Conservation and Wildlife Security

In partnership with The Peregrine Fund and Lion Landscapes, Loisaba hosted a Community Coexistence Training course at Loisaba for members of the surrounding communities. The training is designed to teach communities about the dangers and negative effects of poisoning to humans and their livestock, whilst providing individuals with the skills and knowledge to better protect their livestock and to therefore reduce retaliation killing of carnivores.

36 people from Koija, Kirimon and Il Motiok received the training. These communities were targeted as they experience high levels of human-carnivore conflict due to living adjacent to wildlife conservancies and ranches.

The training is part of the Coexistence Co-op, which is a partnership between Lion Landscapes and The Peregrine Find to reduce livestock lost to large carnivores, and stop the resultant use of highly toxic pesticides to kill ‘problem’ carnivores, and that indiscriminately poison critically endangered vultures.

Photos of the Month

Most liked Instagram photo:

Elephant © Hannah Campbell

Most liked Facebook photo:

Reticulated Giraffe © Peter Ekidor

 

Best Caption:

@gabriellafrancesca94: ‘I told you to stop and ask for directions Hank, now we’re going to be late!’

If you have any photos from your stay at Loisaba that you would like featuring on our social media, please email them stating how you would like it to be credited to Hannah at communications@loisaba.com!

 

 

By Hannah Campbell

Elewana Collection’s Loisaba Lodo Springs © Niels van Gijn

Guests all over the world are able to experience the wilderness and wildlife of Loisaba by staying at one of the three Elewana Collection tourism properties: Loisaba Lodo Springs, Loisaba Tented Camp and Loisaba Star Beds, or our Acacia Campsite.

© Down to Earth Films

Not only does the experience of visiting Loisaba educate tourists in our various conservation efforts, the conservation fee that guests pay to stay at the conservancy and other revenue from tourism makes up almost half of our operating budget.

Conservation fees help contribute towards…

Security

© Lizzie Daly

We have a well-resourced, trained and disciplined ranger force of over 70, including an armed NPR (National Police Reservist) unit, rapid response teams, a canine unit comprising three tracker dogs and a Lion Ranger team. The team provide round the clock patrolling of the conservancy to eliminate the threat of poaching, in addition to high level security for all our guests and personnel.

Systematic morning and evening aerial patrols are also carried out, using our Piper Super-cub. The flight patrol plans are based on prior ground observations such as wounded animals or intrusions, which orients the nature of the flight.

Without financial support, this team would not have the necessary training or resources, and the conservation of wildlife and habitat would become increasingly challenging.

Community Support – Education

Children at Ewaso Primary School in Laikipia, Northern Kenya. Revenue from ecotourism at Loisaba is reinvested into the neighbouring communities for schools, like this one. © Ami Vitale

A vital part of conservation is educating the local communities about its importance, and to help place a value on the environment and wildlife. Here at Loisaba we support the building and development of local schools (including classrooms, libraries and internet access) and education strategies, and hold regular education days at our Conservation Centre.

The goal is to provide community members with the means of learning about the importance of wildlife conservation and habitat protection, and show how important careful land management is in the greater Ewaso ecosystem. In our experience, children have a keen interest in wildlife and conservation, but lack the opportunity to see these in practice.

Loisaba aims to provide that link, to help with conservation education, and to encourage positive participation in the landscape. We hope that by providing this resource to the next generation, we can target and reduce human-wildlife conflict that is becoming ever more threatening with the growing human population.

In addition to this, Loisaba Conservancy offers scholarships to students at primary, secondary and university levels.

Community Support – Heath Care        

Loisaba’s Clinical Health Officer – Kaltuma Dabaso – attending to patients.

Loisaba supports a number of health services within the neighbouring community conservancies, such as providing the monthly salary for nurses and community health workers, building and equipping a maternity wing, family planning (in partnership with Communities Heath Africa Trust), facilitating the procurance of medication, and providing medical outreach camps to communities. In addition to this, our Community Health Officer, Kaltuma, visits Ewaso Dispensary to attend to patients on a weekly basis.

Conservancy Operations and Maintenance

For Loisaba to operate effectively as a conservancy and working ranch, we have to employ a variety of people with various skills in order to keep running smoothly. From chefs in the staff village to accountants in the finance office, our employees are a critical part of Loisaba Conservancy.

In order for our security and conservation teams to function, research to be carried out, and of course for game drives, hundreds of kilometres of road must be maintained by regular grading and resurfacing.

Statutory Licenses

© Niels van Gijn

As its name suggests, Loisaba is a Private Conservancy rather than a National Park. This means we can offer horse and camel rides, bike rides, fishing, bush walks and many more activities, but we do not receive any funding from the government to help us look after the land. Instead, we must pay for business permits, operational licenses, land rates (to the county council) and land rent (to the government), which your conservancy fee helps towards.

