A New Water Partnership Forged for Mt. Kenya and the Upper Ewaso Ngiro Basin

What’s in a Partnership?

The three counties of Meru, Laikipia and Nyeri have joined with the Mt. Kenya sub-basin water actors to solve water problems shared by its citizens. Flower farmers, green growers, WRUAs, researchers, and other water actors are coming together to identify, discuss and take action on common water problems in this area.

The driver for this partnership has been the increasing water insecurity being faced by all water users within the upper basin. Within the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro North Basin, water resources are under extreme pressure due to small-holder and commercial irrigation activities. Although commercial growers have diversified water sources from rivers to rainwater storage and groundwater, the dry season river flows continue to trend downwards despite concerted efforts by WRMA, WRUAs and the commercial growers. Failure to manage the shared resources puts existing businesses, livelihoods and the environment at risk. In addition to water being a basic human right in our Constitution, we are constraining any future, sustainable, economic development.

These water user actors within the region have agreed to form a public-private partnership named the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP). This is an important platform for all stakeholders within the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro North Basin to engage constructively in water resource use and management. It provides a mechanism by which water access, use, management and conservation is addressed collectively in the basin.

Water partnership

Governance of the MKEWP

Membership of the MKEWP is drawn from water stakeholders that include: County governments, Water Resources Management Authority, Nonprofi t Institutions, Private Sector water resource users, Water Resources Users Associations, parastatals, private land owners, water services and sanitation service providers, research organisations, fi nancial institutions and non-voting members. The actions and activities of the Partnership are governed by 15 Council members drawn from the constituent members. This council is lead by a Chairperson and a vice chairperson who are elected by the Council.

The council is served by a secretariat to help it in carrying out its mandate. LWF has been selected to serve as the Partnership secretariat for the next three years.

Growing the Partnership Momentum

Since the inception meeting held on 9th December 2016 at Lions Court Inn, Nanyuki, the partnership has held 5 meetings to develop the idea. A 10-member committee was formed to develop the Partnership Charter and Terms of Reference. This document defines the goals, purpose, principles and modalities of the partnership. It was adopted in June 2016 by its members.

Already the first Council meeting has been conducted in July, with members unanimously electing Eng. J. Maina, Director for Water Services, Laikipia County as the Chairman. The Vice Chair will be appointed by the Private Sector. The Council has already formed the following committees: Fundraising, Launch, and Project Management. These committees will work with the Secretariat to:

a) Secure funding for the Partnership in the next 3 years. The Kenya Water Resources Group 2030 has indicated their support for the Partnership and the secretariat functions.

b) Launch of the Partnership, which is planned for October 2016.

c) Oversee the implementation of Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) Project. This is a climate adaptation project funded by NCF that would benefit WRUAs and Water Service Providers. It will be administered through the MKEWP.

The Secretariat of the MKEWP will be housed within the LWF compound and includes the same set of services extended to similar associations and membership stakeholders in Laikipia under its new strategic plan. The next 6 months are crucial for the Partnership as it embarks on securing funding for its core activities, prepares for the Launch, and begins to identify and prioritise key water projects within the Basin for funding.
LWF

Wild Class: Conservation Education Update

The Laikipian landscape protects wildlife because people build land-use models that are multi-dimensional. They include ranching, tourism, real-estate, farming, forestry, horticulture, water and energy management. This makes Laikipia the most ideal place to learn how all these pieces fi t together and accommodate wildlife! Wild Class is all about supporting business models implemented by Conservation Education (CE) destinations that have chosen CE as a wise land use. Its about celebrating the fact that conservation really is cool in Laikipia because in this county, wildlife conservation is the result of people either intentionally managing land for wildlife, or people tolerating wildlife, because the benefi ts outweigh the challenges.

