Caption: ILMAMUSI CFA Board Members join WCS/Disney Coordinator-Kenya, Hilde Van Leeuwe (front row 5th from right), Laikipia Wildlife Forum ED, Peter Hetz (back row 4th from left), LWF M&E Specialist, Margaret Wambua (front row 1st from right, Borana Conservancy Community Liason and Development Officer, Ochen Maiyani (back row 5th from right) Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Community Development Program Manager, John Kinoti (1st from left front row), NRT Regional Director-NRT West, Fred Obiya (back row 6th from left) pose for a group photo during the launch event. Senteo Ole Kimirri, (second from right) is the CFA Manager, supported by the CFA Coordinator, Samuel Letai (back row centre).
The 70,000 acre Mukogodo Forest is the most significant highland, dry forest in Laikipia. It contains over 170 different species of plants, and presently forms part of an application for eastern Laikipia to become an important bird area given its diversity of bird species. Traditionally a dry-season grazing reserve for surrounding communities, the Forest is under increasing pressure from outside pastoralists. Increased pressure and demand for natural resources from these incursions forces wildlife in the area into greater contact with surrounding group ranches, increasing human wildlife conflict. LWF, Borana Conservancy, NRT and LEWA are all joined to ensure that Mukogodo’s residents are helped to secure and protect their resources.
IL MAMUSI is an acronym derived from the four group ranches (Ilngwesi, Makurian, Mukogodo, and Sieku) surrounding Mukogodo Forest. Together, they formed this umbrella association to oversee the protection, preservation and management of this national forest reserve as mandated under the Forestry Conservation and Management Act.
IL MAMUSI is a registered Community Forest Association (CFA) responsible for the management of the Forest. The Wildlife Conservation Society, through the Disney Elephant Fund, has awarded ILMAMUSI CFA a one-year grant through the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF). LWF and Il Mamusi have been working together since the formation of the CFA.
The Disney grant is focused on making Kenya’s elephants a model for the rest of the continent by stopping the killing, the trafficking, and demand of ivory and ivory products. This will be achieved through implementation of measures that reduce occurrence and frequency of Human Elephant Conflict and Human Wildlife Conflict in and around Mukogodo forest.
The Project will focus on three key themes: (1) Rangelands Rehabilitation in Makurian/Oreteti, Ilngwesi, and Lekurruki Group Ranches; (2) Human Elephant Conflict (HEC)/Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Mitigation and Reduction through Solar Powered Fencing around Arjiju Village and maintenance of Effective Community Monitoring Systems for elephant movements in the area; (3) Spring Protection in Sieku Location. The spring will serve Lekurruki and Ilngwesi group members, as well as elephants and other wildlife. Creation of awareness on the measures to reduce conflicts over the shared resources will also be a key focus of the project.
- Reduced HECs and increased access to learning institutions, hospitals and markets;
- Improved rangeland management in Lekurruki, Makurian and Ilngwesi Group Ranches with holistic management and grazing plans implemented effectively;
- Improved reproduction of the ranches providing abundant grazing areas for the communities for longer periods;
- Efficient monitoring and communication to relevant authorities on elephant movements;
- Reduced conflict due to ease of access to water by the communities, livestock and wildlife;
- Grazing committee and rangeland coordinators trained and empowered, enabling them to enforce the law effectively within their respective group ranches;
- More empowered, supported and incentivised community members that create positive pressure, reducing the frequency of HECs and increase participation in conservation activities.
As this new and exciting project unfolds, we will ensure to keep you posted!