In a significant effort to scale up Kenya's fight against wildlife crime, public- and private-sector partners have joined forces to address dangerously high levels of poaching and trafficking. In a two-day workshop, representatives of government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector identified targeted, practical interventions to fortify wildlife laws and policies and enhance a range of community and law-enforcement initiatives. 

Call her the Erin Brockovich of east Africa. They haven’t made the movie yet, but Phyllis Omido has a heroic tale to tell of forcing the closure of a lead smelting plant that was poisoning the inhabitants of a Kenyan slum – including her own baby.

Nairobi, Kenya: This year we celebrate the first Tusker Day on September 22nd which happens to be Elephant Appreciation Day in honor of Satao, Africa's largest elephant bull, slain by poachers on May 30th 2014. Satao belonged to an elite group of elephants called Tuskers because his tusks were so big they almost touched the ground. Tuskers and elephants are facing imminent extinction in 15 years unless we act. We hope that this day will create more awareness on the plight of Tusker elephants.

Team members of The Africa Center, Kathleen Galvin and Robin Reid, report on the increase in community-based conservancies in Kenya and how these transformations are benefiting wildlife, livestock, and human well-being.

Changing Wildlife Populations in Nairobi National Park and Adjoining Athi-Kaputiei Plains: Collapse of the Migratory Wildebeest

Abstract: There is mounting concern about declines in wildlife populations in many protected areas in Africa. Migratory ungulates are especially vulnerable to impacts of changing land use outside protected areas on their abundance. Range compression may compromise the capacity of migrants to cope with climatic variation, and accentuate both competitive interactions and predation. We analyzed the population dynamics of 11 ungulate species within Kenya’s Nairobi National Park, and compared them to those in the adjoining Athi-Kaputiei Plains, where human settlements and other developments had expanded. The migratory wildebeest decreased from almost 30,000 animals in 1978 to around 5,000 currently but the migratory zebra changed little regionally. Hartebeest, impala, eland, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, waterbuck, warthog and giraffe numbers declined regionally, whereas buffalo numbers expanded.

According to a report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and partner organisations, some areas of Kenya may receive more rainfall as climate patterns shift. Although climate predictions suggest that rainfall will increase in some areas, decreases in rainfall may be seen in some of the most productive agriculture provinces.   Initiatives to help pastoralists adapt to these uncertain futures is underway.  Local groups are partnering with international agencies to promote "Climate-Smart Villages" that provide practical adaptation options to improve food security and resilience.

Firewood has long been used as a cooking fuel in many homes in rural Kenya. But demand for timber is stripping the countryside of its mature trees.  A growing number of Kenyans, however, have discovered an alternative way to increase incomes; farming mangoes.  This practice can help absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while at same time providing farmers with a reliable cash crop in an arid region struggling to produce staple crops like maize.

Of God, Rains, and Motorbikes

In Maasailand, "Enkai", "God", also means "rain". 
This documentary portrays members of a Kenyan pastoralist community on the outskirts of the Maasai Mara National Reserve as they creatively respond to challenges posed by climate change, land privatization and environmental degradation. In increasingly uncertain times, they ask themselves questions on the future of raising livestock in the Kenyan rangelands and what it means to be a pastoralist.

A massive aquifer that holds enough water to meet all of Kenya's needs for 70 years has been discovered in the Turkana district of northwest Kenya. Satellite imagery and seismic data were used to discover the  Lotikipi Basin Aquifer, which contains 900% more water than the current reserves in the country and offers a prosperous future for local residents.  

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