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Community Development

June 02, 2004 Sara Spendrup

The May month was pretty busy being almost the half way of the year. Most communities were evaluating what they had achieved in the year 2003/2004. There was a Wildlife Policy Development Workshop held in Mombasa that focused o­n formulation of the Wildlife Policy and review of the Wildlife Act, where all delegates unanimously passed a motion in support to urgently develop the policy and review the already outdated Wildlife Act.

The programme also continued to rigorously focus o­n strategic activities o­n the wider scope.

Northern Rangelands Trust
The Northern Rangelands Trust has been launched. This brings together all the key conservation stakeholders north of equator with an agenda to develop wildlife as a form of land use. The founder trustees were elected in may and the registration of the body is underway.
Elephant corridor
A consensus has been reached to create an elephant corridor to link Ngare Ndare forest with Mt. Kenya giving the elephant an opportunity to freely move through its historical pathway that was blocked with developments. The corridor is from Ngare Ndare forest to Mt. Kenya forest reserve through Kisima and Marania farms respectively. This proposal project was approved in the Sub-DDC. Other preparations can begin o­nce we have the approval of the DDC.

Manyagalo drip irrigation (Water Projects)
This community plans to change their furrow irrigation to drip irrigation. Jim Vernon an experienced agronomist is currently carrying soil samples to establish what horticultural crops the communities can grow for export. He is also seeking some possible funding

Mutunyi irrigation scheme (Water Projects)
The long awaited irrigation scheme is about to be. Finally the water was tested before the end of May and cut across the scheme very successfully. There was such a glow among the community members. It now o­nly left with the farm pipes to have the project declared complete.

Il Ngwesi
The reconstruction Il Ngwesi Trust offices are going o­n. The T.T.F funding is come o­n board to help develop the business plan. The community is also recruiting the youths that will participate in the equator initiative award and the will travel to Canada .

Ngare Ndare Forest Trust
The project is lucky to have lots of funding from Ford Foundation, BCP and Safaricom Kenya to cover recurrent expenditures, build offices, buy a vehicle and carry out some enrichment in the forest.

Namunyak
There was a board meeting held in the beginning of the month and the focus was o­n the future operations of the Sarara camp and a new management arrangement with Piers Bustard. There was a very successful mini-marathon in preparation of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Safaricom Marathon where the community selected their marathon team to represent the project o­n June 26 th .

Sera
USAID carried out an assessment mission to verify whether Lewa Wildlife Conservancy had the capacity to manage their finances and the report indicate, yes. We now have information the funds may be released before end of June 2004 then work will start. We have not been able to fully penetrate the Rendille and the Boran communities and are working very hard.

Kalama
It is very lucky Kalama got some funding from St. Louis Zoo to develop the Grevy's project. Preparations are underway to establish a system of how the Grevy's activities will be implemented. The BCP project is going o­n well o­n the constructions of offices and staff quarters.

Lekurruki
The community was very busy clearing the road joining Tassia lodge to the Sieku Valley and the Mukogodo forest. The lodge is doing well though the number of visitors has reduced.

Schools
The schools were busy preparing the kids for the marathon. Mutunyi primary has completed construction of two classrooms and now laying foundation for another two. Karimba School has started its feeding programme. Ntalaban School has started construction of a new classroom and Ntugi is also constructing a classroom to meet the increased enrolment.

Lewa Clinic
The mobile clinic is o­ngoing and the laboratory construction is underway and waits the purchase of the laboratory equipments. The clinic has been installed with solar power.

Lewa micro-credit scheme
The women are very timely in surfacing their loans to the scheme. They pay back their monthly instalments every first week of the month. There is a plan to hold a second loan disbursement meeting o­n the 11 th June 2004 o­n Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.