Wildclass

CE is another form of land use for Laikipia. Like so many of the other creative ways to use land and conserve wildlife, CE is another tool that enhances the value of the land. By presenting it as conservation education “tourism”, Wild Class has found another way to bring value to the land, wildlife and the people who live in Laikipia. Currently, Wild Class has 10 destinations namely: Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Mpala Research Centre, Ol Jogi Conservancy, Loisaba Conservancy, Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, Mt. Kenya Trust, Ol Lentille Conservancy, Laikipia Nature Conservancy, Segera Conservancy and Lewa Conservancy, who each play a leading role in mega-fauna conservation, cultural conservation and conservation of really important endangered species such as rhino, elephant, cheetah, Grevy’s zebras and wild dogs. Wild Class will soon be launching 10 promotional video clips celebrating these conservation education destinations that have joined forces to market Laikipia as a conservation education destination and learning environment for school students from a radius of 200-250 km of Laikipia. Another market segment will target tertiary education institutions at home and abroad.

“Each one of these Conservation Education destinations also has something unique in its off ering and off ers visiting school groups structured learning in safe environments and an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Wild Class is also about Kenyan school kids supporting Kenyan school kids! Imagine a system where for every shilling spent on a Wild Class organised excursion, 50% of the revenue goes into supporting local learning opportunities. And so as each CE destination develops their CE off ering as an enterprise – an
income-generating platform for conservancies where profi ts drive conservation education and learning for local Laikpians, so is this Laikipian dream realised.

LWF, together with its membership, is emerging as a Conservation Education enterprise leader and “incubator”, providing each destination with advisory services on developing their conservancies as a Wild Class destination, and helping them to develop and plan and secure fi nancing to serve this model. LWF joins business skills with leading conservation education programming, experiential learning, and green facilities design and operations – showing how sustainable living and wildlife conservation can be combined. In addition to being a conservation education incubator, LWF will also serve as a clearinghouse for interested schools. Need a tailored curriculum based on a Wild Class off ering? We can help! Need us to help make bookings? We can help! Need a concerted marketing and promotion campaign?

Well, each of the Wild Class CE destinations is a living “Wild Class-room” accommodating a set of learning that is unique to that destination. Much like lodges are developed to host tourists, each one seeking to be more unique than the other, Wild Class destinations will host learning in creative and novel ways, meeting the demand of Kenyan schools to complement curricula with hands-on learning. This model is designed to be self-sustaining and presents an opportunity to look at conservation education as a
legitimate enterprise where experiential learning is paramount, and where profi ts immediately and directly benefi t others in the great Laikipia landscape.

Stay tuned for more updates on WILD CLASS on line at www. laikipia.org, with a new Wild Class website coming soon!

Should you need to engage with us directly, please send an e-mail to joan.wandegi@laikipia.org.

Bringing Back “Forumness”: The Making of the New Laikipia Wildlife Forum

 

Bringing back Forum-ness

 

VISION
A productive and robust Ewaso landscape that supports dynamic, sustainable livelihoods and healthy populations of wildlife.

MISSION
To nurture and reinforce stakeholder institutions that can support wildlife conservation and sustainable natural resources management in Laikipia and among its immediate neighbours.

Governance
To help make LWF representative of these stakeholder groups, and to form a more inclusive and equitable FORUM, we propose:

  • Ewaso Landscape Council
    This is the mechanism through which county government, donors and regional programs can help us address the landscape issues of water, wildlife and rangelands outside of Laikipia. Members of the LWF Board would participate in this Council.
  • The LWF Board
    The revised Board of Directors of LWF would be selected from among the seven different stakeholder groups. At least two members of these groups would be elected to the Board and represent the different stakeholder issues and priorities. The FORUM is thus used as the tool to address issues between these groups, across the landscape.
  • The LWF/FORUM Secretariat
    The LWF Secretariat would change from an implementer of projects to a more supportive role to
    members. We would advocate and lobby for membership issues. We would catalyse and coordinate. We would provide technical guidance, and form a much more comprehensive clearing house of information for our landscape priorities. The Secretariat would provide a technical programme officer for each of these stakeholder groups, while also providing supporting services (admin and financial management) to each stakeholder group. Funds would be raised from members and donors to support these groups and their projects and programmes. The Secretariat would also provide monitoring, reporting, and accountability for donors and to membership. We would become a strong centre for conservation and sustainability.

