members who witnessed the atrocity claim that the incident was highly suspicious in the manner in whch the attack took place.
According to those around the homestead, the elephant seemed to specifically target Mzee Saironga Saidimu.
With support from EKN and USAID funds, EELP managed to deliver books to Kimanjo Library. Our arrival at Kimanjo was met with great joy by students from both Kimanjo primary and secondary section. Teachers also accompanied students to receive the much awaited books. It's with no doubt that schools within Kimanjo desperately needed the books especially now that KCSE exams are on-going while KCPE is approaching in two weeks time. Having EELP interested with environmental education, one would expect most books purchased to-be biased to conservation and that only books such as Mammal guides, Tree guides, birds identification guides e.t.c would dominated the consignment but that was not the case. Demand for course books ensured that EELP carefully select relevant books that will assist students in school and that those books will supplement the curricula. With this kind understanding, we selected books that support most subjects in both primary and secondary schools. We also believe Teachers will benefi from teachers guides books which was part of the consignment. EELP also discussed with students the need to own the library as their facility and the need to take care of the environment as paramount. EELP will be working with the wildlife clubs of Kimanjo primary and secondary school to make the exterior of the building relevant in teaching and learning environmental education using experiential learning approaches. Our CLO Mr. Mosiany and the education liaison officer employed by Ol-Lentille will be working on modalities of managing the library. The sanctuary of Ol-Lenetille committed in verbal to employ someone in the next one year to manage the library.
On 29th August 2013, the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) in collaboration with Laikipia Wildlife Forum marked the second national catchment rehabilitation day at Matsui springs, Muhotetu, in Laikipia West.
This event was organized to mark the significance of Kenya’s water catchments and the value of conserving and protecting them as a shared responsibility. 1600 indigenous tree seedlings supplied by LWF were planted during the event.
The Deputy County Governor who attended the event emphasized on the need to conserve springs and riparian areas in Laikipia. He also challenged WRMA to convene a national forum for county governments’ in order to sensitize them on water sector reforms and resource management.
As you all know, the Laikipia Wildlife Forum manages several programmes over a large geographic area, but has a small secretariat of only 14 core staff. We therefore need all the management capacity we can build up within our limited numbers. Consequently, the Laikipia Wildlife Forum has an interest in Diana’s undertaking this course and when she comes back next year, we expect to benefit greatly from the skills she will gain out there. The ability to grow capacity in-house and use it is a compliment to LWF’s growth as an organization.
In Chesamoo Village of Mt Elgon region, poaching cases are rare as the local community has developed quite a peculiar relationship with wildlife, particularly elephants.
In this region that traverses both Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia counties, locals have ‘domesticated’ elephants and other wild animals and take meticulous care of them, almost as if they were part of their livestock.
Read full article from the Standard Newspaper
Opinion by John Mbaria, Daily Nation Newspaper, 19th August 2013
Time has come for us to ask whether the conservation philosophy and practice we have adopted since colonialism has been of any good to the wildlife. For inordinately too long, the country’s wildlife conservation effort has been dominated by a long-running deception revolving around “conservation evangelism” that has silently kicked out other thought processes.
To those unaware, “conservation evangelism” revolves around creating fame for personalities who do little else to ensure wildlife is preserved into perpetuity.
Laikipia, Kenya: Pastoral communities living in Laikipia are set to benefit from a multimillion shilling Chinese investment to fund beef, milk and leather factories.
The investors have also expressed their willingness to put up agricultural-based factories in the livestock production rich county.
County Governor Joshua Irungu met with the Chinese investors under the Kenya China Friendship Association where they discussed the possibilities of putting up the factories in the county.
“Among the key agendas of the meeting were investment in the agriculture and the especially the livestock sector. Beef and milk processing have been given priority as they are the backbone of Laikipia,” he said.
August 18th 2013 By James Munyeki, Standard Newspaper
Rift Valley: Laikipia West Deputy Commissioner Wilfred Kinyua has ordered individuals who have invaded private land to vacate or face forceful eviction.
Kinyua said members of pastoral communities from the neighbouring counties have invaded ‘idle’ land in Laikipia West, posing a security threat to residents. Kinyua cited Lonyiek, Ol-Moran, Mathira, Thoome and Aiyam as some of the areas that have been invaded.
“This is a security threat to all of us and we have to make sure that they leave if at all they will not maintain peace,” he said. He noted that most residents have abandoned their lands over fear of attacks as the invaders graze their animals in the farms with impunity.
Kinyua added that other pastoralists were fleeing from Baringo County to evade the ongoing disarmament exercise, which he said would also be conducted in Laikipia soon.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Rumuruti trading centre Sunday, the administrator noted that the Government would not tolerate individuals who do not respect other people’s property.
The deputy commissioner observed although the herders had come to the area looking for pasture for their animals, they should stick to the law and also ensure they do not cause a breach of peace in areas where they are grazing.
19 Aug 2013, By Ali Abdi, Standard Newspaper
Samburu County: Pastoralists from Isiolo, Samburu and Laikipia counties trekked to Archers Post to raise an objection to the Government’s plan to construct a mega dam on the Ewaso Ng’iro River.The pastoralists spent days walking in a campaign dubbed ‘Walk and Sing for Ewaso Ng’iro River’.
The caravan from Isiolo — which included a woman and her two children — trekked for three days from Merti to the venue, while those from Laikipia’s Lekiji area took two days and those from Samburu, one day. Under the umbrella of Ewaso Ng’iro River Users Empowerment Platform, the pastoralists stated that they are opposed to the construction of the Sh10 billion twin dam at Crocodile Jaw and Ngarendare areas by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation.
“Ewaso Ng’iro is our lifeline and without it, the pastoralists living downstream will perish. We want to send a message to the national government that we are opposed to this project which has no benefit for us,’’ said Salad Tutana of the Merti Integrated Development Programme.
David Parkinson (Eastern Unit Director- LWF)
The Laikipia Wildlife Forum mourns the tragic loss of our Eastern Unit Director, Mr. David Parkinson on Sunday 25th August 2013 in an attack at his home. Security organs are still conducting investigations and it is our hope that the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to book.
Dear Members, The National water conservation and pipeline corporation intends to establish a mega dam at the crocodile jaws which is situated within the boundaries of Isiolo, Laikipia (see the posted map). I attended a meeting on the same in Isiolo last Tuesday. The National water conservation and pipeline corporation did contract CAS consultants to undertake the study and this meeting was for CAS to share with the stake holders their preliminary findings.