Important Updates From The Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP)

Local Community and MKEWP Members Voice Concerns at the 2017 Camel Caravan

Some of the participants of the 2017 Camel Caravan before embarking on the walk

The MKEWP was proud to have participated in the 2017 edition of the Ewaso Ng’iro Camel Caravan. Marvin Githuku, part of the MKEWP team, joined participants in the challenging five-day walk along the Ewaso Ng’iro River where together they engaged numerous communities around Kipsing, Oldonyiro, Koija Ranch, Westgate, Kalama and Archers Post. The overall objective of the camel caravan was to promote and facilitate shared understanding of human induced threats facing the river and, the cooperation and collaboration between the upstream and downstream users to mitigate these threats.

During the walk, local community and MKEWP members voiced their concerns about challenges facing the Ewaso landscape, some of which were as follows:

  1. The proposed mega dam construction, they insisted, would block the river and lead to a dry Ewaso Nyiro River. Steps must be taken to ensure that this does not happen.
  2. Sand harvesting along the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River must be curbed.
  3. Peace and cohesion among community members living in the landscape has not been given the priority it deserves. This is what hinders development and governments must play a more prominent role in supporting peace and security.
  4. The local government should involve communities in the decision making process, especially in projects such as the proposed mega dam.
  5. Human wildlife conflict continues to plague communities in the area and this needs to be addressed.

The Ewaso Ng’iro camel caravan was initiated in 2013 with the first edition funded by various stakeholders including: Partners for Resilience, IMPACT (Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement & Conflict Transformation) and Merti Integrated Development Program (MIDP).

MKEWP will continue to engage in dialogue with these stakeholders in support of conservation efforts for the Ewaso Ng’iro River of which so many lives depend on.

MKEWP to Support Development of Water Allocation Plan for Teleswani Sub-Catchment through Watershed Program

MKEWP’s Coordinator, James Mwangi (forefront holding red folder) and Peter Hetz (Back line with green jacket) join Teleswani WRUA members after signing their WAP contract

Teleswani Water Resource Users Association (WRUA) will be the first WRUA in Laikipia to develop a Water Allocation Plan (WAP) for its sub-catchment. This will be implemented through a short term contractual agreement with the Water Resources Authority (WRA) – Nanyuki Sub Region and the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership of which the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) serves as secretariat.

This is a great win for Teleswani WRUA as it will allow members to participate in the process of sharing the available water resources reflecting an important component in the management, control and regulation of the water resources. The development of this WAP will also have a significant bearing on the availability of water resources in meeting basic human needs, the needs of the environment, economic development, water security and alleviating water use conflicts.

The agreement is financed by Wetlands International through the Watershed Program at a cost of Kshs. 850,000 and will run for a period of 2 months ending November 30th 2017. During the signing of the Contract ceremony held at Teleswani WRUA on 5th October, the WRUA’s chairman Mr. Joel Mwariama highlighted that this was a priority activity within the WRUA as they look towards a guiding strategy for water resources allocation in an efficient and transparent manner. In his remarks, he added “ this is a crucial task coming at a time when the WRUA and WRA are managing a resource that is under immerse pressure from increasing demand, climate change and catchment degradation”.

MKEWP Joins OPC and FFI in Implementing Important Socio-Ecological Project

Representatives from Fauna & Flora International, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Mount Kenya – Ewaso Water Partnership and the Laikipia Wildlife Forum join community members in discussions about the project

Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC), Mount Kenya – Ewaso Water Partnership – MKEWP and the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (Secretariat to MKEWP) on 26th September officially met with representatives from local communities set to benefit from the Cattle, Water & Wildlife: Enhancing Socio-Ecological Resilience in Laikipia Project. NDMA, Water Resources Authority (WRA), County Government of Laikipia, Space for Giants and other key stakeholders were also present. This important initiative will see approximately 8,000ha of dispersal area secured for rhino, elephant and predators; grazing and water resources managed for local communities and pastoral well-being, and resource conflict reduced across the wider OPC landscape.

The project involves an inclusive approach to strengthening rangeland and water resource management and will contribute in reducing natural resource conflict, safeguarding pastoralist cattle based livelihoods, supporting innovative livelihood diversification by smallholders, and extending dispersal areas for endangered wildlife in Laikipia. The project will also have the following objectives;

  1. Establish a healthy rangeland to support grazing needs of community livestock and wildlife;
  2. Improve water availability for domestic use, livestock and wildlife;
  3. Enable community cattle to market system, support pastoralists’’ lifestyles and reduce stocking densities;
  4. Support community based fodder production system and diversification of small scale famer livelihoods;
  5. Ensure vulnerable and endangered species are under effective protection.

For these and other updates, ensure that you follow us on Facebook, Twitter: @MKEWP, or contact MKEWP’s Coordinator – Stanley Kirmi: stanley.kirimi@laikipia.org to find out how you can join or support MKEWP’s powerful platform.

Maji Yetu, Jukumu Letu! Our Water, Our Responsibility

#majiyetujukumuletu

Why You Should Stop Sitting On The Fence About The LRVC 2017

Children from local communities proudly display their vaccination cards during the 2016 LRVC

If we succeed in vaccinating 70% of Laikipia’s total dog population for three consecutive years, the disease will be eliminated in the canine population and, subsequently, in humans. But this will not be possible without your help. The 2017 LRVC is more important than ever and we are working to vaccinate 10,000 dogs before the end of this year.

An all-volunteer labour force of vets and university students will be combing Laikipia from November 3rd to December 9th (weekends only). 8 teams have been assembled and we’re looking for funds to help them reach many parts of Laikipia to reach our goal. To date, we’ve raised more than 50% of the Kshs 2.4M (USD$ 24, 000) needed to make this Rabies Vaccination Campaign a success.