LWF is changing: Proposed Strategic Plan 2016 – 2030

LWF StrategyLWF has been forced to rethink its role as a membership organisation as a result of strategic planning and the end of present donor funding. For the last eight months, LWF has conducted more than 40 meetings with members and stakeholders in and around Laikipia to learn more about the issues they face, the services they receive from LWF, and the future they want to see.

These stakeholders included: Laikipia ranchers/ land users, conservancies, CBOs and community groups, conservation partners, donors, and County Governments. Their feedback on LWF is summarised here.

Strengths

  • LWF is viewed as a respected, important organisation that for many years has brought diverse parties and neighbours together. We call it “FORUMNESS”; a “forum” where all voices are welcomed, common interests identified, and solutions crafted.
  • A trusted advocate for land use between different stakeholders and communities.
  • Plays an especially important role in devolution and with the National Government.
  • Capable of bringing external resources and attention to the region, so communities and members receive far more than they pay in membership dues.

Weaknesses

  • LWF has become too much of an NGO – an implementer of projects rather than a membership organisation.
  • In general, smallholder members believe LWF’s priorities are skewed toward large private ranchers (toward wildlife over people)
  • Many private ranches feel that LWF donor funding is going to smallholders without benefits to them.
  • The word “wildlife” has become highly negative in local communities who see few associated benefits.
  • Not enough energy and effort put into programme and project planning with stakeholders, particularly communities.
  • Our system of voluntary unit directors and community liaison officers is not working well.
  • Our board needs to include more diverse and representative members.

Opportunities

  • Forging of stronger County ties – Devolution highlights the need for a local institution to influence and advocate for government funds and to shape priorities.
  • There is a strong interest by some key ranchers to model new approaches for maximising public benefits from private lands.
  • Conservation Education Enterprise model as a income generator and land use
  • We need to capitalise on our strong programming pillars of water, wildlife conservation and rangelands. These are critically linked for the future of Laikipia.

Threats

  • Extremely diverse LWF membership means that all voices are not equal nor equally heard.
  • Increasing large scale threats from incoming people, livestock and infrastructure.
  • Not enough close ties with County government planning, budgeting, and expenditure.
  • Tendency to protect lands using tools that cut off wildlife movement.
  • Failure to address interconnected natural resources conservation and management across county lines and at landscape levels.

Thus, LWF’s new Strategic Plan proposal will focus on landscape level issues of water, rangelands and wildlife in the Upper Ewaso Basin.

LWF will become primarily a “service “ organisation supporting at least seven distinct associations of Laikipians. These seven groups are not all equal, but they are all important to address the priority issues for Laikipia. They are also key to the programming and management of issues across individual, group and county lines.

The Forum will eventually grow to serve as a secretariat that supports the administrative and management costs of these seven focal associations. They will identify and implement future projects, with LWF assistance.

The Mt. Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership, The Laikipia Unity Initiative, and WILD CLASS are set to receive support and funding; while the other partnerships are seeking funds from local, national and international sources.

Approval of the new LWF Strategic Plan (20162030) will result in:

  • Possible Name change – many people want to see a name that reflects our environmental, conservation or natural resources focus. Wildlife is too narrow.
  • Possible change in registration as a TRUST. This is based on the best legal advice
  • Changes to our articles of association to accommodate a new, more representative Board drawn from at least 7 stakeholder associations
  • The introduction of an Ewaso Landscape Council that will encourage and support dialog and actions across the landscape.
  • Appointment of LWF staff to spearhead new roles in the secretariat, providing leadership and technical support to each stakeholder group equally.
  • Development of LWF as a strong advocacy and lobbying centre, an information clearing house, and communications hub on relevant topics in support of all types of LWF membership.