We need your help!

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to contain its spread, Loisaba Lodo Springs, Loisaba Tented Camp and Loisaba Star Beds will be operationally suspended on the 1st April 2020.

Unfortunately, this means that our operating budget will be reduced significantly due to the reduction in conservation fees. While we will ensure prudence and efficiency in our expenditure, the reality is that to continue protecting the critical habitat and endangered species at Loisaba we need your help.

If you would like to help us maintain zero poaching levels, keep our rangers on the ground, protect endangered species and support local communities who have no access to healthcare, please donate today.

Even a small donation will make a huge difference to Loisaba’s conservation and community development work.

Thank you, and stay safe.

By Hannah Campbell

For a long time, conservation had been a male dominated field. But things are changing. At Loisaba, we have been and continue to be intentional in ensuring female representation across all of our programmes. From security to community outreach, the ladies at Loisaba are shaping a better future for wildlife and people.

For International Woman’s Day this year, we are looking at looking at some of the stories of the women who are critical to our work…

Doreen Ongeri, Accountant

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

“I’m a strong lady and have come a long way. I have two daughters who are in school and I am proud that I pay their school fees single handily. I have made sure that they work hard and value money but will not limit them – they should be able to do whatever they want to do! I love working at Loisaba as it has enabled me to further my education, and has meant that I am working in a field that I trained in.”

Do you feel like women have disadvantages in Kenya?

“Today there are many women in high positions, and more girls are going to school. However, you still hear of issues of men wanting to take advantage of women in the workplace and many communities that still favour boys going to school over girls. The responsibility of taking care of children is also often left with the mother, so she has to now balance education and work with looking after a family.”

What are the problems that women face?

“Many families think that girls should not go to school, and therefore invest more in their son’s education. There are also expectations that there are certain jobs for men and for women such as housekeeping, teaching, nursing and secretary work, which often limits women. There are also some issues with young ladies getting pregnant too young and being expected to get married and look after the children, rather than furthering their education. I think there needs to be more investment in sexual education for children at school.”

What can women achieve if given the chance?

“A lot! Anything a man can do, so can a woman!”

What message would you like to send other women?

You should never be intimidated by anyone. The world has changed from thinking women should be housewives, make the most of it and do great things. You can be anyone you want to be, and soar heights!”

Milly Kwatoya, Loisaba Community Trust (Scholarships + Community Support)

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Milly and I am from Western Kenya. I currently work with Lori DeNooyer helping with the Loisaba Community Trust community outreach programme.”

How did you start to work at Loisaba?

“I started work at Loisaba in 2006 working in the shop. I worked there for six years before starting to help in the office with operations, accounts and reservations. While working in the office, I started working at Lorok Ltd. with Lori DeNooyer – helping with scholarships for children in the local area along with other community projects.”

How Important Is Education for girls?

“Education is the background of everything. Ever since I started at Loisaba, I have always been interested in meeting the girls in the communities and encouraging them to be excited about education so they have a better chance of getting a job. It’s very different to Western Kenya where education for girls is more common. It is very fulfilling to see the girls that have been through the Loisaba Community Trust scholarship program prosper!”

What are the problems that women face in communities around Loisaba?

“Women are often expected to stay in the households and therefore parents don’t see the need to send daughters to school, meaning they do not get the same opportunities as their brothers would. FGM is also still practised here – after the ceremony they are expected to get married and have children rather than stay in school.”

How is Loisaba Community Trust helping girls and women in the community?

“I am proud to say that more girls are attending secondary school with the help of our scholarships. We also run an anti-FGM programme where young girls and parents go through training to demonstrate the dangers of the practise, and offer an alternate rite of passage. We are also planning to organise a walk to raise awareness of the dangers of FGM and encourage more members of the community to attend our workshop and ceremony. We support women in the communities too with a beadwork programme, which helps to empower them by giving them a source of income. During my work in the communities, I have seen parents attitudes change towards both sending girls to school and to perceptions of FGM – which is huge job satisfaction!”

 What message would you like to send other women?

“Keep doing what you are doing, as long as you’re happy!” 

Noryn Nabira, HR and Accounts

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

“My name is Nabira and I am a Christian Luhya from Western Kenya. I studied Economics and History at university as I am good at maths and feel economics opens up many opportunities. I am now pursuing a post-graduate diploma in HR management.”

How did you start to work at Loisaba Conservancy?

“I started work at Loisaba in February 2018. I wanted to work here as I am passionate about conservation, and agree with the mission to protect and enhance critical wildlife diversity, abundance and habitat in the Loisaba landscape while supporting neighbouring communities.”

What are the problems that women face in communities? Have you had to overcome any of these?

