Location: Longewan and Lolmolog Group Ranches, Samburu West District
Postal address: c/o Northern Rangelands Trust, Private Bag, Isiolo
Manager: Peghin Tito
Contact: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0729 475 666
Ethnicity: Samburu, Pokot
Land Ownership: Group Ranch (Longewan and Lolmolog)
Core Conservation Area: 19, 570 hectares
Main Livelihood: Pastoralism
Key Wildlife Species: Grevy’s zebra, elephant, lion, cheetah, impala, buffalo
Year of Registration: 2002
Staff Employed from the Community: 20
Annual Operating Budget: US$ 52,700
With beautiful broken valleys and dense vegetation, Ltungai Community Conservancy sits on the edge of the first escarpment to the Rift Valley. It is a rangeland with the potential to host a rich variety of wildlife and attract a substantial number of tourists, but conflict between the Samburu and Pokot tribes has been a major restriction in both community and wildlife development.
Almost half of NRT conservancies are home to Samburu, a semi nomadic, pastoralist community closely related to the Maasai. Competition for grazing and water, especially in times of drought, has led to conflict with the Pokot community, and put pressure on local wildlife. Insecurity has driven many people away from the area, which has left it wide open for game meat poaching.
There are 19 community rangers in Ltungai, employed from both the Samburu and Pokot communities. Representation of both is vital if they are to manage conflict and raise conservation awareness in the area. They were trained with funding from NRT and generous support from the Kenya Wildlife service, at the Manyani Training School in the famous Tsavo National Park. Passing with flying colours, the team emerged with knowledge in discipline, field craft, wildlife law and wildlife monitoring. The rangers are an essential part of combating poaching and easing ethnic tensions, which is the first step in rehabilitating the rangeland as a whole.
Ltungai holds important populations of Grevy’s zebra, one of Africa’s most endangered mammals. In 2008, approximately 2,400 individuals were thought to be roaming Kenya’s northern rangelands, an 80% decline since the 1970’s. Community cooperation is now vital to the species survival, and by embracing new grazing management plans, continuing to improve security, and raising awareness in the area, communities in Ltungai plan to play their part in the conservation of Grevy’s. Lion, cheetah, leopard, impala, Thompson’s gazelle, ostrich, waterbuck, buffalo and greater kudu can also be found here, along with migratory populations of elephant and the endangered wild dog. If they can combat poaching, Ltungai has huge potential to host healthy and stable populations of wildlife.
With its incredible scenery, potentially abundant populations of wildlife and colourful traditional lifestyles of local communities, the area could become a prime ecotourism destination in northern Kenya. A further advantage is having Mugie Ranch as a neighbor, which hosts a rhino sanctuary. It is hoped that eventually, mutually beneficial tourism agreements between the two can result in higher visitor numbers and a strong partnership that can ensure stability in the rangeland.
The Future for Ltungai
With assistance from NRT and partner organisations, Ltungai aims to achieve the following in the coming years:
- To convene, along with all other NRT community conservancies, in annual general meetings to share plans and progress
- To take part in a livelihood baseline survey, commissioned by NRT, with a view of determining the status and priority of education, health, water, jobs, food security, infrastructure and current availability of government services
- To continue the strengthening of wildlife security and monitoring within the conservancy
- Continue to support conflict resolution mechanisms between the Samburu and Pokot
- To take part in peace building exercises with surrounding communities
- Implement a conservancy constitution, with the aim of building accountability, transparency, equity and effective representation in Ltungai