We welcome your continued feedback. Please send comments to: peter.hetz@laikipia.org or joan.wandegi@laikipia.org or visit us at the LWF offices located off the Nanyuki – Meru highway just after the ASK Showgrounds, along the Likii River. Onward!

What we’ve learned from strategic planning

For more than 8 months, the LWF Secretariat has been listening hard to what people want, and what people need from LWF. More than 40 meetings have informed our assessment of LWF’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). The results are positive and illuminating! Here is what emerged:

Different members have very different needs. It’s hard to imagine one organisation meeting all these needs.

  • Acknowledge these differences and give the most important stakeholders in our Mission and Vision a voice, and a platform to express their needs with more equal voices.
  • Help develop institutions that can represent members more equitably. One size does not fit all.
  • Focus on overlapping concerns between stakeholders. These are grass/ rangelands, wildlife, and water.
  • Improve our ability to advocate for productive land uses that support and result in all aspects of nature being conserved.
  • There are strong ‘neighbourhoods’ in Laikipia. These should be nurtured and supported.
  • We need more and stronger County Government engagement in our planning and programs.
  • Strengthen our local partnerships so that we don’t replicate activities and duplicate resources. This confuses members.

As a result of these meetings, many members have suggested a change of name for LWF. This comes from feelings that wildlife is not the focus of our efforts, but that wildlife conservation is the result of our efforts. For many members, there is still a weak connection between wildlife, wildlife conservation, and benefits.

Some have suggested calling LWF just the Laikipia Forum. Others have suggested the Laikipia Mazingira Forum, as this is a more representative name for our interests, mission, and vision. That name change is up to the membership.

LWF’s Achievements in the Upper Ewaso Landscape

In order to keep Members and Donors informed, Laikipia Wildlife Forum has always reported on a set of measurements that record the impact of donor funds on key programme themes each year. These reports form the basis of LWF’s monitoring and evaluation efforts.

Between 2011 to mid 2016, LWF reported to donors on 8 thematic areas: Wildlife Conservation, Forest Management, Water Resources Management, Peace and Security, Tourism, Conservation Enterprise, Environmental Education, and Rangelands Management. The following is the measure of success from these programmes between 2010 and 2016.

Area under Conservation Management This is a big indicator of LWF’s overall programme success. The land under conservation management is the area secured for biodiversity conservation.

These are areas that were newly secured, specifically for conservation purposes such as: conservancies, community conservation areas, community forest areas and community wetlands and, for which there is a formal agreement. These areas have been demarcated and mapped and have management plans that are being implemented. It also means that a management structure exists. As a result of our efforts the area under conservation management has increased by 6.9% from 2011 to 2016 in Laikipia.

Support to Water Resources Users Associations (WRUAs), Holistic Management/Rangelands and Community Forest Associations (CFAs) all contributed to the achievement of this result.

The WRUAs have Sub Catchment Management Plans (SCMPs) which guide them on management of water resources within the sub-catchment areas.

Ewaso NyiroWater Programme contributions

  • 29 Number of LWF-supported WRUAs across the Ewaso landscape.
  • 7 Common water intakes (Catchment 711, KithaeneMwenda Andu, Koija Akorino, Ontulili, Embaringo, Pesi, and Galilee) have been built, completed and commissioned.
  • 15 Rivers that have benefitted from significant reduction of cultivation along river banks as a result of pegging and demarcation of riparian areas along the river.
  • 15 Springs (Kiambogo, Gathimindire, Squatter, Lariak, Kangumo, Lorangai, Ole Murijo) have been protected.