“Many women are not educated, and therefore it is hard for them to have an income to sustain themselves. It has meant that women are much more depended on men. There are also many practises such as FGM whereby young girls are taken out of school to marry young which is a challenge. Where I am from in Western Kenya there are fewer issues and girls are encouraged to go to school. In the communities around Loisaba however, the community is still very much pastoral and the girls are expected to look after the households. The work Loisaba does in the communities with Anti-FGM and scholarships is extremely important for women!”

What message would you like to send other women?

“Women should embrace education. Perceptions are changing, people are moving and you need to make sure you don’t get left behind!”

Linet Akinyi Mukoma, Security Control Room

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

“My name is Linet and I come from Busia County in Western Kenya. I like traveling, especially to the beach. I love Diani – it is a good place to visit when you feel stressed as the atmosphere is so relaxing! I also have a son who is turning 8 in May. I would like my son to grow up knowing that women are not weak vessels. A woman is capable and strong, and he should not look down upon women.”

What is your role at Loisaba Conservancy?

“I am a radio operator – my work is to gather information from all over the conservancy concerning wildlife and security threats. I enjoy my work because it connects me to different people and I learn more about the wildlife. I am passionate about wildlife conservation, especially the work in partnership with Lion Landscapes in order to reduce retaliation killing of lions.”

What are the problems that women face in your community?

“Women in some communities are seen to be inferior to men – they don’t have speech. They are considered as weak vessels and their place is the kitchen. Women are not seen as independent.”

What can women achieve if given the chance?

“Women can achieve a lot! They can be leaders, they are capable of doing everything in careers, in education, even work in security like me which is usually considered a man’s job.”

What message would you like to send other women?

“I would like to tell other women to not look down on themselves. They should believe they can do anything and be independent!”

Susan Lentaam, Assistant Conservation Officer

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

“My name is Susan, I’m from Wamba (Samburu East) – a very remote area. I went to school in Isiolo which was 150km from my home. There were no roads so it used to take me 3 days to walk to school, starting at 9 years old. My father was very supportive of my education and ensured I went to school, even though it was sad my parents could not attend any of the parents days and end of term events due to the distance and the fact he could not leave his cattle.”

What is your role at Loisaba Conservancy?

“I work as the assistant conservation officer, focusing on SMART (our monitoring and reporting tool that our security rangers use) and Lion Monitoring in partnership with Lion Landscapes. The most interesting thing about my job has been learning about lion behaviour and how to identify individuals. This is done by taking photos of the whisker spots on each side of the face, as each lion has a unique pattern. Ear notches are also recorded as well as any other distinguishing features to help with the ID.”

What are the problems that women face in your community? Have you had to overcome any of these?

“There is often poor attendance of girls in schools due to early marriages and harmful cultural practises like FGM. There is also discrimination especially in jobs. People think that there are jobs that women are not supposed to do as they are thought of as weak. Sometimes people think women are not good at fieldwork, such as monitoring of lions, as it is tiring work. I want to prove those people that they are wrong and women can do many jobs! Luckily my father was very supportive, so the main problem I had was the distance from school. However, my uncles did not approve of my father’s decision to send me to school and said I should get married instead. My father said “you have to be strong and brave like a lion!” and I am very grateful to him.

What can women achieve if given the chance?

“Women can do a lot of things, even in leadership roles. If a women is given a chance to lead an organisation or community they can achieve a lot as they have the best interests of the people at heart.”

What message would you like to send other women?

Support others, and be brave like a lion!”

Kaltuma Dabaso, Clinical Health Officer

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

“My name is Kaltuma and I am from Isiolo county. I come from a humble background and have always been pushed to work for the better.”

How did you become involved with the clinic at Loisaba Conservancy?

“I have always loved to help people in need, and was excited by the chance to help the communities around Loisaba when the position became vacant. Loisaba has given me the opportunity to help people through outreaches and other projects. This brings a special joy being able to interact and improve peoples lives. Working at Loisaba has also helped me grow through trainings, using different ways to teach important messages to communities.”

How important is promoting women in society using the clinic?

“By helping with the community dispensary, community trainings and holding mobile outreach clinics, we have managed to positively impact women in need and bring changes such as stopping FGM, educating women and encouraging them to attend antenatal and postnatal clinics, providing family planning and improving women’s general health.”

What challenges have you witnessed for women in the communities around Loisaba?

“Early marriage and lack of women empowerment with men making most decisions regarding family planning and FGM. Health facilities are also often too far for them to access for services such as antenatal clinic and other medical services. Women also partake in strenuous activities such as carrying water, firewood and building manyattas during pregnancy which can be very risky to both mother and baby.”

What message would you like to send other women?

“They have power and strength to bring change in society. We have important roles in the family and communities!”