Laikipia is among the ten counties in Kenya that are facing serious issues from a prolonged drought.
183,000 people in Laikipia are facing famine; lack of pasture and food in homes prompts parents to send their children to herd in far away lands to ensure the survival of their livestock. It is during these times, when school attendance decreases, that there is a significant increase of early girl marriages, early pregnancies, stock thefts and insecurities.
Laikipia is drought-stricken and communities are struggling – photo credit Nick Penny.
In the Pokot, Samburu and Turkana communities, livestock plays a key role in driving the markets and providing a source of food and revenue. The current drought has significantly affected the livestock numbers with many perishing, leaving community members with no source of income.
With the logistical support of Mugie Conservancy, we will be rolling out a large-scale feeding program to eleven schools in the pastoralist communities that surround Mugie. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we sponsored over 33,000 kgs of food for these same schools and this was recognised as one of the most positive impacts that the conservancy had in a recent Social Impact Survey. The exercise saw a 30% rise in the attendance, new enrolments of children, more girls going to school, and lower malnutrition levels.
A school food drive during Covid-19.
In total we estimate that it will cost KES 2,477,926 (USD 20,000) to provide one nutritious meal per day to all of the 2,470 students for one academic year. Providing children with food in school significantly improves attendance and concentration in class; therefore reducing the negative ripple effects that arise from poor attendance.
In order to raise the funds required, we are running an online raffle this February to raise USD 7,000 for the first term of food. Entries are limited to just 140 places for the first round (any extra entries will automatically be added to the next term’s raffle) and each entry costs USD 50.
The lucky winner will enjoy a trip worth USD 8,500 which includes two nights at Governors’ Mugie, three nights at Governors’ Camp plus return flights from Nairobi on Governors’ Aviation, for two people. Depending on the date of travel, the winner will also be able to attend one of the food drives and help to distribute the supplies with our team – meeting the children and seeing first hand the difference their support has made.
Mugie Primary School – photo credit Nick Penny.
Please follow the link below for full details on how to enter, plus the Terms and Conditions of this prize.
LAIKIPIA DROUGHT SUPPORT: ONLINE RAFFLE
There is a considerable lack of access to basic healthcare facilities for people living in rural areas in Laikipia. For this reason, The Moyo Foundation conducts medical outreach clinics in order to bring trained personnel, medication and family planning education to such communities.
Last month we sponsored (for the fifth time), one such clinic. A total of 201 patients (56 kids under 5 years and 145 above 5 years) were seen, with the majority being women and children.
Mugie outreach clinic – photo credit Nick Penny.
To keep connectivity across the wider landscape, Mugie Conservancy has various corridors along its boundary. A major corridor is Kitenye, an area that connects Mugie to Loisaba Conservancy to the east. At the moment, Mugie is in the process of opening another major corridor with Mukutan Conservancy (LNC) to the west, strengthening the habitat connectivity to Baringo and the Rift Valley. Other corridors include Loitikon and Kilo 1 towards Samburu and therefore the Northern Frontier.
Wildlife corridors are essential for the safe movement of animals – photo credit Fernando Faciole.
This month we sponsored a “Livestock herders training session” in collaboration with our conservation partner, the Mara Predator Conservation Programme.
Livestock herders training session – photo credit Mara Predator Conservation Programme.
In areas where humans and wildlife live side-by-side, there is always going to be an element of risk for conflicts to occur between them. Poor livestock herding practices (such as sending young children instead of adults out into the wild to herd a flock of sheep) result in higher incidences of Human-Wildlife Conflict. Livestock herder training sessions are conducted in rural areas to help mitigate human-predator conflict in ‘conflict hotspots’ by educating herders on best herding practices to try and mitigate these conflicts.
This small team works hard to monitor and protect the various species of birds of prey that live in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. Many raptor populations are in decline yet there is still so much we don’t know about their ecology and the full scope of the role that they play within an ecosystem.