Range landForest Programme contributions

  • 14 Capacity building was carried out in 14 communities on tree nurseries, tree seedlings propagation, reforestation and alternative fuel forms and types.
  • 150,000 LWF coordinated the planting of 150,000 seedlings across Laikipia in schools and communities.

Rangeland Programme contributions

RangelandLWF has worked with 14 Community Forest Associations (CFAs) across the Ewaso Landscape. All were supported to create either new or to update existing Participatory Forest Management Plans (PFMP) and sign Forest Management Agreements (FMA) with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

  • 12 Grazing committees were formed and are implementing grazing resource management plans.
  • 4 Holistic management committees formed and trained.
  • 66% Percentage by which cattle increased between 2012 and 2016.
  • 44% Percentage increase of sheep and goats over the same period.

LWF Rangelands Programme was implemented by Natural Capital, East Africa. As a contractor, Natural Capital used a Maa speaking team to implement Holistic Management practices pioneered first in Zimbabwe

Number of Officially Recorded Incidents of Conflict Mitigated and Managed

Number of elephants poached in the Ewaso landscape has decreased significantly. The decrease can be attributed to much improved conservation of elephant populations on private lands, better anti-poaching efforts, and the better protection of elephant corridors. Other activities that have contributed to this decrease include:

  • LWF and other stakeholders, such as Space of Giants, private ranches and community fence committees have supported the maintenance of key kilometers of electric elephant fence. Six fence management committees have been formed and are operational.
  • Conflicts over natural resources in the Ewaso Landscape have been increasing in frequency and severity. This includes water (4 deaths), Human-elephant (14 deaths), Human-Human over pasture (92 deaths). The intensity in natural resource conflicts reached an all time high during the severe dry period of 2015, when 52 deaths were recorded and can be attributed to human-human conflicts and human wildlife conflicts.

Livestock numbers during this same reporting period increased significantly. These statistics highlight how increased resource demands partly contribute to this increase in conflicts.

Range lnd

Policy and Strategic Planning Contributing to More Effective Conservation Management

During this same period, we also developed Laikipia County Strategies for:

  • Wildlife Conservation Strategy for Laikipia County 2012 – 2030
  • Forest Conservation and Management Strategy 2013 – 2030
  • Water Conservation Strategy for Laikipia County 2014 – 2018
  • Contributions of a Rural Economy to Laikipia County – September 2013

LWF also played an integral role in the development of the DRAFT Laikipia Tourism Master Plan 2016 – 2025.

WILD CLASS GOES LIVE!

Students learn about the diversity of plant species found at MRC with Kimani Ndun'guConservation education in Laikipia gets another boost. 8 US university students arrived for an intensive field course on biology, ecology and rangeland studies in Laikipia.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC) and Mpala Research Centre jointly offered a one-week intense field course for this first income generating Wild Class excursion.  At OPC, the students from St. Lawrence University immersed themselves into lessons that focused on grass biomass measurements and grass species identification. They were on a mission to find out more about the effects of abandoned bomas on the health of rangelands.

“ Ol Pejeta Conservancy has been amazing, doing research has been an experience like nothing else. We got to go out into the field with no barrier between the wild animals and us and take measurements. We got to learn a lot about the biodiversity here at Ol Pejeta and I can name almost any grass species or type of dung. We got to talk to the people who know this area best and learn from them. Everything, from our rooms to the food, has been amazing as well. Being here, immersed in this environment has been a life changing experience,” says Erin Waters.

After OPC, the students were off to Mpala Research Centre (MRC). They each managed to get a taste of the research being carried out by the diverse group of resident students, some of whom are from Karatina University and Princeton University. The unique set up of MRC allows for researchers to use the land as a ‘living laboratory’ in which to conduct experiments and answer pressing questions on conservation and wildlife.

“Mpala is also strongly committed to using this research to benefit the surrounding communities, the nation of Kenya, and global conservation efforts as a whole, “says their Director, Dr. Dino Martins.

