Valuing Land in Eastern Africa

You may be interested in a new edition of the journal ‘Critical African Studies’ on ‘Valuing Land in Eastern Africa’ . Attach is link to the journal:
The special issue includes the local impacts of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Marsabit County, Kenya.
The abstract:
“Lake Turkana Wind Power, situated on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, is currently the largest wind-power project in Africa and the biggest private investment in Kenyan history. While this project enjoys strong support from the Kenyan government, at the local level it has unfolded amid considerable controversy and has been accompanied by accusations of land-grabbing, corporate negligence and infringement of indigenous and customary land rights. This article examines the local effects of the Lake Turkana Wind Power’s construction.
It explores how the value of land has been transformed by the wind farm and the effects this has had on local social relationships, territoriality and connections to place. The large-scale, rapid privatization of land and infrastructure development has produced a variety of apparently contradictory effects; local people simultaneously seek to access ‘benefits’ from the project and experience new forms of exclusion.
This is particularly clear in disputes over the distribution of employment and corporate social investment. A notable consequence has been increasingly exclusive claims to land and interpretations of local history, as new values ascribed to the land have generated new feelings of entitlement and raised expectations of ‘development’. These contestations reveal that the value of land is about more than the material resource itself. It rests on what other privileges can be accessed through claims to place and belonging.”

Disney Awards Conservation Project to Il Mamusi Community Forest Association to Prevent Human Wildlife Conflict

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.

Project Outcomes

  1. Reduced HECs and increased access to learning institutions, hospitals and markets;
  2. Improved rangeland management in Lekurruki, Makurian and Ilngwesi Group Ranches with holistic management and grazing plans implemented effectively;
  3. Improved reproduction of the ranches providing abundant grazing areas for the communities for longer periods;
  4. Efficient monitoring and communication to relevant authorities on elephant movements;
  5. Reduced conflict due to ease of access to water by the communities, livestock and wildlife;
  6. Grazing committee and rangeland coordinators trained and empowered, enabling them to enforce the law effectively within their respective group ranches;
  7. 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!



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Do you Have What It Takes?


Calling On Pilots And Observers For This Year’s Aerial Survey

KWS and Partners are planning an aerial survey of the Great Ewaso Ng’iro ecosystem that lies in Kenya’s Mountain Region. They are seeking the support of volunteer pilots and observers to participate in this very important activity. Pilots and observers will be trained, fed, given overnight accommodation, and all participating aircraft will be fuelled. Training will be mandatory for both pilots and observers.

This year’s total count, generously funded by USAID – Kenya, will be focussing on elephants, buffaloes, Grevy’s Zebras, and giraffes. Numbers and location of cattle, shoats, bomas and settlements will be noted. The greater Meru National Park area will also be included in the count.

Dates: 19 – 30 November 2017 

Survey area: Laikipia – Samburu – Marasbit – Meru

A total survey is a time-consuming and demanding task, however, all information collated is vital, and supports the County government’s need to carry out regional planning and development based on accurate information that this type of survey provides. It is also important as it strengthens the baseline for monitoring and managing landscape health and integrity over future years.

Much of the survey will be based out of the Mpala Research Centre for the southern areas of the survey i.e. Samburu and Laikipia.

If you are interested in participating as a pilot (with a plane), or as an observer, please contact: John Gitonga on:; Tel: 0726 500260

Past aerial surveys – both the last total count (2012) and the 2016 sample count for Laikipia, can be found here:

Total Count 2012 

2016 Sample Count

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Membership Categories

There are various categories to choose from including: Corporate memberships – Kifaru, Ndovu, Simba and Chui as well as memberships for individuals, families, schools, community based organisations and forest associations. All members receive a special sign up package, which differ across categories.

For more information contact LWF’s membership on 0726 500 260 or at


Like-ipa? We Love it!

You would be hard pressed to find a destination in East Africa quite like Laikipia! With its community tourism, high-end destination spots, popular venues, unique wildlife and the magic that the mountain brings – tourism here is undoubtedly one Kenya’s most treasured gems.

Visitors and Laikipians don’t just like the place…………..they love it! And now, the future of tourism in Laikipia looks a whole lot brighter! The Laikipia County Government and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) are now set to move forward on the final draft of the County’s Tourism Bill and 10 year Tourism Master Plan (2015 – 2025) that details strategic recommendations for the County Government as well as business and community partners that support Laikipia’s tourism sector. During a retreat in the Loldaiga Hills Ranch on Monday, May 11, the Laikipia County Tourism Task Force completed their last review of the Tourism Bill. They also took their first “bite” of the draft Tourism Master Plan, produced by LWF.

The Tourism Bill is the product of a draft legislation introduced by the County last year, and is the very first example of a County Tourism Bill in Kenya! LWF, together with the County Government conducted a set of consultations to better inform the public about the development of the bill. The latest draft includes this public input and is reflective of the dedication of the Tourism Task Force to see the bill implemented. The County Tourism Bill must now be approved by the County Executive Committee then to the County Assembly for reading. The Tourism Task Force and the County Government are confident that the bill will become law by the end of June. The Tourism Bill calls for the development of a Laikipia Tourism Master Plan. In anticipation of this provision, LWF has been working with County Government to draft a master plan that can be reviewed by the tourism industry, tourism actors in Laikipia, the business and investment community. The first draft of this Master Plan was reviewed by the Task Force this past Monday – and SUSTAINABLE TOURISM is the forefront.