Wildlife & Security
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is committed to supporting community conservation and education of neighbouring areas in the value of wildlife. One of the main projects being undertaken is the Conservation Education Programme (CEP) that was established in 2010 with the aim of providing a holistic, cutting-edge conservation and environmental education for visiting school groups. The CEP is directed towards Kenyan students from northern Kenya and beyond. Its aim is to introduce and promote behaviour change in conservation and create environmental awareness especially to the younger generation of Kenyans. This goal is achieved through:
1. Game Drives
Game drives offers a field learning experience aimed at expanding the student’s knowledge on the importance of wildlife and environment conservation therefore creating appreciation of the diversity of plants and animals in nature as well as the way they relate with the abiotic environment.
2. Visit to the Conservation Education Centre
The Conservation Education Centre is aimed at giving students hands on experience on solutions to environmental challenges through interactive exhibits.
3. Outreach Programme to Lewa-Supported Schools
The Conservation Education Coordinator visits all the Lewa-supported schools from time to time to assist them in initiating environmental activities as well as implementing the environmental curriculum in schools. This is done through lectures, demonstrations and PowerPoint presentations.
During the period between June 2013 and May 2014, the CEC was able to initiate wildlife clubs in 10 schools surrounding Lewa. The students in these clubs are now committed to environmental conservation in their school and in their community. They have taken responsibility to educate their fellow students, parents and community members on the importance of wildlife conservation. They have also helped them understand their responsibilities towards protecting rhino through informing Lewa and the local authorities of any potential poaching threat.
Record number of visitors in 2013
In year 2013, the CEP hosted the highest number of visitors in the past three years. 82 groups comprising of 1671 students and 366 adults visited the centre. The visitors had an opportunity to participate in the Lewa’s new interactive programme that involves a guided game drive, interactive exhibits, computer and smart board activities. An additional 1575 children and 560 adults from the Lewa supported schools benefitted through conservation talks and demonstrations on environmental conservation.
A new dormitory for students
Construction of a dormitory with a capacity of 60 beds is currently underway. The dormitory will accommodate groups from northern Kenya and other regions in which movement to Lewa and back in a day is impossible due to distance and poor roads. The dormitory is envisaged to be operational as from June 2014.
Between January and May 2014, the number of students and teachers who have visited the Conservation Education Centre are 1032, 12% being teachers who also greatly benefit from the knowledge acquired.