WILD CLASS is LWF’s new conservation education effort. It links conservation education as an income earner and land use within 10 participating conservancies.  Each paying student helps our conservation education providers subsidise the same experience for Laikipia school pupils – and makes the offering of conservation education more financially sustainable.

Mending Fences – “Stand Off” Now Out!

The first Mending Fences Comic Book will be launched on World Environment Day, in Nanyuki on June 5. This graphic, tongue-in-cheek, but strikingly true depiction of what communities are up against when they decide to protect themselves from elephants.

Human-elephant conflict (HEC) remains an enormous challenge in Laikipia wherever people and elephants share space; and it’s not all about electric fences!  It’s about the will of communities and the authorities to support efforts that allow for good decisions to be made.

HEC in Laikipia, in particular the problem of crop-raiding, is considered a cause of food insecurity and property damage. The illegal killing of elephants and the political tension between those who tolerate elephant conservation and those who suffer the costs of living with elephants are very real.

To address this problem the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF), in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and local landowners, through funding provided by the Kenya Government and Royal Netherlands Embassy, initiated the 163 km West Laikipia Fence (WLF) project initiated in 2007.

This Project builds on the Laikipia Fencing Strategy developed by Laikipians in 2002, led by LWF, and broadly endorsed by local and national stakeholders concerned with the livelihoods and safety of people, and the conservation of an endangered species – the African Elephant.

Due to the seriousness of HEC in Laikipia, LWF continues to work with landowners, agricultural and pastoralist communities to find ways that electric fences (and other practices) can be used to prevent human-wildlife conflicts from escalating. We have joined KWS and the County Government of Laikipia to improve electric fencing in western Laikipia among rural, agricultural members in Marmanet, Rumuruti and Lariak Forests. LWF is also part of the Governor’s task force to rebuild the damaged and destroyed sections of the West Laikipia Fence, along with Space for Giants and landowners. We are working with Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), ranchers, and community conservancies to reduce and manage HEC in our rangelands.

Mending Fences

Join us soon for the release of the “STAND_OFF” in Western Laikipia later this month!

LWF Goes Forward – Changes at LWF

EmployeesA big part of any organisation is its ability to change and be flexible; LWF is no different. For 24 years, LWF has gone through a number of changes that helped it grow and respond to its membership, opportunities and demands.

More recently, and for the last 8 years, LWF has enjoyed the generosity of US and Dutch tax-payers who supported our Mission: “To conserve Laikipia’s wildlife and ecosystem integrity and improve the lives of its people”, and programmes in Laikipia.

This present level of funding comes to an end in June 2016. With the end of this funding comes the departure of staff members whose positions were dependent on donor support.

The end of June also comes with celebration of our accomplishments. These were achieved, in no small part, by the dedication of these same staff.

Because of their efforts, we can celebrate the formation and support to:

  • 29 Water Resource User Groups
  • 13 Community Forest Associations
  • 53 Community Enterprise Groups
  • 12 Community Fence Management Teams
  • 13 Grazing Teams
  • 4 Holistic Management Committees
  • 100 School Groups assisted every year in conservation education

We extend a heartfelt vote of thanks to the unit directors, field personnel, programme personnel, and support staff that made work with this many groups possible.

We also thank the communities and partnerships that supported this success.

LWF is not going away. We return to our roots. We will remain a FORUM – a place where people can meet to exchange ideas and to fashion solutions to natural resource problems in Laikipia and the Ewaso basin.

We will continue to address our common Laikipia issues of wildlife, rangeland health, and water resources.

We will work harder to listen to the many voices of our membership and work to strengthen their institutions.

You will see us emerge stronger and more capable of supporting your neighbourhood priorities. You will find us better able to serve you to connect your livelihoods with conservation of our natural resources.

Join us in honouring the contributions of these departing LWF staff

More than 15 years!

