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Lewa Wildlife Conservancy monthly report November 2004

November 30, 2004 Sara Spendrup

Executive Summary November has been a wet month and the rains have continued into December. Lewa is looking greener than ever! The elephants have all moved north and other than the odd case of poaching the conditions have not been bad. We had three rhinos births reported although one unfortunately was probably trampled by her mother two days later. However our population is now 76 in total.

Black rhino Total: 40 Mean sighting frequency: 2.4 Seiya was reported with her first calf on 1st November 2004. Nyota gave birth to a female calf on 14/11/04. The calf died two days later as a result of trampling by her mother.

White rhino Total: 36 Mean sighting frequency: 1.8

Rainfall November 2003 - 131mm November 2004 - 148mm

Research Hosting personnel from Ethiopia and Eritrea Wildlife Authorities. They are on an exposure tour to learn about the wildlife conservation and management techniques carried out on Lewa that has made the Conservancy and the community group ranches successful in wildlife conservation. Foal patrol and tracking of collared Grevy's zebra

Upcoming activities - Compilation of end of year ecological and wildlife monitoring report and compilation of end of month rhino monitoring report.

b>Community Development The month was marked with several meetings for the Northern Rangelands Trust. Through the request of Willy Roberts there was a two day meeting in Island camp where the Jamsi community was being trained on how they could utilise the lake for fishing and also have eco-tourism activities and habitat management. The community requires a lot of training and exposure tours for them to improve their resource management skills. There was food donation and seedlings to the communities in Ntumburi, which was badly hit by the drought. A one-day meeting was held in Nanyuki by the conflict resolution team for Ranchers in Laikipia to discuss the land issues and finally EU through CDTF held a national conference to share the lessons learned from their funded projects in the country and their successes achieved so far. The first official meeting for the council of elders was held and members were taken through the trust objectives and how the Trust will work. The members were also taken through their various roles and responsibilities in the operations of the trust. A bi-law committee was elected and will write up the constitution that will guide them in their operations and later all the representatives were to choose a conflict resolution team. The council agreed to be meeting quarterly unless there are urgent issues coming up concerning the trust.

The community in Kibirichia on south of Lewa are now happy because an elephant electric fence is already put in place to stop elephants from straying in the farms. This is being done through Bill Woodley Mt. Kenya Trust.

The Manyangalo community is intensifying crop production and two seeds companies Regina seeds, Simlow seeds are interest to partner with farmers for food and seeds production. The community is ready to have production of chillies, hot pepper, for Equator Products. Through their registered community based organisation (CBO) the farmers are also looking forward to establish a piped water project because the furrow method is now prohibited under the new water act established by the government.

The new production manager for the Mutunyi Irrigation Scheme is preparing the community to form an agricultural corporative to enhance working together towards crop production. We are also reviewing their scheme constitution to allow more accurate guidance in their operations. The Regina seeds company visited the area and they were very pleased with the area and the farmers are ready to start farming together with them for seeds and food production. The community is also making up plans to rehabilitate their access road for easier linkage with the main road. The rural electrification surveyors also visited the area to survey the possibility of electrification.

The Ngutuk Ongiron community got $30,000 to employ scouts for patrolling the conservation area thanks to San Diego Zoo. Discussions are underway with Bedouin camp on how they will solicit funds from Tourism Trust Fund (TTF) for conservation and tourism activities in the conservancy. There was an eco-tourism establishment training for the management committee focusing on the best way to evaluate the tourism potential of the conservancy and the key factors to consider in the venture of the Eco-tourism from a micro enterprise approach. The numbers of scouts trained are eight morans and two ladies who will form the security team of the Conservancy.

The Il Ngwesi lodge is undergoing rehabilitation especially in the main room. The project is also implementing the activities that are funded from the already successful proposal to the Tourism Trust Fund (TTF). The trust had a training to oversee the new organisation they would like to incorporate so as to enhance their future operations of the trust. The board is also keen to focus in its management plan

The Ngare Ndare Forest Trust is implementing the planned activities as per the annual plan. The office and the manager's house construction plans are through and materials are being transported to the site though the rainy weather has stopped the operations. The field manager has reported to work and is familiarising with the field activities.

Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust held a two days training of the board members as they all discussed the possible organisational structure they would adopt in future as the Trust meets its project development. To facilitate the development work and better performance of the Trust, it has hired a new general manager to oversee the overall management. The lodge has also had a good season in terms of tourism activities. However the TTF funding was not successful and the community will continue pursuing the same.

The funding for Sera from USAID is still going through their processes and yet not known when it can be due. Sera area is a potential wildlife zone and conservation eco-tourism activities. Peter the community's radio operator was trained for two weeks on radio operations and also on paramilitary training.

Kalama project got some funding from St. Louis Zoo to develop the Grevy's zebra project. The water rehabilitation works is still ongoing and the pipeline is being overhauled. Kariuki from Lewa is doing a great job in the water system and water is now increased pressure and filling the 1000million tank gallon in five hours instead of five days. 10 Kalama scouts undertook two weeks induction para-military training at Lewa introducing them to practical scouting and wildlife management.

The Lewa based Micro-credit scheme is expanding with another beneficiary group being put on board. We have now four women groups benefiting from the loans and the list is expanding very fast. We are carrying micro enterprise training to the women to educate them on how to conduct their businesses. The women who started earlier are now doing very well in their businesses and are achieving very good results. Most of the women are also in the adult literacy class where they are learning the basic arithmetic as we prepare them to learn the book keeping skills.

Education Schools are closed for December holidays but here is short update on what has been happening;

The Munanda Primary School is looking very good. Stephen Matheson class room is now complete. The library by Jim and Lauren Ramenofsky has reached to the lintal level and soliciting for more funds to complete it. A kitchen in the Karimba Primary School is under construction supported by LET. Construction of a classroom and latrines for the Kanyunga Primary School is kindly sponsored by Marcel Burgauer The construction of the Mutuni Primary School class room is now complete.

All schools planted trees in this season.

Marathon Date has changed to the 2nd of July 2005. First meeting planned in the beginning of February.