Tawny eagles will both hunt and scavenge. Scavenging makes them vulnerable to poisoning incidents – photo credit Nick Penny.
Scientific data is essential for informing policy makers who have the power to conserve our wildlife; this is why it is so important that Project Coordinator Lemein Par, is able to continue collecting valuable data across the landscape. This month we sent KES 20,000 towards providing fuel for Lemein’s car, allowing him to continue moving across the landscape as needed.
Lemein Par of the Mara Raptor Project – photo credit Fernando Faciole.
Lemein monitored 269 nests in the Masai Mara Reserve in 2022. Of these nests, 157 were active. Bateleurs had an incredibly successful breeding year with all 9 monitored nests successfully fledging a chick.
Bateleurs are classified as endangered species by the IUCN Red List – photo credit Felix Rome.
Lemein is available (when booked in advance) to give fascinating presentations to our guests in each of our Mara camps. He can also accompany guests on raptor-focused game drives. Donations are required and more information can be found on our website. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to book some time with Lemein.
We are always grateful to any guests/readers who feel moved to support the important work of this small project. Donations of any size can be made via our secure online payment link.
A team of volunteers from the Wildlife Research and Training Institute, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nature Kenya and others conducted a waterbird census for Lake Naivasha, Oloidien and Crater Lake. ‘Waterfowl’/ Anseriformes, include all of the different duck and geese species. We look forward to sharing the results in due course.
Hottentot teals on Lake Naivasha – photo credit Alisa Karstad.
Recovering at the Naivasha Raptor Center is a lappet-faced vulture who was an unfortunate victim of a poisoning event in a conservancy in the Masai Mara last year.
The lappet-faced vulture recovering at the Naivasha Raptor Center – photo credit Alisa Karstad.
Unlike so many birds of prey and other wildlife that are killed by this illegal activity, this individual was rescued and after many days of initial treatment and over a year of ongoing care, will eventually be strong enough to go back into the wild once it has moulted into fresh plumage.
The lappet-faced vulture clearly displaying her five new primary wing feathers on each wing – photo credit Alisa Karstad.
Certain communities choose to use illegal pesticides as an act of retaliation towards predators that they suspect have killed their livestock. The livestock carcass is laced with the pesticide poison and any animal that returns to feed off this poisoned flesh faces an almost certain death depending on the quantity of poisoned meat consumed.
An awful chain reaction ensues whereby those that die may be scavenged off by other wildlife which may also die. It is illegal, but is sadly still a common practice where humans and wildlife share the same space.
Jonathan with the lappet-faced vulture – photo credit Alisa Karstad.
The Kenya Bird of Prey Trust relies on donations to carry out their life-saving work and any amount can make a difference to the smooth running of their operations. In 2022 we donated over one ton (1000kg) of meat to help feed the rescued birds and this year we have so far donated 300 kg ourselves plus a further 150 kg that was kindly sponsored by a guest.
Feeding time at the Naivasha Raptor Center – photo credit Alisa Karstad.
We look forward to continuing and our support efforts this year. If you feel moved to help, you can make a donation through our secure online payment platform. 100% of funds will be passed on to the project.
We continue to provide a daily cup of porridge to all 261 children at the TAFA Community Center in Naivasha. This meal may not seem like much to some, but to these kids it provides a regular source of nutrition and the energy required to concentrate better in school and participate in their extracurricular football practice.
The TAFA Center provides 261 kids with a cup of ‘Uji’ at the end of each day – photo credit Harry Blakey.
It costs just USD 240 to feed all of the kids for one month. We are incredibly grateful to a recent Loldia House guest who has sent through funding to cover the costs of this program for the next three months (February – April). If you would like to get involved in such work and positively impact the lives of our neighbouring communities, please email email@example.com
TAFA kids enjoy an afternoon game of football – photo credit Harry Blakey.
By Alisa Karstad for Governors’ Camp Collection. If you would like to learn more about any of our Community & Conservation efforts you can reach out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to support our work you can do so via our secure online payment platform.