Josephat Musyima – Director of Programmes  – 19 years of service

Josephat started work with LWF in 1997 and was hired by Gilfred Powys to serve the early needs of the Forum when zebras were being harvested in Laikipia. He served in various LWF roles including Programmes Coordinator and acting Executive Director, until promoted to Director of Programmes in 2015.

David Masere – Senior Community Liaison Officer – 17 years of service

More than 10 years

Martin Kahindi – Assistant Education Officer – 13 years of service

More than 5 years

Dorothy Katungwa – Office Manager – 7 years of service

0-5 Years

  1. Jackson Njari – Conservation Education Officer and LWF Education Bus Driver of service
  2. David Silanke – CLO Ewaso Ngiro Unit
  3. Moses Mbarlai – CLO Central Unit
  4. Wilson Remoi – CLO Northern Unit
  5. Ochen Maiyani – Eastern Unit
  6. David Mutaru – CLO HEC Fences Maintenance
  7. James Thiong’o – CLO Western Unit
  8. Ibrahim Lesian – CLO Northern Unit
  9. Mejooli Wilfred Lesit – CLO Rangelands
  10. David Ewan Lesowopir – CLO Rangelands/ former Desert Edge extension agent
  11. Ann Wangari – Office Cleaner
  12. Sakina Wanja – Security and Office Assistant
  13. Grace Wanjiku – Receptionist and Membership Administrator
  14. Gilbert Momanyi – Strategic Planning and Evaluation

You can continue to find membership guidance and support from these LWF staff remaining:

  1. Rosemary Oyugi – Head of Finance and Administration
  2. Eunice Wangari – Accounts
  3. James Mwangi – Mt. Kenya-Ewaso Water Partnership Officer
  4. Virginia Wahome – Wildlife Conservation Programme Officer and CWCCC Chair
  5. Joan Wandegi – Communications
  6. Gabriel Maina – Grounds Keeper
  7. Matthew Chana – Rangelands Specialist
  8. Moses Cheruyiot Kipchirchir – Transport Management and Driver
  9. Margaret Wambua – M&E Specialist
  10. Peter Hetz – Executive Director

To find out more about LWF and its future, please stay tuned to the next Forum Focus, or:

Visit us on our website at www.laikipia.org, or

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or

Visit our offices behind the ASK Showground, along the Likii River.

Marathon Runners for Girls Education

The Ol Lentille Trust is committed to an educated Maasai and Samburu female population who will be the guardians of their lands

The Ol Lentille Trust (OLT) is a partnership with the Masai and Samburu communities surrounding Ol Lentille Mountain, the highest point in Laikipia, Kenya.

It is committed to ensuring that every child in the Laikipia and Isiolo area is registered in school and able to complete Primary and Secondary school. This means ending Female Genital Mutilation and the custom of child marriage that accompanies this illegal and dangerous rite of passage.

In support of these pledges, on April 24th OLT took part in a fundraising marathon. Supporters ran both full and half marathons in the UK- known as the Shakespeare Marathon- and others ran 21km and 10km in Kimanjo, Laikipia. The team was organised by Vincent Lelbukash and included Timothy Mosiany and OLT’s current half-marathon champion Beatrice Silanke.

OLT also runs workshops for mothers and community leaders, teaching them about the dangers of FGM and early marriage. It also promotes Alternative Rite of Passage Ceremonies for girls and their families so that young girls can continue with their education. Luckily, these alternative customs are being accepted by communities, and it is important to keep the momentum going to protect every single girl.

Donors are important to the success of the OLT’s work with young women. For the equivalent of 50 British Pounds, OLT can work with an at-risk girl’s family to prevent early marriage and register her in Primary Boarding School. The equivalent of 190 British Pounds pays for a whole year at Secondary boarding for one girl, keeping her safe and educated. If the trust reaches its funding target, they believe they can truly change the lives of 100 girls through a comprehensive education, health program, and Anti-FGM program. These girls will be able to complete school and live lives as strong women, giving back to their community