Samburu Becomes the First County to Approve Bill for Community Conservancies Funding

County Assembly of Samburu have approved the Samburu County Community Conservancies Fund Bill, 2019. The Bill seeks to fund community owned conservancies, starting with KSH. 120 million this financial year. Samburu is the first County to approve such a bill, which will have significant impact on the ability for community conservancies – who largely still rely on donor funding – to be independent and sustainable. 

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Sophie Harrison
#10Morans: How Kevin Found Opportunity in Drought 

“I want other young men to know that there is another way of earning a living apart from livestock” - meet Kevin Lesita, who lost half his livestock herd - his only source of income - in a drought in 2009. He is now a ranger and a part-time farmer, passionate about encouraging other young men to diversify their livelihoods.

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Sophie Harrison
Deforestation; Not Always Bad News

It sounds counter-intuitive: cut down trees to help rehabilitate land. But that’s exactly what the community of Namunyak have been doing, with support from NRT and SIDA. Last week, they held a ceremony to mark the end of weeks of work to clear the highly damaging Acacia reficiens tree from across 1,300 hectares of land.

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Sophie Harrison
Getting to Wild Again; the success story of three hand reared elephants

Separated from their mothers by abandonment or poaching, rescued by community scouts and hand reared by dedicated Samburu keepers, then released fit and strong back into their wild homeland — this is the story of three young elephants that is as heart-breaking as it is heart-warming, and a true testament to the strength of community conservation and partnerships. Thanks to satellite collars and close on-the-ground monitoring, we’ve been able to keep up with how they’re taking to their new life in Sera Community Conservancy; from their first steps outside of the holding pen, to integrating with a wild herd. 

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Sophie Harrison
Business is Key for the Sustainability of Community Conservancies; and the Women of BeadWORKS are Leading the Way

When cultural norms hinder your opportunity to get an education, own property, or even make decisions about your own body, the chances of you starting a business are slim. For women in northern Kenya, this is a reality that perpetuates the poverty cycle, and often prevents them from becoming decision-makers, entrepreneurs and agents of change. This gender-based cultural suppression isn’t just bad for women, it’s bad for men and the economy too. As community conservancies look for ways to reduce reliance on donor funding, strong governance and business development are key, and that means increasing entrepreneurial opportunities for women. 

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Sophie Harrison
Ksh. 15 million to support businesswomen and education in Isiolo

Community conservancies in Isiolo County received Ksh. 15 million (USD 150,000) last week from the NRT Conservancy Livelihoods Fund (CLF). The communities, through their boards and management team, have earmarked the funds for education bursaries and microfinance for businesswomen. The cheques were handed over in an event that was attended by seven Members of County Assembly  and the County Assembly Speaker, Hussein Halakhe.

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Sophie Harrison
Rescued Elephant Calves Begin Their Journey Back to the Wild

Three rescued elephant calves have been successfully translocated from the rehabilitation centre where they were raised, to a holding facility in Sera Community Conservancy, Samburu County, in the first milestone of their journey back to the wild. The successful move was a partnership between NRT, the Kenya Wildlife Service, Sera Community Conservancy, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and others.

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Sophie Harrison
Conservancies Lead Peace Efforts in Conflict Hotspot 

The failure of the seasonal rains has heightened tensions in the traditional grazing area of Kom, on the border of Sera and Biliqo Bulesa conservancies. Hundreds of livestock herders - some of whom are armed - are gathering to salvage what little pasture there is left. To prevent potentially fatal clashes, Biliqo Bulesa and Sera conservancies partnered with NRT peace team and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination to hold a peace meeting at Kom on Friday 19 April, 2019, to call for coexistence and provide a forum for dialogue.

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Sophie Harrison
Conservancy-Driven Financial Services Are Changing Lives

The Northern Rangelands Savings and Credit Cooperative, which provides relevant financial training and an accessible savings and loans scheme to community conservancy members, held its annual delegates meeting in early April, attended by representatives from 17 community conservancies across Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River and Laikipia counties. Since the SACCO began in 2016, Ksh. 7.2 million (US$ 72,000) has been invested as shares and accrued as savings. In 2018 alone, this figure was Ksh. 4.9 million (US$ 49,000) - with Ksh. 3.8 million (US$ 38,000) of that being savings accumulated by members to support their families and businesses.  

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Sophie Harrison