Please join us by supporting this effort through:

MPESA

Pay Bill No: 991503

Account No: Rabies & your full name

MCHANGA (www.changa.co.ke)

With just a click of a button you can join our local crowd sourcing platform: Wipe Out Rabies In Laikipia.

Classy.org

For those residing outside Kenya, donating is as easy as following this link: Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign

Bank transfers:

Bank: Stanbic Bank

Account Number: 0100004071926

Swift Code: SBICKENX

Account Name: Laikipia Wildlife Forum

Domestic dogs cause 98% of human rabies cases, passing the disease from wildlife to people. Your support will stop the disease before it can be transmitted to families, communities, and wildlife and will help accomplish Kenya’s 2030 vision of being an entirely rabies free nation.

Join the conversation on: Facebook

This initiative is supported by:

Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia Wildlife Forum,  Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Borana Conservancy, The County Government Of Laikipia, Laikipia Pastoralist Development Organisation, Rift Valley Adventures, Department of Veterinary Services (KWS), University Of Karatina, University Of Nairobi, Ol Maisor Ranch, Veterinarians International, Lolomarik Farm

The GGR Is Back And It Promises To Be Bigger Than Ever!

The 2016 GGR Organising Committee with some of Kenya’s most remarkable bloggers at Mpala Research Centre

We are excited to announce that the Great Grevy’s Rally (GGR) is back! The event’s organising committee that includes: Grevy’s Zebra Trust, Kenya Wildlife Service, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Marwell Wildlife, Northern Rangelands Trust, Samburu Trust, Saint Louis Zoo (USA), and Princeton University (USA); has already put wheels in motion to organise the second census of the endangered Grevy’s zebra. The zebra census, also includes the participation of conservancy managers, county government officials, community members and tourism operators.

The event, set to take place on the 27th and 28th of January 2018 will be even more exciting for participants as it aims to not only record the number of individual Grevy’s zebra, but also reticulated giraffe and their distribution across the landscape shared with pastoral communities in Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit and Meru Counties. The last GGR of January 2016 estimated 2,350 Grevy’s zebra in Kenya, and showed that their population was stable and sustaining. However, there has since been devastating drought and conflict across much of the Grevy’s zebra’s range, and we need your help to see what impact this has had on one of Kenya’s most iconic species. In addition, you will be helping us set the first baseline for reticulated giraffe! These results are critical for county governments, who are committed to conserving their wildlife, and are taking actions to mitigate the threats to these endangered species.

The Great Grevy’s Rally is an opportunity to engage citizen scientists in order to demystify scientific research that contributes to the conservation of wildlife. A citizen scientist is a member of the public who participates in scientific research. The essence of citizen science is that volunteers collect and share data that can be analyzed by scientists and shared with participants and relevant stakeholders. We invite residents and visitors to share in the science of discovery and to ask questions that will contribute to research and management of key wildlife species and their unique habitat.

“Laikipia, and the greater Ewaso landscape have embarked on a mission to be Kenya’s very own Citizen Science destination. The information collated becomes rich material for public feedback, wider public information sharing, lobbying, advocacy, funding and the development of new projects. In essence, we’re increasingly talking about the “democratisation” of science, scientific funding, and the use of scientific results.

This scientifically supervised engagement of the public will yield the second attempted complete census of the endangered Grevy’s zebra in Kenya. It will contribute to their conservation and rehabilitation as a keystone Ewaso Landscape animal. It will also bring economic, tourism and Public Relations benefits to the participating counties that can be judged in the millions of shillings” said Peter Hetz, LWF’s Executive Director.

To keep up with all the GGR 2018 activities, log on to the website here as well as follow on social media: Facebook The Great Grevy’s Rally Twitter: @GrevysRally or e-mail us on Info@greatgrevysrally.com

The GGR2018 – People Powering Conservation!

#EarnYourStripes

Ol Lentille Conservancy Participates In Important Governance Model Exercise

​Many of the group ranch and conservancy meetings were conducted under the only shade available in this dry landscape

With the help of LWF, the Ol Lentille Conservancy (OLC) agreed with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) to conduct a “Governance Assessment” to learn more from its 10 years of community engagement and participation in the development of the OLC area. The original area of the Conservancy (5000 acres) now spans some 37,000 acres.

Three group ranches and 4 community conservancies are now participating in this conservation and land use model of the Ol Lentille Conservancy.

Local facilitators supported the IIED assessment team and field staff over a 10-day period in September of this year, and the effort was organised and administered by LWF with funding support from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The effort focused on better understanding the governance of the Ol Lentille model, and focused on the collection of feedback from key informant interviews and focus groups that included community conservancy members. This effort is guided by eleven commonly accepted principles of good governance, and is being conducted by IIED internationally, with four other sites in Kenya participating.

Themes for the assessment were selected through discussion and consensus. Results of the assessment illustrate some significant accomplishments through the Ol Lentille conservation model, but they also point to some key areas that need further support and focus.

Key feedback and recommendations now focus on efforts to improve participation in community decision-making, additional improvements to benefit sharing, more focused efforts on transparency and access to information, fair and effective law enforcement, and dispute resolution.

IIED, the Ol Lentille Conservancy Management, IUCN and LWF will continue to work together to provide valuable feedback of results to more community members since communication inside group ranches/community conservancies was sorely lacking, and communication between conservancies and group ranches was entirely insufficient.

LWF and OLC will also work with IUCN and IIED to implement priority recommendations, and to seek additional resources to improve the governance of this important land use model in Laikipia.

Kudos to all who participated including the excellent facilitation team and, to Ol Lentille Conservancy for their commitment to this exercise.