Expanding the Reach of Lewa's Healthcare Programme
On the 19th of March 2014, Lewa attended the opening ceremony of Ntirimiti Clinic, a project of the Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor. Ntirimiti lies adjacent to the Mount Kenya elephant corridor and over the years has been plagued with numerous cases of human-elephant conflict.
Previously in January 2012, Lewa, in partnership with the local authorities, had carried out a socio-economic survey to establish the most urgent needs of the community. The results of the survey indicated that lack of adequate healthcare was the region's greatest concern, with many having to walk for lengthy distances to access medical facilities.
Lewa, through its overseas outreaches, assisted in raising funds for the establishment of the Ntirimiti dispensary infrastructure. Although members of the community had attempted to pull together resources to build a block of the dispensary, they were in dire need of more financial support.
The construction of the dispensary and one staff house is now complete. The opening ceremony was graced by the Meru County Health Cabinet Secretary - William Muraa, County Chief Officer in Charge of Health - Dr. Gitonga, MoH Buuri - Dr. Kanana, as well as the local administration, residents, community elders, students and neighbouring conservation organisations. All spoke in support of wildlife conservation, especially the importance of existing in harmony with the elephants. Lewa staff also attended the event, proud of achieving another great accomplishment.
The now operational clinic is expected to serve approximately 9,300 individuals annually. Already, it has helped improve the residents' outlook towards wildlife.
"When I see an elephant now, I'll remember it has helped build our new clinic." An elder from Ntirimiti community profoundly stated as the ceremony came to a close.